May Day lives!: CPUSA hosts May 1 reception

NEW YORK — The Communist Party USA hosted a reception celebrating May Day at its national headquarters here following the successful peace rally in Central Park. The event was a stirring end to a long day of marching and chanting. Members of the Communist Party, Young Communist League (YCL) and their allies from around the country and world attended.

After enjoying food, drink and music, the crowd was addressed by master of ceremonies Judith Le Blanc, national vice chair of the CPUSA and a newly elected national co-chair of United for Peace and Justice, which along with Abolition Now organized the historic antinuclear protest.

Le Blanc said this May Day the world is under the continued threat of war and nuclear annihilation. But public sentiment is shifting and “66 percent of the American people believe that no country — including the U.S. — should possess nuclear weapons,” she said.

Jarvis Tyner, CPUSA executive vice chair, spoke of May Day as a living tradition. “May Day lives,” he said. “As long as the struggle against poverty, war, racism and hunger continues, May Day lives.”

Tyner took joy in recalling the political troubles facing the Bush administration since his second inaugural in January. “We may not have had the votes on Election Day,” he said. “But today more than half the county is opposed to the Bush agenda.”

Le Blanc introduced other speakers, including Keren Wheeler, editor of the YCL’s Dynamic magazine, and Gary Bono of the New York District of the CPUSA.

The crowd then warmly welcomed a very special guest from the United Kingdom — Kate Hudson — who is the president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the oldest antinuclear organization in Britain. She is also a representative of the Communist Party of Britain.

“There is no better place to be today than in Central Park experiencing that international solidarity, the hallmark of May Day,” Hudson said.

Hudson recollected the dire predictions following the collapse of the European socialist countries. “People said the communist movement was dead. What we see around the world today shows just how wrong they were,” she said. “Today we see communists in the leadership of the peace movement, the anti-racist movement, the trade union struggle — that is where our experience and analysis really counts. Without our leadership, those movements cannot defeat capitalism.”

Hudson spoke about the need to deliver a blow to Tony Blair, Bush’s “partner in crime,” who sent Britain to war against the vast popular sentiment there. At the same time, she said, the British left must be careful not to deliver the Conservatives to government. Hudson hopes that the Labor Party will return to government with a much-reduced majority, such that Blair and his “New Labor” wing of the party will be pushed aside. “Thursday at the polls, we hope for a defeat of ‘New Labor’ and for an opportunity for the working class to express itself in British politics,” she said.