London May Day demonstration report

This video from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia says about itself:

Anti GST: May Day rally against GST

1 May 2014

Highlights of the anti GST May Day rally. Crowds gathered at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and the National Mosque walked in orderly fashion to Dataran Merdeka. The rally ended at 5pm.

By Luke James in Britain:

10,000 turn out at May Day tribute to Benn and Crow

Friday 2nd may 2014

Left wing giants’ legacies live on in London’s Trafalgar Square

Unite union leader Len McCluskey told London’s largest May Day rally in years yesterday that a general strike may be the “only way” to save Britain.

He was cheered by the 10,000 workers, students and pensioners who flooded Trafalgar Square for International Workers’ Day despite a ferocious downpour.

Mr McCluskey accused the Tory-led coalition of trying to “dismantle” public services built by working-class people since the end of World War II.

“The only way we can defend that is by uniting together, having the belief in our own values and using everything at our disposal — including a general strike,” he said.

“When working people are confident, then we can take back the power that rightly belongs to us.”

A sea of banners held aloft by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union paid tribute to late general secretary Bob Crow on a day specially dedicated to him and veteran socialist Tony Benn, who passed away in the same week in March.

An RMT brass band had earlier proudly led the annual procession from Clerkenwell Green.

Members of the union flanked Mr Crow’s daughter Natasha Hoarau as she delivered a powerful speech echoing the no-nonsense style of her principled dad.

She said: “It hasn’t been an easy time for our family but we’ve been comforted by the passion we see here.

“He was inspirational, courageous and pushed us all to find ourselves, to stand on our own two feet.”

His memory is there “when I need to find my inner strength,” said Ms Hoarau, who revealed her decision to stand for the No2EU — Yes to Workers Rights coalition in place of her dad at the European elections.

The voices of Bob Crow and Tony Benn were also heard at the May Day rally for one last time as footage of famous speeches was played to Trafalgar Square on massive screens.

Their inspirational words gripped not only the thousands taking part in the rally but tourists flocking to the National Gallery, who stopped on its steps and watched in silence.

The massive turnout in defiance of the weather was also a resounding answer to Tony Benn’s final call to make the day an “uprising against austerity.”

His great friend and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn remembered he had been a “teacher, an educator, an inspirational speaker and a leader.”

He said: “What we have left behind is the memory of a great man who had been to the top of the mountain, in every sense, but never forgot from where our movement came, never forgot how to inspire ordinary people.

“Let’s learn from Tony.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said unions “have to stop” gross inequality in Britain today.

She said it is simply “wrong” that children queue at food banks while five families hoard the same wealth as that earned by the poorest 12 million.

“There are times when the only way you will win justice, the only way you will win for workers is if you take strike action,” she added.

MORE than 20,000 trade unionists, workers and youth marched from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square on London’s May Day yesterday: here.

International Workers’ Day was marked by widespread protests against austerity and attacks on workers’ rights, with major clashes with police in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, and in cities across Asia and Europe: here.

US workers take May Day action: here.

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18 thoughts on “London May Day demonstration report

  1. Greek workers strike on May 1 against austerity measures

    On Thursday Greek workers struck for 24 hours and protested nationwide against government austerity measures. Among those striking were transport workers, resulting in the suspension of ferry and train services. Ferries were cancelled at the main ports of Piraeus and Rafina. The ferry workers are protesting changes to collective contract agreements.

    The strike and protests were called by the GSEE and Adedy trade union federations.

    Thousands of public and private sector workers gathered in cities across Greece. According to reports some 1,000 police officers were deployed in Athens in response to the protests.


  2. Turkish May Day protesters in court

    Turkish workers taking part in the May Day demonstration in Istanbul last week were arrested. Over the weekend around 170 of them were released without charge. However, a further 18 were sent to court. Prosecutors demanded that one of them be arrested and held, but the court ruled they all be released on probation.

    Police carried out savage measures to prevent the May Day marchers entering Taskim Square. They used tear gas and water cannon on several thousands of the marchers.

    Iranian workers mark May Day

    Iranian workers marked May Day with protests and demonstrations. In Ahwaz employees of the Ahwaz Pipe Factory protested in front of the Governorate office against non-payment of wages going back several years. State security personnel surrounded the protestors.

    In Sanandaj textile and bakery union members held protests. A massive security force presence in the main square of Qom prevented planned protests.

    Marchers mark May Day in Tel Aviv

    More than 1,000 workers marched through Tel Aviv on May Day. Among the demands made by the marchers was for an increase in the minimum wage from its current level of NIS 23.12 ($6.7) to NIS 30 ($8.7). Currently the minimum wage in Israel is amongst the lowest in the western world.


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