International Workers Day - demonstrations, actions and protests held on 1st May 2006.
The long weekend beginning 29th April was a very active one for Merseyside activists. On the Saturday, a number of different groups gathered in Liverpool city centre and set out various stalls in an attempt to 'Make Our Streets Political'. Sunday evening saw Liverpool Social Forum host the first 'Free Screen' film night. And of course Monday the 1st was May Day itself, when hundreds made their way to Princes Park in Toxteth for a rally and family fun day.
May Day Report Mersey May Day 2006
Click here for a round up of Mayday events UK wide.
It's been a busy Mayday weekend in Cambridge. Starting on Friday, and continuing through to Sunday, the Immaterial Labour conference - "a large international gathering of radicals and militants, with a focus on autonomous inquiry in the digital era".
On the Saturday there were protests about the privatisation of the NHS and other public services with a Critical Mass and a march around the city. In the evening there was a benefit gig for the Cambridge Campaign Against the Arms Trade.
On Mayday itself, activists visited a supermarket to handout tea and coffee - photos. In the evening there was the Wild Thyme Community Cafe which this time fundraised for the Climate Camp.
Mayday was celebrated in a variety of ways around the Nottinghamshire/East Midlands area. From organised marches to Pagan festivities.
Saturday saw a May Day march and rally in Nottingham and a May Fayre in Leicester. Sunday saw the Mayday minus one event at the Sumac Centre in Nottingham. Monday saw a large Mayday march and rally in Chesterfield.
Click here for a full round up of all the Mayday events that happened UK wide.
Monday May the 1st saw the culmination of the MayDay weekend 2006. A series of demonstrations and protests took place all over the UK and beyond. In London up to 4000 people marched from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar square in the traditional TUC march. One of the largest blocs of the march was the Autonomous Bloc which consisted of up to 800 people, marching on the issues of precarity and migration. Meanwhile, the Space Hijackers were having a 'police victory party' outside the Bank of England [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]
The march went off peacefully until the Autonomous bloc tried to bring its soundsystem into Trafalgar Square to be used as an open microphone for speeches and discussion. At that point police snatched the pedal powered soundsystem from the crowd and prevented the Autonomous Bloc from assembling in the square. It was not until the march finished that the soundsystem was given back. Whilst this was taking place thousands of people listened to speeches at the rally in Trafalgar Square. After 4pm, people dispersed.
Other May Day demonstrations and protests around Britain included:
A Workers Memorial Day demonstration in London to commemorate those people who have been killed at work. In Manchester, a Chaos Mass bike ride took place, as well as a May Day march, an anti-nuclear demonstration [Video] to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, and a picnic against capitalism. A march [more] also took place in Cambridge against the privatisation of public services, as well as an 'Extra tea for mayday' action where activists visited ASDA to give extra tea breaks to the workers forced to work on Mayday.
In Newcastle a contingent from Tyneside Community Action for Refugees marched demanding the right to work for refugees and asylum seekers, in Liverpool the Merseyside May Day celebrations included a march and a rally in Princes Park, and in Nottingham a march and rally [more] also took place. In Scotland there was the traditional May Day march and rally in Edinburgh, and a MayDay parade in Glasgow.
For reports of the massive demonstrations in the US and the several Euro MayDay Parades in Europe, as well as the full UK's Mayday 06 events listing click at the 'Full Article' link on top.