Thursday 2nd May
People have been taking to the streets in Bangladesh since Thursday and
there will be mass strikes on 2 May. Let’s show them some solidarity!
2nd May, 4.30pm, Primark, Western Road, Brighton
On 24 April more than 350 workers were crushed to death in a collapsing
factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The factory made clothes for high street
chains including Primark, Matalan, Benetton, and Mango. Just another
“accident” in the race for profits. Those responsible for these deaths are
in London and in towns across the UK: we need to hold them to account.
May Day was first celebrated as a day of international workers’ solidarity
in 1890. It was called to commemorate the murder of four anarchist workers
in Chicago by the US government.
123 years later, capitalism continues to kill workers all over the world.
Some are executed or shot dead, like the 34 striking Marikana miners
killed by South African police last August, defending the interests of
British company Lonmin. Many millions more are sentenced to slow deaths
from hunger, poverty and despair. Others are killed in so-called
“workplace accidents” in mines, factories and fields where life is the
cheapest commodity of all.
On May Day 2013, while celebrating 123 plus years of struggle, we also
need to commemorate some of the latest victims of capitalism. We think of
the 30 Bangladeshi and other migrant workers shot by Greek strawberry farm
bosses in Manolada on 18 April (thankfully, none of the gunshot wounds
were fatal). And above all we remember the more than 300 Bangladeshi
workers (perhaps many more) killed in the collapsed textile factory in
Dhaka on 24 April.
Capitalism kills. And the killers are not just the cops who pull the
trigger, or the factory managers who ignore the cracks and lock the doors.
The ultimate killers are all those who profit from death trap factories,
and everywhere where capitalism forces us to wear out our bodies and minds
and risk our lives for the riches of the few.
Primark, Matalan, Mango, Benetton, and other clothes chains profiting from
cheap labour are killers. The banks and investment funds that finance
their deals are killers. The governments in Bangladesh, Greece and Britain
who protect them are killers. We call on everyone to join us on May Day
and remember the dead with action. We need to hold the clothing chains,
and all other capitalist murderers, to account.
One common struggle.
PS: For a detailed article on the causes of the factory collapse, see