Labour history

May Day: Festival for the Workers

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May Day has long been a celebration of working class movements and struggle. Keith Flett looks at the radical history of international workers' day and how this can provide inspiration for today.

After a long period when the workers' day was either assumed to be nearly dead, or institutionalised and no longer a threat to authority, it is back. Recent years have seen growing protests on 1 May, and the anti-capitalist movement in many countries has made the day its own. The spirit of rebellion to be found in such protests is now being brought together to form a new and powerful movement.

1972: A Great Year for the Workers

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Thirty years ago Britain's workers were on the offensive. We reprint an article from 'Socialist Worker' which explains how solidarity and socialist politics can strengthen the workers' movement.

1972 was a tremendous year for Britain's working class. The struggle rose to new heights, both in terms of the number of workers involved, the size of strikes and their length, and above all in the quality of the struggle. There have been far more large-scale and prolonged strikes this year than in the previous ten years. November and December figures have not yet been published, but there is no doubt that the total number of strike days has reached or exceeded 30 million this year.


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