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The Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) sends greetings of comradeship and solidarity to you Kenyan workers and your fellow workers of the World as you commemorate this year's historical International Labour Day! We reiterate the communist's slogan to workers of the World by the founder of scientific communism, Karl Marx: Workers of the World unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

The Kenyan society will always be grateful to you workers for being the primary movers of the economy and culture of our nation through your labour. CPK is a workers’ political party since we champion the class, ideology, and political interests of the workers and your allies: the working class, the peasants, the urban and rural poor, and all those who reject capitalism and struggle for socialism. That is why we always support you Kenyan workers and your immediate struggle of demanding the realization of your constitutional right to form, join, belong to, and organize free trade unions of your choice.

Yes, Kenyan workers continue to demand for the democratisation of trade unions and the realization of civic and political liberties. We agree with you that trade union leaders must come out of free, fair, transparent, and democratic elections. The practice of imposing individuals who are corrupt, dictatorial, and traitors as leaders of trade unions is a betrayal of the workers and the struggle for workers' interests. This anti-workers practice must be opposed and condemned by you workers and all progressive people and organisations in the country.

You Kenyan workers know who your betrayers are: the trade union leaders of the status quo who have turned trade unions into their personal property that they use to become millionaires and billionaires by selling workers to the exploiters, oppressors, tribalist politicians and political parties, and the successive reactionary regimes. On this May Day, CPK joins you, workers, in condemning these imposters of trade union leaders and reminding them that the workers know who they are and what they stand for and will not allow them to betray workers forever!

Furthermore, CPK calls upon all Kenyan workers wherever they are to continue with the struggle of building, belonging to, and consolidating membership in and of genuine trade unions. You must always organise, mobilise and struggle for your unity as workers and refuse to be divided along ethnic, racial and gender lines. Never accept to be bribed by the sycophants of the exploiters and traitors of the workers so as to elect the betrayers of your interests while rejecting your true leaders known to you. Stand with the heroes of your unions and cause to unite and struggle for your rights and liberation with them at whatever cost!

Workers, you are aware that trade unions are essential as they struggle to improve your living wages and other working conditions even under the present capitalist system. Capitalism is the system of exploitation of person by person. The truth is that while the struggle of trade unions leads to progressive reforms that improve the welfare of workers, they alone will not liberate the entire Kenyan society from capitalism. Workers need to belong to political parties to join the whole society to fight for a socialist system that will bring true freedom and liberation to Kenya.

Socialism is the system based on class equality and aims to organise and mobilise all in society to participate in active labour of creating wealth and sharing the resulting benefits for the development of each and all. The true and reliable political parties which workers and genuine trade unions must belong to and support are communist parties, since communist parties struggle for socialism and ultimately communism. In Kenya, CPK is the workers' party. You workers and genuine trade union leaders should join, build and support CPK even while belonging to progressive trade unions.

This year's May Day celebrations are happening during the most difficult period in Kenya and in the World, caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The pandemic continues to ravage the country's economy that was already in ICU before the outbreak of the dangerous disease. The workers and working classes have suffered the most from the effects of the pandemic that have escalated unemployment, poverty, hunger, economic hardships, and suffering in society. In this Covid-19 pandemic period, corruption, abuse of power, and violations of human rights have increased with huge negative impacts on the workers and the working classes. While the government is bankrupt through reckless borrowing and mismanagement of the economy, billions are still being set aside for the campaigns and referendum of BBI constitutional amendments that are already a debacle!

As a consequence of this, a few days ago, members of CPK, Hospitality and Entertainment Workers Union (HEWU), and civil society organisations demonstrated in the streets of Nairobi demanding the implementation of the economic and social rights enshrined in the Constitution even as the government carries out the necessary protocols of curbing the spread of the dangerous contagious virus. The demonstrators explained how the closure of small businesses such as hotels and restaurants, restrictions of movements in the cities and within and between counties had escalated unemployment, poverty, and suffering of workers and citizens. They called upon the government to implement the necessary mitigating measures of safeguarding the workers and the poor from the escalation of the already harsh living conditions caused by, among other causes, the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the demonstrations, CPK members and workers also demanded the end of implementing the neoliberal economic policies that are driving the country deeper and deeper into the quagmire of debt burden and dependency. They also demanded the end of the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the IMF that include privatising the economy and services that are making matters even worse for the workers and the working classes.

Sadly, rather than the government authorities receiving the peaceful demonstrations and responding to their genuine demands, they instead unleashed the instrument of terror and violence upon the demonstrators. The police violently suppressed the peaceful protests. Many workers and CPK activists were arrested, taken into police custody, and charged in court. Several were fined before they were released.

What is worse, the police violently invaded and surrounded the national offices of CPK. This is outrageous! It was aimed at ridiculing and undermining the legally registered political party that represents the interests of the workers, the working-class, and the poor. Violence was also used to intimidate the workers to stop them from joining and participating in peaceful demonstrations to demand their rights even though peaceful demonstrations are constitutional rights.

However, CPK and the workers were not and will never accept to be intimidated by the violence of the state to stop struggling for the right of workers and the exploited and oppressed. Many members and leaders of CPK were at the forefront of the struggle that brought about multiparty democracy and progressive reforms in the country that are entrenched in the present national Constitution. With the workers and working classes, CPK will never sit down and allow anybody or any power whatsoever to pull the country back to the old dark days of dictatorship and blatant violations of human rights. We shall do whatever it takes to defend the democratic gains won by the Kenyan workers and masses hitherto.

CPK salutes all individuals, political parties, and organisations of Kenya and the World who either participated in the worker's demonstrations or provided moral and material support when it was needed.

The struggle spearheaded by CPK and workers continues!

Long live free trade unions of Kenya!

Long live the unity and struggle of Kenyan workers!

Long live socialist internationalism!

Long live CPK!

Long live May Day!

Long live the struggle for socialism and communism!

 

Booker Ngesa Omole

National Vice-Chairperson of Communist Party of Kenya

April 30, 2021

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