May Day in London, report


This video is called May Day 2015 – Workers March in London.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

WORLD ON THE STREETS

Saturday 2nd May 2015

British workers join their comrades around the globe in celebration of International Workers’ Day

by Lamiat Sabin in central London

STRIKING workers were among thousands of people marching through London to celebrate International Workers’ Day on May Day yesterday.

In a line so long it caused a road block, parties, unions and activists walked from Clerkenwell Green with banners, instruments and flags to form a long and harmonious procession to Trafalgar Square.

National Gallery staff, whose workplace and picket line was situated just 100 yards behind the rally, joined the march as they held their 23rd day of protest against the privatisation of two-thirds of their number.

Public-sector union PCS rep Candy Unwin was suspended in February for questioning the National Gallery’s privatisation plans.

The gallery is the only major museum in London not paying the living wage and it is also planning to offer more exhibitions geared for corporate events, according to Ms Unwin. “It really is a disgrace.

Galleries should be free for everyone,” she said from a stage beneath Nelson’s Column. The gallery staff were also joined by council workers from Bromley, Barnet and Barking, including refuse collectors and social workers on strike over planned funding and staff cuts.

Members of council workers’ union GMB held “sack for Rodwell” sacks demanding that Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell be booted out over his plans.

Campaigners from diverse ethnic backgrounds including Middle Eastern, Latin American and Mediterranean origins also celebrated amid the festival-like atmosphere.

“May Day marches would not be the same without Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot communities that, year in and year out, show their solidarity in marching and mobilising the movement,” said Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack.

He also extended his well wishes to victims of brutality on May Day, especially activists who were targeted by riot police in Istanbul, Turkey, yesterday while marches and celebrations had been kicking off all over the globe.

GMB president Mary Turner turned her attention to racism and the vilification of immigrants.

She recalled arriving in England as a 12-year-old Irish migrant and seeing a window sign stating: “Rooms to let. No Irish, no blacks and no dogs.”

Ms Turner said: “It is not the immigrants you should blame. It’s employers that pay low wages and the gangmasters who bring them in. These people are suffering and we should congratulate them for standing their ground.”

May Day events will continue across the country over the bank holiday weekend.

In northern England, thousands of trades unionists and their families were planning to mobilise with events planned in all major towns and cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Bradford and Newcastle.

Leeds trade unionists won a major battle yesterday with police who for years have insisted on charging Leeds Trades Union Council several thousand pounds for the cost of policing their long-running May Day events.

This was despite not charging the racist English Defence League for its demonstrations in Leeds and elsewhere in Yorkshire that cost the county’s taxpayers millions.

Police have now agreed not to charge for the May Day march and rally.

Many towns and cities in Scotland, including Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, will be rallying under an anti-austerity banner.

Striking Ninewells Hospital porters will also join the Dundee rally today, alongside Glasgow care workers, the Scottish Unemployed Workers Network and the Dundee Pensioners Forum.

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