Thursday, May 05, 2011

May Day in London

by New Worker correspondent

New Worker supporters joined between 10,000 and 15,000 trade unionists, political activists and community groups gathered in warm sunshine in Clerkenwell Green outside Marx House for the start of the annual May Day march last Sunday.
The London march was, as ever, made colourful by the presence of large numbers of Turks, Kurds and other communities from the Middle East – all united in support for communism and many carrying portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin as well as the heroes and martyrs of their own struggles.
The march to Trafalgar Square was headed by trade union banners – though not nearly enough of them to sustain the momentum of the fight against the cuts demonstrated by the huge rally in Hyde Park on 26th March.
There were a respectable number of trades council banners and some banners from local branches of the major unions. But the big union leaderships were missing.
The rally in Trafalgar Square was addressed by veteran Labour campaigner Tony Benn, who called for action from the "majority who create the world's wealth" to re-establish their rights over "the handful who control the world's wealth".
He continued: "All the gains that have been made have been made by people like ourselves, campaigning year in and year out. This week, local authorities have got their elections.
“We must use our vote to build on what the TUC did on 26th March, and work for a better society for ourselves and our children and grandchildren."
Sarah Veale of the TUC warned that cuts in public spending would have a devastating effect on public services. "It's going to have a particularly devastating effect on women, both as the providers and main users of services. It's given new meaning to the phrase 'women and children first', because that's where the cuts are going to bite," she added.

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