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Wolverhampton's 13th Annual May Day Festival

brum wobbly | 27.04.2007 10:58 | Culture | Workers' Movements | Birmingham

WOLVERHAMPTON's 13th annual MAY DAY FESTIVAL Tuesday 1st May 2007 7pm - 11pm
Pegasus Pub Function Room, Craddock Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton

details on

The 13th Annual May Day Festival organised by Wolverhampton May Day Committee,
has been sponsored this year by: West Midlands Fire Brigades Union & West Midlands UNISON and Midlands TUC. It’s theme is: Keep Wolverhampton a fascist-free zone.

Speakers: Yvonne Washbourne, PCS union, Dyal Bhagri, President Indian Workers’ Association(GB) &: Naeem Malik Guantanamo Bay Campaign

will complement a free evening of cultural entertainment in celebration of International Workers' Day:

Headline Act (9pm): ATILLA THE STOCKBROKER …“Whether he’s ranting a poem or bashing out a song, there’s something magnificent about Attila in full flight” (Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 4) – a punk rant & rap poet with an electric mandolin. He headlines Glastonbury Cabaret Stage each year.

7pm doors open and chance to visit stalls, bar, bouncy castle, mehndi. Music from One Love International Sound System

7.15pm Azaad Dhol group (Indian drums)
7.30pm welcome from Dave Cole, May Day Committee
speaker: Yvonne Washbourne PCS report of their May 1st national strike action over public services cuts
7.50pm Ivor Pearce – political folk singer
8.10pm speaker: Naeem Malik Guantanamo Bay Campaign
8-20pm interval & food - free Asian buffet, music from One Love International
8.45pm speaker: Dyal Bhagri National President Indian Workers Association
11pm ends

There will also be a number of stalls run by trade unions & campaigning groups, a free Asian buffet, a bar, bouncy castle and mehndi (henna hand painting).

Everything is free, with the costs donated by trade unions of the city.

Rob Marris MP said:
”Congratulations on the 13th annual Wolverhampton Mayday Celebrations. This is a day on which we should all remember both the sacrifices of those who came before us and laid the foundations of dignity and justice for working people in this country; and the struggles which continue against oppressive regimes and oppressive employers around the world.”

Nick Kelleher, Wolverhampton May Day Committee said:
"Workers' Day was adopted as May 1st, over a century ago, in response to the suppression of an American strike demanding an 8-hour day. Now it is marked in almost every country in the world. Demonstrations and rallies will be held in towns and cities throughout Britain, raising demands and expressing solidarity with working people.

The Wolverhampton May Day Committee was originally established as a result of government threats to abolish May Day in Britain and replace it with a nationalistic holiday. Since reviving the trade union tradition of May Day celebrations in Wolverhampton, it has gone from strength to strength and is now the most popular West Midlands event. Wolverhampton May Day is a long established tradition. The event is free and open to all. The event is always held on 1 May and we believe the day should be declared as the public holiday.'

May Day is the day when trade unionists peacefully celebrate our achievements, when we recommit ourselves to achieving economic and social justice for all and when we express our support for those throughout the world who are struggling for basic rights. It is a day when we remember our sisters and brothers who are suffering victimisation, such as trade unionists in Colombia, Palestine, Iran and Iraq.

On Tuesday 1st May the traditional messages of international solidarity, peace, respect for all, employment and trade union rights and public services, will be to the fore, with a speaker from the PCS union who will be on strike on 1st May.

The key themes of the 13th annual Wolverhampton May Day is trade unions' commitment to mobilise against racist and fascist politics. This year’s theme is Keep Wolverhampton a fascist-Free Zone, tying it into the Trades Union Council’s anti-BNP campaign in the wards where they are standing. Racism and xenophobia are the tools of those who wish to divide us. The workers of all nations have more in common with each other than they do with those who rule them.

Workers joining the May Day celebrations in Wolverhampton will be sending out a clear anti-racism message. Wolverhampton has a reputation for diversity, multiculturalism and tolerance. This year that reputation is under direct threat by racist and fascist parties and the May Day celebrations will be a condemnation of the politics of race hatred and a celebration of the diversity that contributes so much to the quality of life we enjoy.”
As in previous years upwards of 200 people are expected.

W'ton May Day Committee is supported by:
Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council, UNISON West Midlands, UNISON General, FBU West Midlands,
Amicus 13/D Craft, Amicus 0758, Midlands TUC, NUT, TGWU 5/836, W'ton IWA, W'ton CPB.

brum wobbly
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