2017 May Day brought together thousands of trade unionists, migrant worker groups, pensioners & political organisations to celebrate International Workers Day. It culminated in the Rally in Trafalgar Square with speakers including John McDonnell MP, Kiri Tunks National Union of Teachers Vice President, Mark Serwotka Public & Commercial Services union General Secretary & Moison Ahmed young UNITE bus worker.
The day began with the March assembling in historic Clerkenwell Green in front of the Marx Memorial Library (MML). During the assembly MML announced their 1917 Russian Revolution exhibition. The March moved off at 13.00 led by the big London May Day banner (made by Chilean political refugees) and the Big Red Band.
The sections that followed covered trade union organisations, migrant worker & community organisations, political & campaigning organisations. Union banners came from UNITE, BECTU, ASLEF, RMT, GMB, UNISON, EQUITY, PCS, SERTUC and trades councils such as Islington, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Croydon & Ealing. Trades Council members from Barking, Dagenham & Havering; Cities of London & Westminster; Camden; Newham; Chelmsford and Barnet assisted as stewards. Our gallery of photos covers many of the different sections and banners. With so many different communities represented such as Brazilian, Chilean, Palestinian, Kashmiri, Bangladeshi, Turkish, Kurdish, Italian, Greek, Cypriot, Iranian, West Indian, Portuguese, Sri Lankan, Polish, Bulgarian & Tamil it represented one of the March themes – international solidarity – in reality.
The weather held good as the March made its colourful and musical way through central London to Trafalgar Square. Here the speakers made their clear campaigning and political points.
Joe Kearsey from UNITE hospitality workers fighting for better pay & conditions
Tom Taylor for the Arts Bloc of arts/culture & entertainment trade unionists introduced poe gRIM cHIPt.
Kiri Tunks NUT Vice President. Moisin Ahmed busworker from UNITE. British Alev Foundation President Irbil Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary. John McDonnell MP. Ben Lennon from BECTU Picture House cinema dispute. Finola Kelly from the Equalities & Human Rights Commission dispute. Finalising with Paul Cox of RMT covering the Southern rail dispute. You will be able to hear all the speeches with our link on this page.
All this was smoothly introduced by the Rally joint Chairs – Eve Turner of Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils & Tony Lennon of Southern & Eastern Region of the TUC.
The Rally ended at 15.30 having marked another buoyant May Day.
GLATUC, S&ERTUC, UNITE London & Eastern Region, CWU London Region, PCS London & South East Region, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA, NUT, MU London, FBU London & Southern Regions ,GMB London & Southern Regions, UNISON Greater London Region, Peoples Assembly, NPC, GLPA and other Pensioners’ organisations and organisations representing Turkish, Kurdish, Chilean, Colombian, Peruvian, Portuguese, West Indian, Sri Lankan, Cypriot, Tamil, Iraqi, Iranian, Irish, Nigerian migrant workers & communities plus many other trade union & community organisations
TRAFALGAR SQUARE - JOHN McDONNELL ADDRESSES CROWD
MAY DAY SPEAKERS LIST TO DATE
Speakers confirmed -
JOHN McDONNELL MP
MARK SERWOTKA PCS GENERAL SECRETARY
KIRI TUNKS NUT VICE-PRESIDENT
RMT SOUTHERN DISPUTE
BECTU CINEMAS DISPUTE
FINOLA KELLY ECHR DISPUTE
KIRI TUNKS NUT
May Day May Day…
… Open Day…at the Marx Memorial Library.
May 1st is International Workers’ Day, and the Marx Memorial Library will celebrate, along with the crowds gathering outside for the annual May Day march to Trafalgar Square. May Day in Britain used to signify the renewal of life as winter turned to spring, likewise the Labour movement honours its origins.
A renowned archive of Socialist scholarship and literature the MML will open its doors to the public, offering free short tours of its historic building in the heart of radical Clerkenwell. Visitors can see the room where Vladimir Lenin worked in exile 1902-3, editing the Russian newspaper ISKRA before his pint at the Crown pub opposite. There is an abundance of other socialist and trade union history, including displays of NUM plates, and the International Brigade’s British Battalion banner.
An exhibition on the Tolpuddle Martyrs will be held in the Reading Room, describing the wave of anger that swept across the country following their convictions, and how their story has inspired workers’ struggles ever since. The exhibition showcases a unique collection of contemporary newspapers held at the Library, now available on line thanks to sponsorship by the British and Australian trade union movements.
Meirian Jump, Archivist & Library Manager at the Marx Memorial Library says, ‘The campaign surrounding the Martyrs, as told through these archives, represents the origins of trade unionism and serves as a lasting legacy of what solidarity actions by a united movement can achieve.’
Open Day will also include the opportunity to speak to staff and volunteers about the unique history and current work of the MML. Stalls will sell second hand books on the history of socialism and the trade union movement, as well as gifts and souvenirs. Light refreshments, including homemade cakes will be on sale.
