- Our 132nd International Worker’s Day/4.30 May Day Eve report
Originally posted on https://malangkism.tistory.com/35
Last weekend, we took part on 132nd International Worker’s Day protest and the festival on the day before. As is now well known, Worker’s Day began on May 1, 1886, during a series of general strikes by Chicago workers and anarchists. Therefore, we as Malangchism also joined the protests, as anarchists, to honor the struggles of the anarchists who came before, and to join in solidarity with the struggle of all present workers.
As we continue the protests around Jongno on both days back-to-back, we listened to the voices of people fighting against the state, capital, and various other oppressive systems and vowed to fight alongside together. We felt once again that the power that all of us have, who stand shoulder to shoulder under countless groups and numerous flags, was strong enough to end all oppression we face.
However, our rights continue to regress backwards even though we continue to fight, just like how the lyrics of a song sung by a choir during the Worker’s Day have told. Especially, as the article read by the comrade Ko Jin-soo of the Sejong Hotel branch during the 4.30 Youth Student's May Day Eve Festival showed us, we have now reached a point where it is even difficult to barely demand capital and the state acknowledge us as workers, let alone fight for better wages. At a time when times and the form of labor have changed and the law is simply reluctant to call workers as workers, when the unity of capital, the state, and the factors of discrimination is just so strong and firm, why is it that we fail to create a solidarity stronger than that, as we fail to organize more struggles because of our rejecting those who come to join in solidarity, shuddering in fear? In the face of the majority worker’s rights that are being severely rolled back, some of the half-assed attempts to create factions that are divided for some petty conflicts among us are the actual behaviors befitting "left-wing communism : infantile disorder"(rather than what Lenin said), so how could we not be ashamed of this?
There are countless workers. There is no place in the world that does not involve labor, and there is no place that does not depend on labor to operate within it. However the way our lives are heading for the worse, our rights are being rolled back, are mere testaments to how we are still inexperienced both in organizing and standing in solidarity, and nothing more. The moment we actually believe and practice that we can put an end to this state on our own, not with words, nor our mouths, but with our sincerity and actions, all will become history in an instant, even in just one day, disappearing without a trace.
We cannot afford to waste what little time we have by gradually taking over the district and city councils, increasing the number of seats in the National Assembly, and seizing power. We should admit it. That is something that the People Power Party and the Democratic Party of Korea, the two conservative parties in the Republic of Korea could do much better. They have already mastered it, rendering it impossible for us to imagine any other world, or any other system. And they keep calling us over to join their ring to which rules favorable to them apply. Is this a fair match just because you and I are both wearing the same gloves? Is that why one party called for voting system reform, and another party said how socialism can be blended smoothly within this current framework?
On the way to Gwanghwamun, where the presidential transition committee is located, after we finished the Worker’s Day protests, we ran into a Taegeukgi unit, and as usual, they screamed the words “빨갱이”, “종북세력” at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Whenever they vigorously shouted “물러가라!”, we merely responded with “투쟁!”. Two letters are more ‘cost-effective’ to say than four, and the way to show our unity and solidarity without getting caught up in their rhetoric is that simple, not difficult in the slightest. This struggle, of course, is not an easy one. However, it is us who are standing here right now, who are in solidarity with this struggle, are the very ones carrying it out. One cannot ask anyone to substitute their place in their struggles, and one cannot ask someone else to take care of the wound of their friend beside them. Such are merely cowardice and incompetence. So let's now claim our freedom for ourselves, who understand our struggles and movements best, without relying on anyone else. This is where our anarchism truly lies. To that end, we will continue to shout.
‘Our Mutual Aid’ Malangchism