Hundreds of Plymouth people celebrated International Workers' Day in the Plymouth on Saturday April 30th.
Following a performance by the Plymouth Morrismen at Jigsaw Gardens, over 100 people braved the wind and rain to march through the city centre, led by John McDonnell MP, to mark the day, and say that we will not accept the Con-Dem government cuts. The march was lively and vibrant, with union banners and home-made placards, and many shoppers joined the march, to the rallying point outside the Mall, before marching across the road to the Roland Levinsky building.
The festival was a great success, with around 20 stalls from different unions, campaigns, political parties and community groups. There was a busy program of events, including an inspiring rally with a range of speakers, including a keynote speech by John McDonnell, plus workshops on fighting the cuts and the environment, plus videos.
In the main rally John explained that what the Con-Dems were doing was to destroy the welfare state as we know it. "This is our chance" he said, "If we don't fight now it will be too late. They want to destroy everything that we have won, to turn the clock back to a time of individual resposibility and to redistribute wealth from poor to rich. It took hundreds of years to build a better society. Once it is destroyed it will be much harder to rebuild it".
The rally agreed to support the proposed public sector strikes on June 30th, to hold a march through the city centre at noon and a rally in the Guildhall at 1pm. (more on future activities here)
There was a steady stream of people passing through the Levinsky building, and most stalls reported a high level of interest.
The day was completed by a well attended evening social at Voodoo Lounge, where a range of local musicians played for free.
A great event, with special thanks to John McDonnell, Pete Heddle and the musicians for social, everyone who helped set up the event, and Simon Gomery (http://photographiesimongomery.carbonmade.com/) the photos.