Although rich in history, the ethos of the MML and its contents are very much about today, about current working class struggles both here and abroad, and is a resource for those struggles. ‘If I have seen further than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.’ (Isaac Newton)
2018 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx, and an international conference ‘Marx 200’ will be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies on 5 May 5th, in tandem with similar events all over the world. This comes at a time of renewed interest in Marx and his writings, particularly among young people.
As Marx famously said - ‘The philosophers have only attempted to interpret the world the word in various ways. The point however, is to change it.’
1 May, doors open at 10am, and close at 3pm, with last tours starting at 2.40pm
37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU
The Marx Memorial Library (MML) is a library, archive and education charity. Our grade II listed building is set on historic Clerkenwell Green. We have a collection of over 50,000 books, pamphlets and archives on socialism and the history of the working-class movement and run educational events, courses and classes each week www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk. Founded in 1933, for over 80 years we have been dedicated to spreading knowledge and understanding of Marxism and the history of socialism. Our archive collections include material on anti-fascism, the peace movement and radical press and printing. The MML makes our collections available to researchers in a reading room, produces publications including an annual journal Theory & Struggle and organises exhibitions, conferences, courses – both online and on-site – cultural events, workshops for school groups, book launches and much more.
At the last meeting of the Committee before May Day held at the CWU London Region office on April 20, the Organiser re-issued the call for donations to cover the cost of the March & Rally. Generous support had been coming in from CWU, UNITE, ASLEF, NUT and Trades Councils there still needed to be a big push to cover the costs
MAY DAY FOLLOWS TRADITIONAL ROUTE
The March will leave Clerkenwell Green at 13.00 movibg on to Clerkenwell Road/Theobalds Road/oast Red Lion Square/Kingsway/Aldwych/Strans
Rally in Trafalgar Square will start around 14.30.
May Day 2017 at the Marx Memorial Library
Visit the Library AND join the May Day demonstration
1 May, doors open at 10am, and close at 3pm, with last tours starting at 2.40pm
37a Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 0DU
The MML will open its doors to free May Day short feature tours; visit the room where Lenin worked in exile 1902-3 and have a peek at our displays including NUM plates and the original International Brigade British Battalion banner.
This year on International Workers' Day, the Marx Memorial Library is welcoming visitors to take a look at our special Russian Revolution slide show exhibition as well as experiencing the feature tour of the Library and a chance to pick up a bargain at one of our stalls. Take a break for refreshments before or after joining the traditional May Day march which starts at Clerkenwell Green, right on our doorstep!
May 1 also sees the launch of ticket sales for the Russian Revolution Centenary Committee international event marking 100 years since the October Revolution at TUC Congress House on 4 November. They will be sold a reduced price of £7 for one day only.
In Britain the Russian Revolution had a profound and immediate impact by strengthening the anti-war movement. Strikes broke out in munitions factories and anti-war campaigners were arrested en masse.
The British labour movement, including the TUC, backed the extraordinary Hands Off Russia campaign in 1919 to defend the revolution and threatened a general strike if further aid was sent to the White Russians.
For more information contact: The Archivist and Library Manager: [email protected] telephone: 02072531485
John McDonnell MP is one of the lead speakers at London May Day 2017. He will be joining leading trade unionists and campaigning activists in marking International Workers Day and restating the international solidarity of workers.
Organiser Roger Sutton said “We are very pleased John is joining us this year. He has been a massive supporter of May Day over decades and along with Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn always stood alongside us. After last year’s massive success with Jeremy Corbyn speaking along with Frances O’Grady, we look to this Bank Holiday May Day being even bigger. “
MAY DAY 2017
May Day is the day to bring together all the important struggles going on over NHS, attacks on the disabled, on education, housing, against the anti-union laws, against racism, against threats to peace, against Government support for repressive regimes, the whole austerity agenda, attacks on civil liberties, the environment, the arts and so many other areas of our lives. They are all linked in the economic system dominated by multinationals leading to more money for the super rich and attacks on the lives of ordinary people, young and old, of all backgrounds. We need to bring them all together in one great fight. International Workers Day - celebrated across the world - means we stand with workers wherever they are fighting for the same things, against the same economic system.
ONE CHANGE TO SPEAKER ORDER
Frances O'Grady - the TUC General Secretary -will now speak in Clerkenwell Green with Jeremy and John.
There will be at least one "surprise" speaker in Trafalgar Square plus a song for May Day.
SPEAKER FROM KEY SOUTHERN RAIL DISPUTE JOINS MAY DAY
London May Day will hear from the RMT dispute - backed by ASLEF drivers - fighting for over a year to keep guards on trains. This fight which is for passengers safety has seen brave resistance by the RMT workers involved and is clearly vital as the Government seeks to force guards off all trains.
MAY DAY 2016 MAKES IMPACT
May Day in London made a massive impact with over 14,000 joining the event in the sun. The event began on a high with Jeremy Corbyn and Frances O'Grady addressing the assembling crowd in Clerkenwell Green before it moved off to Trafalgar Square where another major line-up spoke along with a Turkish musician playing a May Day song. See PHOTOS in the Gallery.
