May Day in Haifa
UNDREDS of construction and farm workers from Arab locales took part in a May Day event at Haifa organized by the Workers Advice Center (WAC – MA'AN).
Men and women arrived from Nazareth, Kufr Manda, Um El Fahem, Kufr Qara, and East Jerusalem. The slogan this year was "All Workers Together with WAC" (ma’an means "together" in Arabic).
Asma Agbarieh, WAC's spokesperson, reminded the audience that the event was a step in the long march of the workers of the world for a share in the riches of the world.
Assaf Adiv, WAC's National Coordinator, reported on the organization's progress in the last year, singling out its new efforts among agricultural workers. This activity has made it possible for WAC to start organizing women. For three years, Adiv said, construction workers had been the focus. Now as WAC expands to other areas, it has become an address for all workers.
Yaacov Ben Efrat, General Secretary of the Organization for Democratic Action (ODA), reported on the attempt by the Israeli authorities to dismantle WAC on the false ground that it supports the ODA. The workers, he said, were helping to block this attempt. He recalled the first of May in 1975, when the Vietnamese liberation struggle was won. Since then the workers of the world have suffered many defeats. But those who are committed to the cause of the working class, he said, will succeed in reviving the movement. The organizers then called to the stage those workers who had made a special contribution.
After that the event moved into outright celebration. Ala Azzam provided music and political songs, inspiring the youth of WAC to get up on the stage and dance.