Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/623/9482
Workers celebrate May Day: Marching together against the bosses' attacks
IN MANY countries around the world, socialists and trade unionists marched to celebrate international workers' day on 1 May. This year in particular, in the teeth of attacks by capitalists on jobs, wages and public services, international working class solidarity is a vital necessity.
In Greece, where the social-democratic Pasok government has capitulated to the dictates of the EU finance ministers and the capitalist International Monetary Fund for savage austerity measures, riot police clashed with demonstrators in Athens.
The Greek trade unions have called a general strike on 5 May to resist the government imposed cuts. On the initiative of Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (Ireland) Member of the European Parliament, a statement was issued by 12 MEPs from the GUE/NGL (United Left) group in the European parliament, supporting the general strike and calling for international solidarity with Greek workers. (See centre pages).
In Turkey, workers were able to celebrate May Day in Taksim Square, Istanbul, for the first time since the 1980 Turkish military coup.
Three demonstrations converged on Taksim Square. The biggest one of over 100,000 people was organised by the trade union federation, DISK, and the left-wing public sector union, KESK.
In the USA, thousands of immigrant workers and their supporters - 60,000 in Los Angeles - marched to oppose the growing attacks on undocumented migrant workers; most recently the passing of a reactionary law in Arizona which allows the police to stop anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant.
In London, several thousand trade unionists and members of various left groups marched to Trafalgar Square. Chris Baugh, PCS (civil service trade union) assistant general secretary and Socialist Party member, who spoke at the rally, said: "We fundamentally reject the 'consensus' that massive cuts in public spending are necessary, but if they are anything like on the scale that has been suggested, industrial action by the unions is not only likely, it is inevitable."
For the first time in over a decade, youth, students, the unemployed and trade unionists marked international workers' day with a march through Hull, demanding real job creation, a higher minimum wage and free higher education and training.
Alex Humphrey, co-chair of Hull Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ), drew applause when he directly challenged the local council to create 1,000 jobs for young people in the city.
Keith Gibson, Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election candidate for West Hull and Hessle gave a rousing speech on the need for working class unity regionally, nationally and internationally in order to defeat the coming bosses' and government attacks.
YFJ organised a 'spur' march (a march to a march) as part of the May Day celebrations in Gateshead, Tyneside.
The opening rally was addressed by PCS vice president and Socialist Party member John McInally, who spoke about PCS members' struggles against the government for decent pay and conditions as well as about the need for working class political representation.
Gateshead TUSC general election candidate Elaine Brunskill, the only candidate in her area to come out in support of YFJ and workers in struggle, also spoke - along with Ian Pattison representing the Newcastle Free Education network.
Socialist Party members were prominent in many other May Day events around the country including in Lincoln and in the first May Day celebration in Shrewsbury since 1994.
In The Socialist 5 May 2010:
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party Marxist analysis