May Day: Workers’ Struggles, International Solidarity, Political Aspirations

Socialist Project

May 1, 2019

A pamphlet for May Day, published by Socialist Project. Below an excerpt from the pamphlet that includes a speech by Eleanor Marx on the first May Day at a rally held in Hyde Park (London), 1890.

Eleanor Marx

We have not come to do the work of political parties, but we have come here in the cause of labor, in its own defense, to demand its own rights….

I am speaking this afternoon not only as a Trade Unionist, but as a Socialist. Socialists believe that the eight hours’ day is the first and most immediate step to be taken, and we aim at a time when there will no longer be one class supporting two others, but the unemployed both at the top and at the bottom of society will be got rid of. This is not the end but only the beginning of the struggle; it is not enough to come here to demonstrate in favor of an eight hours’ day. We must not be like some Christians who sin for six days and go to church on the seventh, but we must speak for the cause daily, and make the men, and especially the women that we meet, come into the ranks to help us.

“Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you–

Ye are many–they are few.”