Friday, 16 April 2010

Why the working class needs to observe May Day

Yesterday, I wrote about the two upcoming benefit gigs for Liverpool Antifascists. They are taking place this coming Saturday, and the Saturday after. As if that wasn't enough, the Saturday after that is May Day - International Workers' Day. Across the world, people will be celebrating the long tradition of working class culture and the struggle against capitalism, imperialism, and feudalism.

In Liverpool, that celebration will take the form of the Merseyside May Day Festival;
1st May 2010, 1-9pm, St. Luke’s Church & Gardens (“The Bombed-out Church”), Berry St./Leece St., Liverpool L1

Join us for eight hours of…

Live music from bands with something to say, including Al Baker and the Dole Queue and Liverpool Socialist Choir.

Speeches from workers in struggle, not politicians.

Open platforms where you can have your say or play your tune.

Good food from the Food from Nowhere cafĂ© collective, Something Fishy’s vegan fish and chip van and The Casa’s kitchen.

Inspiring stalls from grassroots community and activist groups (not parties chasing you for your vote).

Kids’ space with play workers from the Woodcraft Folk.

Plus programmes and free zines on the history of the Mayday tradition.
I would strongly encourage all working class people in Liverpool and the Merseyside Area to join in with the festivities if they can. Likewise, I would urge workers from other areas to seek out similar events in their locale.

Especially with the General Election taking place five days later, it is absolutely vital that we forge the links of working class and grassroots solidarity. We need to celebrate and emphasise the collective culture we share as working people, outside the boundaries of institutional hierarchy and bureaucracy.

In the words of the Haymarket martyr August Spies, whose own May Day 124 years ago marked a turning point for the labour movement;
Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you - and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out.