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May Day

Party News: May Day Demonstration

 On Sunday, May 5th, the Party ran its own May Day Demonstration, and a very successful one it was. The day was a very wild one, but members turned out to sell literature, speak, and do other necessary work. In Hyde Park the speakers spoke from two vans to audiences of five or six thousand people. In the evening the Metropolitan Music Hall was filled with an audience of nearly two thousand. Thus several thousand workers in London heard the Socialist message on May Day, bought about £15 worth of literature and contributed nearly £50 to the collections for the purpose of furthering the cause of Socialism. The tide is rising, the slaves are working at their shackles and the day of emancipation is getting appreciably nearer. It remains for us to keep the tide flowing.


May Day Musings: The Tragedy of Demonstrations

 On May 1st thousands of workers walk in procession and gather round platforms to listen to fiery speeches and pass idle and fruitless resolutions on questions of the day. For many years now these May Day demonstrations have been held, and the net result of them all is nil, as far as helping the workers out of their difficulties is concerned.

 Like most things, whilst they were new they called forth great enthusiasm, but that was long ago. In pre-war days they were taken seriously, and budding Labour leaders felt that if they wished to make a mark they must appear prominently in these gatherings. Those were the days before Labour Parties had taken a hand in government. Nowadays “statesmanship " fills up the time of the former rebels, to the almost complete exclusion of popular demonstrations. In other words, the labour machine is now so effective that it no longer needs to depend on these demonstrations to the extent that it used to do.

Our Message for May Day and Every Day

 Once again May 1st sees the gathering of Labour to march, with banners flying, to the places appointed as centres for speech-making. For over forty years these processions have been an annual Labour event, but the class that lives on Labour still remains solidly entrenched in the seat of power, and, bitter commentary on the periodical display, is kept there with the aid of the votes of the processionists.

 It is interesting to recall that at one of these meetings in 1915 Ben Tillett, for long a favourite May-Day orator, addressed the following message to French workers: —

    Britain alert, mutually co-operating with France, stands for civilisation, for a spiritual awakening of Europe for the overthrow of Kaiserism, militarism, and the capitalistic vandals whose brutal power is now ravishing Europe, and the world itself.”
    ("Reynolds,” May 9th, 1915.)

A May Day Message

 The first day of May once had a significance which has now become only a tradition. It was a day of hope and rejoicing at the awakening of Nature from its winter sleep and the promise of bright days and good crops. The wet, dark days of winter were past, and the dry, sunny days of summer were coming, and it was an occasion for fun and frivolity. The festival is old and takes us back to the flowery times of old Greece and Rome. Our forefathers celebrated the day with festivals in the villages with dances round the maypole.

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