May Day Demonstrators Urge Unified Working Class Action

Two hundred demonstrators gathered on Boston Common yesterday to celebrate May Day, an international working class holiday.

Speakers representing four leftist revolutionary political groups called for international working class unity in the struggle against capitalism.

"All our ills are the ills of the capitalist system," said Suzi Jharad, the main speaker and a representative of the October League, a Marxist-Leninist organization.

Jharad's Call Echoed

Leo Fletcher, from the Roxbury-based United Community Construction Workers, Hugo Morales, from the United Farm Worker's (UFW) Support Committee, and Jean-Calude Martino, from the Haitian Action Committee echoed Jharad's call for a unified working class movement.

"Worker apathy and division are products of the oppressive nature of our society," Fletcher said.

Jharad said however that "Revolutionary consciousness is on the rise, especially among minority workers." She cited the success of the UFW and Farah workers as evidence of this trend.

Speakers also demanded the ousting of President Nixon. "May Day celebrations have always focused on issues of importance to the working class," Jharad said. She labeled Nixon a representative of the "ruthless, racist, fascist order which oppresses the working class."

She called for a more militant working class movement to counteract the "labor leaders' sell out to big business."

Jharad expressed the hope that the working class will re-establish the tradition of May Day in the United States. She said that "May Day started in the United States in 1886 when workers were struggling for the eight hour day, but in recent years American workers have neglected this holiday."

The celebration also included a reading of Langston Hughes' poetry by Felipe Noguera '77, songs by the Haitian Cultural Group, and the singing of the "Internationale.