Socialist Worker

Internationalism matters

Issue No. 2702

Solidarity needs to reach beyond borders

Solidarity needs to reach beyond borders (Pic: joe.sau/flickr)


When the working class is faced with global crises, an internationalist response is needed. The coronavirus outbreak is clearly one such crisis.

As it spread rapidly across the world, every government had the same priority—to protect business, not people’s lives.

And as the outbreak triggers a huge global economic crash, those same governments will look for ways to make us pay.

The impending prospect of catastrophic climate change is another. People in the global south are already bearing the brunt of a crisis created largely by capitalists in the global north. But everyone faces a very near future of extreme weather events, heatwaves, floods, droughts and plagues.

Those are two of the things we should keep in mind on May Day—international workers’ day.

But while it’s very easy to talk of internationalism on May Day, what that actually means is not always straightforward.

For one thing it should mean not accepting that overcoming the coronavirus crisis means rescuing the British economy. That’s for bosses competing with each other in the global market.

It also means not falling into arguments that can divide us—demanding more controls against migrants and refugees for example. 

Instead it means taking inspiration from workers in other countries fighting the same struggles that we do. And doing our best to show solidarity with resistance of our own.


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