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Nottingham's Annual MayDay March and Rally 1 : Parade

Tash [alan lodge] | 10.05.2009 23:26 | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements

Nottingham's Annual MayDay march and rally, held on Saturday May 2nd. The theme this year : A Celebration of Resistance.

Nottingham's Annual MayDay march and rally, held on Saturday May 2nd. The theme this year : A Celebration of Resistance.

Many different groups and campaigns came together in a show of May Day solidarity. The object, to demonstrate opposition to racism, climate change, job cuts, asylum injustice, arms manufacturers and the oppression that we witness daily. Making connections between issues and celebrate our resistance to them. There was a main presence from the Communication Works Union, to draw attention to post office closure / redundancies / pensions / privatisation.

Meeting at Brewhouse Yard gardens (off Castle Boulevard, near the Trip to Jerusalem) around 11am. The march set off at 12 noon. The parade, lead by a local samba band, then paraded off towards the city centre and returned to Brewhouse Yard for music and speakers.

Speakers include Alan Simpson, and people representing: UNISON, Free Hich Campaign, Communications Workers' Union, Let Them Work Campaign, Notts Stop the BNP, Notts Anti-Militarism/Shut Down H&K, No Deportations Campaign, climate change activists. Support the right of asylum seekers to work.

Music includes Wholesome Fish, 1st May Band (songs of protest and resistance), Ngoma or African roots music, The Score (Jam/Clash- type music from the Communications Workers) and Clarion Choir. So definitely something for everyone. There were a number of stalls representing different campaigns and groups.

May Day was celebrated as a pagan festival long before the Romans came. Then in the 19th century, it became the international worker’s holiday arising from the struggle in the US and Canada for an 8 hour working day:

“Lay down your tools on May 1st, 1886, cease your labour... for one day in the year. One day of revolt, not of rest! A day of protest against oppression and tyranny, against ignorance and war. A day on which to... enjoy eight hours for work, eight hours for rest and eight hours for what we will”.

In 1894, Nottingham held its first big May Day celebration, with thousands marching in strict Trade Union parades from the Forest. There were speeches from mining, hosiery and railway unions and from political parties. Resolutions were passed by an enthusiastic crowd.

Today, the industries are different, but the need for struggle against oppression, tyranny, ignorance and war is still there and not just for one day a year. It has become international and you can add global warming to the list. Nottingham’s May Day march is a relaxed event – we just have to avoid trams and buses - but in many countries, workers get savagely beaten up for attempting to demonstrate on their own streets.

Organised by the same bunch as last year - between them, folks are active in many local campaigns.

Nottingham MayDay 1 Pictures - Event

Nottingham MayDay 2 Pictures - Parade

Nottingham Celebrates Mayday [Feature]

2007 Nottingham Mayday 1 Event Pictures

2007 Nottingham Mayday 2 Parade Pictures

2006 Nottingham MayDay Events : Pictures 1

2006 Nottingham MayDay Events : Pictures 2

Mayday Nottingham 2004

Nottingham had it's Mayday - Stop the War demo 2003

Mayday 2001 Protest Detention Case Fails - Event pictures

More on my Flickr site at:

Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
Member of the National Union of Journalists [No: 014345]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"

Tash [alan lodge]
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