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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 March 2011

Defend International Workers' Day

Take out a May Day greeting!

Alongside the revolutions in the Middle East, the traditions of May Day marches and the need for a socialist alternative to cuts and poverty, there is an additional reason to support and celebrate International Workers' Day in 2011 - David Cameron wants to cancel it!

Bob Severn

Prime minister Cameron and his Con-Dem government claim they want to move the bank holiday away from the first Monday in May to 'boost tourism'.

However, the front runners for Cameron's replacement bank holiday are St. George's Day in March or a UK Day to 'celebrate' Admiral Nelson's 1805 Battle of Trafalgar victory. It seems Dave wants to replace internationalism with nationalism!

In truth, Tories have looked at abolishing the May Day bank holiday and its recognition of International Workers' Day ever since the day was officially marked by the then Labour government in 1978.

International Workers Day has been celebrated worldwide since the late 19th century. Its origins lie in the first US-wide general strike that took place on 1 May 1886, when workers demanded a maximum eight-hour working day. Many workers won shortened work hours without any cuts in their pay. Other workers made the highest sacrifice when the US government and police responded, especially at the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago.

Following a call by the socialist Second International's first congress, demonstrations took place across the world on 1 May 1890 in commemoration of the workers who were killed. The following congress agreed that the day would become an annual event.

You can help celebrate International Workers' Day in 2011 by supporting the Socialist, the paper that fights all cuts with a May Day greeting.

The Socialist does not just report the battles taking place against cuts and oppression in Britain and worldwide. It shows the lessons of past struggles for today. These include the 1983-87 Liverpool Labour council that won 60 million of extra funding from Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Another example is the anti-poll tax struggle which, with 18 million people refusing to pay, led to Thatcher's resignation as prime minister in 1990 and to the abandonment of the regressive tax. But the paper also puts forward the socialist alternative that puts people before profits and bankers' bonuses.

Celebrate International Workers' Day and help the Socialist continue and expand its reporting with a May Day greeting from your trade union branch, committee, workplace group, anti-cuts campaign, student group, Youth Fight for Jobs group or Socialist Party branch, or as an individual.

email or phone 020 8988 8781 for more information or to give your greeting. Greetings paid for by 8 April can be doubled in display size for no extra cost. The deadline for greeting messages is 13 April.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

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In The Socialist 9 March 2011:

Anti-cuts campaign

We can stop cuts!

Rage against all cuts!

Labour councils should fight cuts, not implement them!

Demonstrations against council cuts

Socialist Party youth and students

For a fighting student leadership

Jarrow march for jobs: Why Hull is marching

Students sit in at Sheffield

International socialist news and analysis

Middle East uprisings: The unfinished revolutions

Socialist Party news and analysis

Lib Dems 'get a kicking' in Barnsley

Wales votes 'yes' but workers' party needed

Lewisham: Vote for a real fight against the cuts

Cardiff march and rally against cuts

Brighton: Labour and Green Party councillors fail to stop Tory budget

Tories allow growth of Murdoch media empire

TUC must address demo access issue

Fast news

Socialist Party workplace news

BP Hull Saltend construction workers win victory through strike action

Fighting the anti-trade union laws

UCU members vote for action on pensions, jobs and pay

Unison expulsion

Workplace news in brief

Take out a May Day greeting!

Socialist Party feature

Casualties of cuts - and a rotten system

Needed: a fair deal for carers!

Care - condition critical


Home   |   The Socialist 9 March 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

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