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Round up of London Mayday

anarak | 01.05.2006 20:45 | Mayday 2006 | Indymedia | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | London

Brief round up on Mayday in London - More reports and links to follow.

The day began at around 9:45am at Westminter Cathedral with a multi-faith religious service for migrant workers.

At 10:30 at Waterloo's South bank, cyclists were beginning to gather for the Critcal Mass bike ride. Around 11:00am there were aproximatly 50-70 riders and around 25 cycle police, some collecting leaflets and information. The atmosphere was very relaxed with the sun emerging, bringing the number of crical mass riders to almost 100 at the time of setting off at 11:40am.

Elsewhere at that morning the The Square social center saw a strong police presence with vans parked outside and policemen on the steps of the building. They did not prevent people going in or out, but it was an intimatdation to many that use the space as a social and resource centre.

From 11:00am at Clerkenwell Green, the were many people beginning to assemble for the TUC march.

At Westminster Cathdral a rally took place at 11:30am with leaders from London's diverse faith traditions, trade unions and social justice organisations. There was a call from religious and union leaders for an amnesty and regularisation process for undocumented migrant workers.

12pm Anti-SOCPA protest around Parliament Square.

From 12-1pm the various Trade Unions, Autonomous bloc, Anti-war groups, Latin American solidarity groups, Communist groups, disgrunted Gate Gourmet workers, National liberation Groups, No Border Groups and Indymedia conversed, sang, shared information and prepared banners and flags. The beginning of the TUC March left from 1pm down Clerkenwell Road forming a long, narrow snaking parade of colours, chants, soundsystem and samba.

After 1.30pm at the Square social centre, the police left the area.

At 13:20 the end of the march was finally on its way complete with the autonomous bloc at the back with an "autonomous" banner , red and black flags and accompanied by a police escort of both Met Police and Forward Intelligence Team taking notes and photographs. Despite strong police presence on the Autonomous bloc there was very little antagonism on the march.

There were aproximatly 4000 people on the TUC March. The 3 largest blocks on the demo were the T&G union, RMT union and the Autonomous bloc (around 500 people).

At 2pm the Space hijackers staged a police Victory party.

The end of the march reached Trafalgar Square at around 3.30pm. On the way into Trafalgar square, police successfully seized the pedal powered soundsystem from the front of the autonomous bloc despite resistance. The police were hard and fast in attempting to separate a section of the autonomous bloc and remove the system angering and pushing the marchers. There is a strong possibility that there were at least one arrest at this point. Police became skittish as marchers were shouting in solidarity, saying 'let them in'. Police then briefly penned in the crowd before allowing them to disperse. The soundsystem was not confiscated but moved to one side of the street and monitored, not being allowed inside the square.

At 3.45, while the rally took place at the stage set up in Trafalgar, the Autonomous bloc moved up the street only to be held outside the National Gallery. After about half an hour, police finally allowed people to leave.

At around 4pm the speeches finished and people began to leave. Several groups of people leaving the autonomous were followed by Forward Intelligence police teams in what appeared an attemp to intimidate marchers on their way home.

Later, at the Square social centre, an Indymedia Public Access Point was in operation to enable those taking part in today's events to share their thoughts, photos and reports from the day ... one of which is the one you have just read :-)



A few shots from Indymedia's Public Access Point

03.05.2006 18:44




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  1. Is there a pic of the media center? — interested