ROBERTS, AB — A spectre is haunting Roberts—the spectre of not enough Communism. Town residents are upset that the town’s annual Labour Day parade hasn’t gone far enough to “release the proletariat of their chains”
Roberts, population 6,500, has held a Labour Day parade almost every year since the mid-1930s. The tradition was started by the local chapter of a communist group and the town has continued it to this day. The parade has happened every year save for 1951 due to bad weather and in 1962 during the lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The parade has historically featured floats by local unions depicting scenes of the global class struggle, delegations from communist countries, and always ends with “Premier Lenin” handing out goodies to the crowds. Recently, locals say the parade has become overly corporatised since leftist politics have come back into vogue.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the parade organising committee felt it had to expand eligibility to allow businesses to join in. According to local Elizabeth Perea, it began with Alberta-based companies like “back when Pizza 73 had a float comparing owning private property to being a topping hog, which was fun.”
“But now it seems like nearly every float is sponsored by a Boston Pizza or Telus,” remarks Perea. “Sure, these companies say they’re allies in the fight to seize the means of production? But then they turn around and fund politicians that vote for anti-communist policies.”
Long-time resident Irene Monahan also voiced her disappointment, “It goes against the whole message of Labour Day; that our society is built on subdividing the common good, and having avenues to express that is critical.”
“Just changing your logo to include a hammer and sickle on your logo for a month isn’t good enough. If these companies want to show they’re actually supporting the Communist community, they need to take actionable steps toward abolishing the concept of money.”