Thursday, May 10, 2012

May Day in London

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON’S traditional May Day march this year set off from Clerkenwell Green as usual led by TUC and trade union banners and well supported by colourful Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian community groups and other progressive organisations.
 There was an important contingent from the Remploy factories – Government owned factories designed to provide employment opportunities for disabled people – which are being closed by Government cuts.
 As procession made its way towards Trafalgar Square it was joined at Holborn by a contingent from the Occupy Movement, swelling the numbers with many protesters against capitalism who were new to the May Day tradition.
 Once in Trafalgar Square the Occupy comrades set their tents up in one corner of the Square, which became packed with marchers. There were rousing speeches from Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the civil service union PCS and Len McCluskey, general secretary of the giant union Unite.
 There was also a strong appeal from the spokesperson for the Remploy workers in their fight against the cuts, and from the Occupy spokesperson for her colleagues to work together with the “more experienced” activists of the trade unions.
  And she paraphrased Jesse Jackson’s famous speech: “We are not the revolution that is yet to come; we’re the canaries at the coal face telling people what is going to happen.”

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