CP clubs join May Day actions nationwide

BY:Communist Party USA| May 4, 2023
CP clubs join May Day actions nationwide


Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto that “of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat [working class] alone is a really revolutionary class,” leading them to famously end: “the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. [Workers] of all countries unite!”

Lenin later built on the formula, saying, “Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite!” adding to the centrality of the class struggle, the struggle for democracy.

Few holidays capture the spirit of this internationalist working-class slogan like May Day. The holiday was established in 1889 by the Second International in recognition of the struggle for the 8-hour workday by U.S. workers in Chicago, waged one year earlier and met with bloody repression in Haymarket Square.

All around the world, Communist Parties participated with this years’ May Day celebrations, and the CPUSA was no exception. Here are a few highlights from local CPUSA clubs and districts.

Detroit, Michigan

The Detroit club of the CPUSA marched with rank-and-file union members from the Teamsters, UAW, SEIU, UFCW, and other unions, as well as anti-racist, anti-sexist, LGBTQ equality, environmental justice, anti-war, and justice for Palestine activists. They joined with others in demanding equality for undocumented workers, healthcare for all, equal pay for equal work, and an end to war, pointing to the need to put the major resources of the country into the hands of the public.

Tucson, Arizona

For the second year, the Pima Area Labor Federation sponsored a May Day action with a rally outside an Amazon distribution center. The federation chose Amazon because of the worldwide efforts to organize this monster.

The organizers wanted to mark the international workers’ holiday by emphasizing the international nature of workers’ struggles, and they chose to observe the holiday with an action, just as May Day began with actions demanding the 8-hour work day. Members of the Tucson club, CPUSA joined members of a dozen local unions, retirees and supporters.

Twin Cities

Comrades in Minneapolis also took to the streets on May Day in celebration of labor, immigration, and indigenous rights.

“We marched with union siblings and community organizations to honor the workers who went on strike in the past year in Minneapolis, including the teachers, nurses, mental health workers, and Starbucks baristas,” club leaders say.

“This year’s rally also made connections to the broader struggles against settler colonialism, immigrant rights, and environmental justice. Working class internationalism is here to stay!”

Columbus, Ohio

In Columbus, OH, the Anna Hass Morgan Club (CPUSA) joined the Freelance Solidarity Project (FSP) on May Day to witness the passage of legislation by the City Council that will provide outstanding labor protections for freelance workers of all kinds. After months of advocacy, the FSP succeeded in convincing council members that freelancers deserve the same protections against wage theft as are available to other workers in Columbus, thanks to strong anti-wage theft legislation passed last year.

After speeches by Council Member Rob Dorans and FSP organizer Taylor Dorrell, the measure passed handily. City Council President Shannon Hardin congratulated the Freelance Solidarity Project and added that the current city council is “the most pro-labor, pro-worker council in generations here in Columbus.” While this comment drew some skeptical looks among comrades, it is true that the legislation that was passed is remarkably progressive. Freelancers have this kind of labor protection in only four cities: New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and now Columbus Ohio. The testimony, vote, and audience reaction can be viewed here.

New Haven, Connecticut

Members of the CPUSA in New Haven, Connecticut also played a big role in a local May Day action that highlighted the struggle for housing as a human right.

Albany, NY

The Albany NY CPUSA club joined coalition partners from many organizations who stood alongside the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) on May Day. PPC gave their own State of the State to counter the Governor’s narrative that erases and dismisses the needs of 8.6 million poor and low income people across New York. The governor didn’t mention the poor or poverty once. After collecting thousands of signatures over prior weeks, the PPC took to the streets and marched these to the Capitol building.

“We rallied multiple times with song and dance and chant to make our voices heard, and handed the petition to the Governor’s office, as well as the Senate and Assembly’s offices. There is more to do and more to come, and the struggle continues! But when we fight, we WIN!” leaders of the Albany club declared.

New York City, NY

In NYC, members of the New York State Communist Party and the New York Young Communist League rallied with various unions and worker centers, immigrant rights organizations, criminal justice reform groups, and women’s and LGBTQ equality activists in Washington Square park before marching down to Foley Square.

From Foley Square, they marched to City Hall to join a rally demanding the New York City Council pass a law ending the 24-hour work day for home attendants, most of whom are immigrant women and women of color workers.

Ithaca, NY

In Ithaca, NY, the local CP club took the initiative to organize a May Day rally with Ithaca DSA, organizing Starbucks workers, the Ithaca Tenants Union, and others.

As rainy and windy conditions gave way to a mild sunny afternoon, the comrades were fortunate to hear from great speakers as they discussed a range of topics, from the history of labor struggles to ongoing movements in Ithaca and the surrounding area.

Between speeches, attendees sang labor songs, and a lively jazz music and a fire performance concluded the celebration. Throughout the event, people mingled and discussed future collaborations among the tables displaying literature, baked goods and buttons.

Chicago, Illinois

In Illinois, members of the Peoria club met with comrades in Chicago to visit Haymarket Square.

Santa Cruz, California

Members of the Central Coast Workers Club in northern California celebrated May Day by joining like-minded groups in the UC Divest coalition for an action outside University of California’s Clark Kerr Hall in Santa Cruz. There they demanded the University of California divest from explicit war profiteering, predatory housing commodification, and the theft of land from Native American communities.

“We were able to present a unified front of solidarity and support for AFSCME K7 workers delivering their demands to administration, as we celebrated that same solidarity towards all struggles for worker empowerment on this international workers day,” they said.

San Jose, California

In nearby San Jose, CA, CP members took part in a local march from Roosevelt Park to Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown San Jose, demanding all workers have the right to unionize.

Los Angeles, California

The CPUSA in southern California rallied with others in downtown Los Angeles demanding a pathway to citizenship for immigrant communities, workers’ rights to unionize and go on strike, and the right to housing.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, comrades participated with a May Day block party and an action demanding the United States ratify the United Nations’ Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Seattle, Washington

In Seattle, the CPUSA participated with a march, and conducted a tabling event.

Western Massachusetts

In western Massachusetts, the CP club organized a May Day picnic.

More photos of this years’ May Day celebrations can be viewed here.

Images: CPUSA


    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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