International Workers' Day has been celebrated for over one hundred years. It was set on May 1st to commemorate the Haymarket martyrs, who were murdered in Chicago for demanding not only an eight hour working day (something which would be a step forward for many of us in the UK today) but the destruction of the capitalist system, which demands ever greater attacks on working class people in the name of profit.
You might ask what this has to do with you, in Liverpool, in 2007. But take a look around!
- Luxury flats are being built around the city, by people who could never afford to live in them, while the city's housing list has over 20,000 names on it!
- People in some of the city's poorer areas are being forced out of their homes by compulsory purchase orders.
- The Garden Festival site is being ravaged, evicting many of our feathered friends and ruining a relaxing place for the rest of us.
- Much of the city centre is now owned by one extremely wealthy man, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
- The Capital of Culture bash looks like it's going to be more about capital than culture.
- Young working class scousers are being sent to die in Iraq and elsewhere, so that George Bush's oil buddies can control the world's oil supply.
- The NHS is under attack from corporate profiteers.
- If you are fortunate enough to have a job, every day the boss tightens the screw a little more.
- In all the desperation, prozac and smack are everywhere, while the fascist BNP seek to exploit these problems with their prescription of race hate.
In Liverpool this week, there were quite a few events as part of the May Day festivities. The fun began on Friday, 27th April, when the Liverpool Social Forum launched LARF (Liverpool Alternative Radical Film collective), with a three day festival of fascinating, thought-provoking, and inspiring films. On 1st May itself, Merseyside TUC organised a march and rally for all those who wanted to 'Save our public services' and 'Say no to racism', before activists from Liverpool Social Forum picketed the Army recruitment centre in James Street. Then in the evening, the action shifted to The Bumper on Hardman Street, where Liverpool Social Forum's gig raised funds for Iraqi trade unionists and the Liverpool Social Centre.
Mayday is YOUR day! Make the most of it!
Daily Post: 20,000 in May Day strike