Mayday, the 1st of May, is International Workers Day. Historically, and for some today, it was known as the Beltane Festival. It’s a day that unites the Red and the Green.
But for many it’s origins have become blurred, now it’s just the Spring Bank Holiday, a welcome extra day from work. That was only introduced in 1978 by a Labour Government, that shied away from making 1st of May a fixed holiday.
But as we stumble out of the covid haze, with an increasingly authoritarian, and corrupt, Tory Government, we would do well to remember the true origins. Because those origins are what’s got us to where we are today – with our rights, our votes, our comparatively better working conditions, our healthcare, education and much more – all these were fought for and won, not given by the ruling class. And now they are once again under serious attack from the Tories & the ruling class, backed up by an inadequate & cowardly Labour Party leadership, at national & local level.
To find out the origins of the modern Mayday, and the Haymarkets Martyrs in Chicago 1886, have a look here: read Peter Linebaugh’s ‘The incomplete, true, authentic and wonderful history of May Day’ for free in full; or these excerpts here and here. Read ‘A short history of Mayday’; if you prefer to watch & listen, check out this History of MayDay from BRHG from 2012, or see part 1 (48mins) & part 2 (39mins) on youtube.
Not got time to read all that? Not a problem, learning our history, or rather Our Story, is an ongoing process, and you don’t have to know it all to know which side you are on!
This MayDay, as well as a focus on International Workers day and solidarity, there’s also a focus on Kill The Bill – a National Day of Action! Find out more via this Kill The Bill National Coalition 8 page pamphlet – KTB_1May pamphlet (opens as pdf). Even more importantly…get on the streets and protest!
Here are the MayDay events in Bristol on 1st May, May Day, that we are aware of…Naturally, we’d recommend attending all the protests to keep up the pressure to defend our hard won rights & campaign for more! So tell everybody, and bring everybody!
Bristol TUC – MayDay March & Rally: Assemble 12:00noon on Saturday 1st May 2021 at Castle Park BS1 3XB. March through Broadmead followed by a Rally in Castle Park, Bristol
BTUC callout article / a leaflet advertising the March & Rally can be found here – May Day 2021
Quote: “A long with millions upon millions of working people Bristol workers will be raising the Red Flag, on Saturday 1st May 2021, in honour of the international working class day that is the spirit of determination, solidarity and resistance.
Mobilise your members, families and friends to join this major day for workers. Bring your Trade Union and labour movement banners.
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE ANTI-UNION LAWS / CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE POLICE, CRIME, SENTENCING AND COURTS BILL
FIGHT THE SLEAZE / 15% PAY RISE FOR NHS EMPLOYEES / CELEBRATE THOSE WORKERS WHO KEEP BRITAIN WORKING
END UNEMPLOYMENT / OUTLAW FIRE & REHIRE / CELEBRATE AND DEFEND THE EQUAL PAY VICTORY AT ASDA
CELEBRATE THE VICTORY OF THE SHREWSBURY 24 / VICTORY TO GMB AT BRISTOL WATER
MAKE 1ST MAY A PUBLIC HOLIDAY…2020/2021 was a hard year let’s ensure that from now on we start to see the beginning of the end of the Tories.”
We note that a number of other organisations & networks have circulated publicity for a MayDay event at the same time and place as the Bristol TUC event…and presume they will combine.
Kill The Bill – Bristol MayDay Protest – part of a National Day of Action: Meet 5pm on Saturday 1st of May 2021 at College Green BS1 5TA – for food & stalls / 6pm Rally and March around Bristol
Supported by numerous Bristol groups – see the FB Event and Callout here.
Quote: “We invite our fellow workers to join us at College Green from this May Day to protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
This bill, if passed, will have a significant impact on the right to protest in the UK and should be seen as a fundamental attack on the democratic freedoms of all citizens.
These restrictions to protest laws serve the interests of bosses who exploit their workers as they threatens the ability of organised labour to defend the rights of our members in their workplaces and on the streets. Unions could face large fines for organising protests and our members could be arrested.
The bill also specifically targets groups protesting against systematic racism such as Black Lives Matter and discriminates against our friends in the GRT (Gypsy, Romani & Traveller) community by making it “a criminal offence of residing in a vehicle on land without permission”.
We encourage supporters attending to respect a diversity of tactics at the demo and not to assist or collaborate with law enforcement. We further encourage supporters to use this demo space as a platform for the voices of women, LGBTQ+, GRT, Black and other under-represented people to be heard.”
Take care out there everybody – MayDay Greetings & Solidarity