Something special in Moscow on May Day

Scott Marshall scott at
Thu May 9 19:06:44 MDT 1996

**Something special in Moscow on May Day**

(Reprinted from the May 11, 1996 issue of the People's
Weekly World. May be reprinted or reposted with PWW credit.
For subscription information see below)

By Mike Davidow

It was not just the huge numbers that made this May Day
special. The marches and demonstrations were impressive --
more than one million participated throughout the Russian
Federation, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet
Republics. In Moscow 10,000 marched, sang, danced and
demonstrated in the rain. What was special was the spirit of
determination to make the June 16 presidential elections a
turning point leading Russia to the path of socialist
development. What was special was the great strength
reflected in the unity of the Left-Patriotic forces.

Behind Genady Zuganov now stand 200 mass and political
organizations. Thunderous cheers greeted Zuganov when he
rose to speak on the platform near the statue of Karl Marx.
Zuganov put the issue squarely to this huge assembly. The
mass media (including 90 percent of the press) are in
Yeltsin's pocket. A near blackout has been organized against
Zuganov. There is one powerful force that can overcome this
handicap: the millions who support us must become our
agitators and propagandists. Speak to your neighbors, fellow
workers, friends and relatives. Zuganov stressed the danger
of stealing the elections by the Yeltsin forces who
completely control the election apparatus. To guarantee a
fair count, we are mobilizing an army of controllers -- 5 to
7 for each polling station, he said.

Concern for the mass, violent disorders that might follow in
the wake of this sharply polarized election, led 13 leading
bankers to appeal for a compromise that would guarantee
stability. Zuganov immediately seized the initiative and met
with the concerned bankers. He assured them no upheavals, no
"ideological revenge" would follow a victory of the Left-
Patriotic candidate. All honest people who want to work for
an end to mass impoverishment resulting from the
polarization of wealth, who want to work for the salvation
of Russia, will be welcome. Both the bankers and Zuganov
were pleased with the frank exchanges at the meeting.

The very fact that the bankers addressed the open letter to
all candidates and that they met with Zuganov demonstrated
recognition of the important role played by the Left-
Patriotic candidate. It in effect, was a rejection of the
main theme of Yeltsin's campaign -- anti-communism. The
Yeltsin forces were taken back by Zuganov's initiative and
even the controlled mass media has to treat it with respect.

The May Day rallies constituted mobilization for the final
lap in the elections. Here was Zuganov's secret weapon --
his army of leg workers. People greeted each other with the
traditional "Sprazni Kom" -- "Happy Holiday." But this time
with the ring of possible victory in their voices. They sang
revolutionary songs and joined in spontaneous folk dances.
They lingered long after the meeting had ended gathering in
large groups to discuss how to make this opportunity spell

The next great mobilization will take place May 9 V-E Day.
As part of his "face lift," Yeltsin "legitimized" the Red
Banner under which victory over fascism was won. But
veterans long ago rallied behind their Red Banner and this
May 9 like this May 1 will be part of the great push for
victory on June 16.
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