Skip to content or view screen version

Leeds Mayday Protests

Joel Smith | 01.05.2001 17:35 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Culture | Ecology | Education | Free Spaces | Gender | Globalisation | Health | Indymedia | Migration | Repression | Social Struggles

the Leeds Mayday protest - the tour of shame!

Today at 12.30pm people congregated at Central Square as part of the Global Mayday protests against the prioritising of Multinational greed over people’s need – Capitalism. The protestors hung up banners against the use of sweatshop labour by companies such as GAP, Nike and McDonalds. The Chief executive of GAP earns $172.8 million in salary bonuses and stock option per year while the worker sin Mexico in Tehuacan earn 28 cents per hour, working in intolerable conditions. Nike employ similar practices. McDonalds also stand accused of paying low wages, paying high executive bonuses, and environmental destruction by raising beef cattle on cleared rainforest land. Another issue addressed by the protest was the Labour government’s continued support for the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATs). This agreement threatens public services such as education and health with wholesale privatisation.

About 40 protestors toured Leeds centre, stopping at Disney Store, GAP, McDonalds, JJB Sports (Nike stockist). Thousands of flyers explaining the issues were given out to the public. Most members of the public were receptive – already being concerned about the impact of capitalism of theirs and others lives and on the environment. Those who could joined the protest for a time, and more expressed their support. After the reporting in the run-up to Mayday, many members of the public were interested to hear what the protests are really about.

Despite an over-heavy police presence, including a riot van and video evidence gatherers, the protest passed off peacefully with no incidents or arrests. From our point of view, the protest was a success in informing the public in Leeds about the effects of multinationals unethical behaviour and Capitalism on the world, and reminding those multinationals that we know what they’re up to.


Joel Smith
- e-mail:


Display the following 2 comments

  1. hotmail? hypocrit! — anonymous
  2. "Hypocrits" R Us — thrakkers