May Day in Britain reports

This video shows London May Day 2016 demonstrators. The demonstration included Chagos islanders, expelled from their country to make it a military torture camp, and health care activists.

By Luke James and Conrad Landin in Britain:


Monday 2nd May 2016

As hundreds of millions of people celebrate International Workers’ Day, Corbyn takes on right-wing smears with attack on anti-Semitism.

LABOUR stands “united” against any form of anti-Semitism and racism, leader Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday in a passionate May Day address.

Mr Corbyn’s speech on International Workers’ Day answered the call for an “unequivocal message” against anti-Semitism made by Israel’s ambassador to Britain earlier in the day.

He celebrated the British labour movement’s record of fighting racism and called for a renewed campaign in solidarity with refugees and against the growth of the far-right in Europe.

“You solve problems by human rights, justice and respect and not by blaming minorities,” said the Labour leader.

“And so we stand absolutely against anti-Semitism in any form. We stand against racism in any form.

“We stand united as a labour movement recognising our faith diversity, our ethnic diversity and from that diversity comes strength.

“So those who attack people from different faiths standing for public office — and Sadiq Khan is being attacked at the moment — I say to them: shame on you!”

Mr Corbyn became the first Labour leader to address the annual London rally in 50 years when he spoke to crowds in Clerkenwell Green from an open-top bus.

It came as Labour heavyweights hit back at claims of a supposed anti-Semitism crisis within the party after the suspensions of MP Naz Shah and former mayor of London Ken Livingstone last week.

Shadow international development secretary Diane Abbott also blasted suggestions that the party was beset by anti-Semitism as a “smear” against members who have spent a lifetime fighting racism.

And Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said anti-Semitism allegations were being “cynically” exploited by opponents of Mr Corbyn in a campaign to undermine his leadership.

“The truth of the matter is that I’ve been a member of the Labour Party for 45 years and there is no crisis of anti-Semitism in our party,” he told BBC 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics show.

“This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to manipulate anti-Semitism for political aims because this is all about constantly challenging Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.”

The Unite leader pointed out that socialists were “out on the cobblestones of Cable Street fighting against Mosley’s blackshirts” while right-wing newspapers were “the very people who supported elements of the Establishment and the aristocracy in the 1930s supporting Hitler.”

Ms Shah, before joining Labour, shared an allegedly anti-semitic post online, while Mr Livingstone clumsily highlighted links between the nazis and zionists in his attempts to defend her.

Mr Corbyn responded on Saturday by launching an inquiry into anti-Semitism and other forms of racism to be led former Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti and proposing a new code of conduct introducing clear rules against all racism for the first time.

On his BBC breakfast show, Andrew Marr said the inquiry shows that anti-Semitism has become an institutional problem for the Labour Party.

Ms Abbott accepted that the party could not insulate itself against prejudice in wider society, but she said: “It is a smear to say that the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism.

“I joined the Labour Party because some of the bravest and strongest fighters against racism and anti-Semitism were in the party. There is no basis for arguing, as you seem to be arguing, that the Labour Party is riddled with anti-Semitism.

“It is not fair on ordinary Labour Party members, some of whom have spent a lifetime fighting racism and anti-Semitism, who must be shocked to get up this morning and hear you insinuate the Labour Party is riddled with anti-Semitism.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Leeds rallies for refugees’ working rights

Monday 2nd May 2016

ANTI-RACIST campaigners joined May Day demonstrations in Leeds at the weekend demanding asylum-seekers be given the right to work.

The Leeds No Borders group, which campaigns for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees in the city, took part in Leeds trades union council’s May Day march and rally on Saturday.

An asylum-seeker, who wished not to be named, told the Morning Star: “As someone seeking asylum since 2013, I find the law that prevents me from working completely unjust and a violation of one of the most basic human rights. Is it reasonable that we live in one of the strongest and richest countries yet we are given just £36 per week to live on and are not allowed to work? I speak with all the pain that this enormous psychological pressure creates as a result of this law.

“Many times I have wondered if suicide is my only option as I’m completely trapped.”

This video is called May Day 2016 London.

JOHN McDONNELL vowed Labour will “end neoliberalism” as he addressed a 3,000-strong May Day rally in Glasgow yesterday: here.

12 thoughts on “May Day in Britain reports

  1. Tuesday, 3 May 2016


    WORKERS and youth on the 10,000-strong May Day march in London on Sunday expressed their determination to defend the NHS and the Welfare State.

