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Dudley Edwards

Make May Day the Workers’ Day

(May 1979)

Letter, Militant, No. 458, 1 June 1979.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Dear Comrades

On May 1st I attended the great May Day demonstration at Gothenberg in Sweden. It was 30,000 strong, mostly workers.

It was a scene of extraordinary colour and filled the whole wide boulevard that leads up to the City Hall. A great river of red flags and banners with five very accomplished bands playing the Internationale.

They really made it into a splendid marching song; the sound of this inspiring music resounding throughout the whole city, stirred the emotions.

This combination of hundreds of waving red flags, some made of silk, singing and marching music, brought out the whole population to watch the spectacle. All the symbols of solidarity and socialism were there, although the long speech of the Secretary of the Swedish Social Democratic Party did not once mention the word socialism.

However the potential strength of the organised Swedish workers was truly reflected in the vigour and the swinging step of these thousands of workers.

Is it not time that our movement paid as much attention to organising a May Day show of strength as the Swedish workers do? We won the May Day holiday, but now it’d become just another Bank Holiday, apparently not necessarily on May Day itself.

We should press for it to be fixed on May 1st every year and really make it Labour’s day.


Yours fraternally
Dudley Edwards

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Last updated: 3 June 2016