The March led by the massive May Day banner, made by Chilean regugees in London aNd the Big Red Band grew as it headed towards Trafalgar Square where it joined an already large crowd.
FOR ALL OUR PHOTOS OF MAY DAY 2016 GO TO THE GALLERY
HEAR ALL THE SPEECHES AT THE BIG LONDON MARCH & RALLIES 2016
Hear Jeremy Corbyn & Frances O'Grady at Clerkenwell Green
All the speakers at Trafalgar Square
LATEST SPEAKERS CONFIRMED COVERING TWO OF HOTTEST TOPICS TODAY
There will be a speaker from the Junior Doctor's dispute YANNIS GOURTSOYANNIS and covering the resistance to Government attacks on education will be the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, CHRISTINE BLOWER .
Also joining the line-up will be
BOB & ROBERTA SMITH ARTS & CULTURE BLOC
DAY-MER FOR INTERNATIONAL & MIGRANT WORKERS ORGANISATIONS
JOIN JEREMY CORBYN & JOHN McDONNELL AT MAY DAY 2016
• JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE TU BILL/ANTI-UNION LAWS • FIGHT AUSTERITY AND THE CUTS • CELEBRATE THOSE WHO KEEP BRITAIN WORKING • MAKE MAY 1ST A PUBLIC HOLIDAY
With May Day falling on Sunday this year we urge maximum turn out by unions. Mobilise your members to join a major day for workers. Make sure your banners are at May Day. May Day 2016 assembles at Clerkenwell Green from 11.30 on Sunday 1st May – marching to Trafalgar Square
We need donations to make this the biggest May Day at this critical time for the political and trade union struggle. Send donations to - LMDOC, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, CR0 1BD LONDON MAY DAY ORGANISING COMMITTEE
FRANCES O'GRADY TUC GENERAL SECRETARY SPEAKS AT MAY DAY
Joining the speakers for May Day is TUC GS Frances O'Grady. She is joining Peter Kavanagh theUNITE Regional Secretary for London & Eastern Region.
MAY DAY 2015 - "GREAT SUCCESS" FRIDAY MAY 1ST
May Day was celebrated well in London. A big march and rally of some 5000 marked International Workers Day - still in Britain a working day - made sure the workers voice was heard. In good weather the march assembled at Clerkenwell Green with different organisations coming to the Green with banners, flags and music. It moved off at 13.00 making its colourful way to Trafalgar Square passing the Unite HQ on the way. It was led by the Big Red Band who played trade union and socialist songs all the way.
The Rally at Trafalgar Square grew as the march was joined by many waiting in the Square - including the strikers from the National Gallery.
A series of inspirational speakers addressed the crowd - PAULNOWAK AGS TUC; MARY TURNER President GMB;MATT WRACK GS FBU; CANDY UDWIN PCS national gallery; JOHN HILARY War on Want; EYLem from GIK DER for migrant communities; STEVE HEDLEY AGS RMT; MARK SERWOTKA GS PCS; ONAY KASAB Unite for Bromley council strikers & HELEN DAVIES Unison for Barnet council strikers. It was particularly pleasing to have representatives of 3 groups of workers on satrike on May 1st. All was conducted on the platform by the Joint Chairs – Eve Turner GLATUC/Tony Lennon SERTUC.
A number of announcements were made including messages of solidarity from capital city trade union organisations across Europe and the world. The crowd also sent solidarity greetings to the Turkish workers who had been attacked by police as they tried to celebrate May Day in Istanbul.
Celebrate May Day fight austerity – fight TTIP – fight racism
TRADE UNION RIGHTS * HUMAN RIGHTS * INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Sunday 26th April – the annual London May Day football competition came to an exciting conclusion. Stockwell United won the prestigious trophy beating Kayseri FC 5-0 in the final.
The two teams had won through the preliminary rounds and semi-finals to meet in a fast moving game. Stockwell had been the runners-up in 2014 and now took the top prize.
The London May Day Football Cup is called the Ernesto Leal Trophy in honour of the great Chilean trade unionists and communist who had been exiled to Britain after the Pinochet coup.
MAY DAY 7-A-SIDE FOOTBALL COMPETITION 2015
FREDERICK KNIGHT SPORTS GROUND
LONDON N17 0SL
MONEY STILL NEEDED
May Day needs donations to cover its costs - we need to raise £8500.
Help make sure that May Day can be celebrated in London - make our voices heard.
Donations can be sent
(cheques made out to London May Day Organising Committee or LMDOC) to LMDOC, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD
or can be made directly to the account – LMDOC A/C 59070104 – Sort Code 08-02-28.
May Day at the Marx Memorial Library
The MML will open its doors to May Day tours; explore the building’s historic vaults; visit the room where Lenin worked in exile 1902-3 and have a peek at our displays including NUM plates and the original International Brigade British Battalion banner.
The MML and Morning Star will jointly present a slide show exhibition on May Day throughout history showcasing unique images and iconic front-covers spanning 85 years from the Daily Worker/ Morning Star archive held at the MML.
Doors open at 10am 37a Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 0DU