May Day Rally – Workers resolve to defeat BJP

On 1st May, Shramik Hakk Andolan, a trade union formed by us (New Socialist Alternative) we celebrated International Labor Day by taking out a rally of workers. This is third consecutive year that we take out a rally. Last year, we had organized 2 rallies, one in the morning and other in the evening since our workers are spread out in different parts of the city. This year we decided to have a one but at a central place in the city. Our objective was to have a united action and more importantly, to organize this in the central area of the city.

Notwithstanding heatwave and considerable travelling distance, many workers participated in the rally. Prior to that, local workers’ committees organized various meetings to plan the rally and work out details. A committee at Warje prepared a board displaying all instruments used by construction workers. The one at Kothrud had organized an essay competition for workers’ children. Another one at Yerawada had been practicing lezim (kind of dance) for the rally.

The evening on May day saw a vibrant rally with hundreds of workers shouting slogans and displaying various visuals. Apart from scores of red flags, we had placards written with messages emphasisng the central role played by labor and laborers in running the world around us. Few of those placards read “We the construction workers build houses, buildings, highways, airports. We are the ones who run this country.” Others read “We the industrial workers produce all the articles used by everyone around. We are the ones who run this country.” We also had cutouts of various other laborers like sanitation workers, bus drivers and that way though our members are construction workers, the rally represented working class as a whole.

Workers enthusiastically participated in the rally. They performed lezim dance in the very begining of the rally giving it an upbeat start. Later our comrades presented a rap song written by us highlighting significance of the class struggle. They shouted various slogans upholding the legacy of May day and also putting forward demands of workers. Cde. Sagar Savita Dhanraj, General Secretary of the union called upon workers to further consolidate the class unity to defeat the divisive communal politics of the current regime. Cde. Youvraj, President of the union citing anti-working class character of BJP government impressed upon the need for a sustained fight against these forces even after elections. Workers resolved to unite to defeat the BJP government in the upcoming elections. Representatives of few other trade unions and left organizations too participated in the rally. We distributed 1200 leaflets en route. After around 2 hours of walk through middle of the city, the rally came to an end.