    Many voiced their opposition to the EU dictatorship, austerity and its privatisation drive. Typical was John Hamilton of Lewisham People Before Profit who was stringing up a banner that read ‘No to CETA Leave the EU’.

    He told News Line: ‘We’ve worked hard to inform people about the dangers of the free trade agreements CETA and TTIP because they would undermine local autonomy. I’d like to see the Tory government brought down. Leaving the EU would see the end of Cameron.’

    Swaleside POA branch secretary Dave Todd said: ‘I’m for leaving the EU. There’s a lot of rubbish put out about the EU protecting workers’ rights. The government propaganda machine is in full flow, with their pamphlet costing taxpayers £10m.

    ‘There should be a general strike to bring this government down. We need to campaign for a general strike. A lot of unions should have come out for the junior doctors.’

    Kate Dunning, London CWU regional committee assistant secretary, said: ‘This government doesn’t represent the masses. No one asked for the NHS to be privatised and sold off. No one asked for the privatisation of our education system or for our social housing stock to be sold off and replaced with private housing no one can afford.

    ‘They’ve brought in zero hours contracts ad there’s no prospect for youth who’ve been driven into cheap labour with no secure work at the end of it. Capitalism isn’t working, we need change.’

    Ex-docker, now Unison member Kevin Hussey told News Line: ‘I’m for coming out of Europe. The EU is a dictatorship privatising everything. In Greece they are privatising public services and docks. I can’t understand the Labour Party. I know Blair was for privatisation but I thought the new man was different.

    ‘They’re in bed with Cameron, along with ex-TUC leader Brendan Barber. I support the junior doctors. The government is out to privatise the NHS and TTIP will make that easier. Other unions should take action with the junior doctors.

    PCS national organiser John Coote said: ‘We haven’t advised our members on the EU at the moment. It will be an issue that is keenly discussed at our annual conference at the end of May. The other unions should take action with the junior doctors.

    ‘Our position is and has been for combined action, not leave one union to fight by themselves but to unite to bring this government down and defend all public services. We represent people providing services from the cradle to the grave.’

    Dr Tony Agathangelou said: ‘I’m for leaving the EU – with Britain out Europe would be a better place. It would close down tax havens. I don’t agree with the argument that if we left we’ll be faced with endless Tory governments. The challenge is to tell people to never vote Tory again. The Tories are in crisis, the unions should take action and end these Tory cuts.’

    In her speech before the march set off, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady echoed her deal with the Tories over the Trade Union Bill, warning ‘Brexit’ would threaten UK workers’ rights, jobs and wages. She continued to say the TUC supported the junior doctors.

    However, she did not reveal that the TUC general council last Wednesday refused to agree to a Day of Action in support of the junior doctors as requested by the PCS and FBU. RMT member Jason Buck responded to News Line: ‘I don’t agree with Frances O’Grady. I’m for leaving the EU.

    ‘It’s up to the trade unions to fight for workers’ benefits. The EU is an unelected body and is for privatisation. TTIP is one of the worst aspects of it, making decisions on our behalf without us getting a say in it.

    ‘The Tory government is attacking every facet of our working life, our living conditions and our kids. I support the junior doctors, they’re defending the NHS. There should be a general strike to support them and all workers. We need a general strike to bring the Tories down.’

    Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Clerkenwell Green rally: ‘The Tory government is trying to bring in the Trade Union Bill to prevent trade unions from standing up for workers’ rights.’

    He pledged that a Labour government would repeal anti-union legislation in 2020. He said: ‘We want it to be a positive right to join a union for anyone. The junior doctors are on the march to defend the NHS.

    ‘It’s disgraceful that the secretary of state for health is more interested in privatising 48% of the National Health Service than talking to junior doctors. We are here today to defend the NHS free at the point of need for all.’

    He went on to condemn the housing crisis and pledge a ‘massive council house building programme’ under a Labour government. He added: ‘We have to stand against racism in any form. We stood up against apartheid in South Africa. Now we stand up against the far right attacks on migrant workers.

    ‘We stand absolutely against anti-semitism in any form. We stand united in diversity. Those attacking London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, on the basis of religion, shame on you.’


  2. Pingback: Scottish singer Calum Baird interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: German students against militarist propaganda in university | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: United States workes prepare anti-Trump May Day | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: May Day festival in Barnsley, England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: May Day, International Workers Day, approaching | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Big Bristol, England march against Conservative austerity | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: British disabled punk rocker Penny Pepper interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.