Forward to the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees!

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International

May Day 2021 will mark the second year in which the international day of working class solidarity is held under conditions of a global pandemic. The International Committee of the Fourth International will mark this day with an Online Rally. It will issue a call for the formation of the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC).

The ICFI and its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties are advancing this initiative to begin and develop a global counteroffensive of the working class against the homicidal policies of the governments controlled by the capitalist ruling class, which are responsible for the worldwide catastrophe.

The formation of the IWA-RFC is a critically necessary response to a global crisis that has exacted a terrible toll in human life. When May Day was observed in 2020, the global death toll stood at just under 250,000. It is now 12 times that number, at more than 3,000,000.

The death toll in individual countries and regions is staggering. More than 850,000 people have died in North America, including more than 583,000 in the United States and 213,000 in Mexico. In South America, 640,000 people have died, with more than half, 350,000, in Brazil.

One million lives have been lost in Europe, including 130,000 in the UK, 120,000 in Italy, 110,000 in Russia, 100,000 in France and 80,000 in Germany. In Asia, the death toll is approaching 500,000, led by India with nearly 200,000 victims, Iran with 70,000, Indonesia with 44,000 and Turkey with 37,000.

More than 120,000 have died in Africa, with nearly half of the dead in South Africa.

Beyond the immediate death toll, the long-term consequences for those who have survived are colossal. Nearly 150 million people have been infected worldwide, with millions suffering with persistent symptoms long after they have nominally recovered. According to one recent study, those who have been infected but were not hospitalized have a 60 percent greater risk of death within the next six months than those who were not infected.

Nearly a year and a half into the pandemic, the virus is raging throughout the world. Fueled by the spread of new and more contagious strains of the virus, the average number of new cases worldwide is at its highest level ever.

Health workers carry a patient after a fire in Vijay Vallabh COVID-19 hospital at Virar, near Mumbai, India, Friday, April 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

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From global pandemic to global class struggle: Forward to the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees! Attend this online rally with speakers from throughout the world, organized by the World Socialist Web Site and the International Committee of the Fourth International.

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The ICFI and its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties are advancing this initiative to begin and develop a global counteroffensive of the working class against the homicidal policies of the governments controlled by the capitalist ruling class, which are responsible for the worldwide catastrophe.

On May 1, the International Committee of the Fourth International is holding its annual Online May Day Rally. The rally will be addressed by representatives of the ICFI and its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties throughout the world. It will be streamed live at wsws.org/mayday.

This year’s May Day is being held under conditions of a new surge in the global COVID-19 pandemic. The rally will issue a call for the formation of the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC). The ICFI and the SEPs are advancing this initiative to begin and develop a global counteroffensive of the working class against the homicidal policies of the governments controlled by the capitalist ruling class, which are responsible for the worldwide catastrophe.

Since the emergence of the pandemic more than one year ago, nearly three million people have died and more than 136 million have been infected. Fueled by the emergence of more contagious variants, the seven-day average for new cases is now approaching 700,000 and is close to its previous peak in January. More than 11,000 people are dying every day throughout the world.

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