ON LSI REJECTION OF JOINT MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS
Rundschau, iv, 19, p. 963, 25 April 1935
The Executive Committee of the Communist International proposed to the Executive of the Labour and Socialist International to organize in all capitalist countries joint May Day demonstrations against the capitalist offensive, against fascism, to safeguard peace, against imperialist war, and for the defence of the Soviet Union.
On behalf of the LSI secretariat Friedrich Adler informed the CI in a letter of 15 April that:
In accordance with the decisions of the Executive of the LSI, which were communicated to Comrades Cachin and Thorez in a letter dated 7 November 1934, there can be no doubt that the decision whether or not May Day may be celebrated jointly is to be left to each individual socialist party.
In all capitalist countries the CI has promoted agreements between the communist and socialist parties for a joint struggle against the common enemy of the working class. But recently events have occurred which give particular emphasis to the need for joint international working-class action beyond the national framework: the reintroduction of universal conscription by the fascist Hitler Government; its warlike threats against Lithuania and the other Baltic States, against Austria, and particularly against the Soviet Union; the extreme acuteness of the danger of a new imperialist world war started by Hitler Germany and its allies, military-fascist Japan and fascist Poland.
Precisely because of these new factors in the international situation, which make it urgently necessary to concentrate all the forces of the world proletariat against the chief instigator of war, German fascism and its allies, in common international action, a joint display of the two Internationals on May Day would be commendable. Joint demonstrations would also open the way for the further joint struggle of the proletariat to raise the living standards of the working class, to defend their rights against fascism in every capitalist country, and to maintain the peace.
The ECCI secretariat is convinced that the members of the social-democratic parties, as well as the broad masses of the militant proletariat, approved and welcomed the CI proposal to organize joint May Day demonstrations. The socialdemocratic workers will however remember that the LSI first made joint action by communists and social-democrats on a national scale dependent upon prior agreement between the two Internationals, then rejected the new CI proposals to the LSI for joint international action on the ground that such action could only be arranged by agreement between the individual national parties affiliated to the LSI and the CI. After these mutually contradictory statements on the question of establishing international unity of action, the workers will ask in wonderment: What events will make the LSI leaders consider that the appropriate time has come to give their consent to united international proletarian action?
Despite the rejection by the LSI of its united front proposals in support of the fighting Spanish workers, the Communist International did not refrain from making new proposals to the LSI, when new events of international import occurred, for joint May Day demonstrations by the two Internationals. Nor in the future will the CI leave any means untried to convince the social-democratic workers that the policy of class collaboration pursued by the social-democratic leaders is incompatible with working-class interests, and is the chief obstacle to international proletarian unity of action. Supported by the efforts of militant workers for a united front against the bourgeoisie, the CI will do all it can to bring about working-class unity of action on the national and international scale, for the fight against the capitalist offensive, against fascism, to maintain peace, against imperialist war, and in defence of the Soviet Union.
The negative reply of the LSI secretariat makes it impossible for joint May Day demonstrations of the two Internationals to be held this year. The ECCI recommends all communist parties to renew their proposals to the socialist parties of the individual capitalist countries for the joint organization of May Day demonstrations, referring to the LSI secretariat letter of 15 April 1935 to the CI quoted above, with the object of overcoming the resistance of the social-democratic party leaders. The more broadly and energetically the social-democratic workers and their organizations, nationally and locally, conclude a united front with communist organizations against the common class enemy, the more quickly will the international united front of communists and social-democrats, fighting under the banner of proletarian internationalism in defence of the vital interests of the working class, become a fact.