Each year, communists organised in and regrouped around the CPGB-ML rally to our banners an increasing number of optimistic and youthful class-conscious workers, determined to make 1 May a day for celebration and militance once again.
Despite an early downpour, with both light and heavy showers throughout the day, around 4,000 trade unionists and political activists marked International Workers Day by marching through the streets of London, beginning outside the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell Green and finishing in Trafalgar Square. This annual demonstration in the capital continues to be the main place for British progressives and revolutionaries to celebrate May Day on the day itself, rather than being relegated to a weekend amble over the bank holiday.
The rail unions (including the RMT, fresh from their high-profile industrial action on the London Underground) were out in some force, with a number of beautiful old banners alongside plenty of new flags that celebrated the principled and courageous life of recently deceased RMT General Secretary Bob Crow.
Many of the political parties represented on the demo were British sections of foreign communist parties – an array from Turkey included large contingents from the MLKP, TKP and Day Mer, and the sea of red was added to by the British branches of the JVP and the Frontline Socialist Party, both from Sri Lanka.
But it continues to be the CPGB-ML who are the main talking point after each year’s demonstration. This year, our party had the largest representation of any British organisation present. Our comrades, who make such efforts to put on a good contingent, have in recent years been rewarded on 2 May with a photograph of our banner appearing in such an esteemed bourgeois journal as the Financial Times, were happy this time to be met in Clerkenwell by a reporter from Russia Today, who filmed a short interview with comrade Ranjeet Brar about the significance of JV Stalin for the British working class. (See youtube.com/watch?v=4QekYK7Lh4k)
Our contingent also received a ranting write-up on the blog of the Spectator, in which the ‘journalist’ tried to argue that communists were ‘responsible for the deaths of 65 million people’, and should not be tolerated on the streets of London! His frothing outburst was answered beautifully on redyouth.org. (Read the original hysterical outburst at blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/05/ive-just-seen-nazi-banners-in-trafalgar-square-well-almost/.)
Year on year (and especially since the march has fallen mid-week), it is cheering to note the increasingly rare sight of that once-ubiquitous species of ‘leftist’, the rabid weekend-Trotskyite, and this year that joy was enhanced as we witnessed the further onset of rigor mortis that is overtaking the various revisionist parties too. With their beloved Labour party in disarray and the social-democratic gravy train drying up faster than they can run after it, the whole fake-left fraternity is imploding nicely – and creating an unprecedented opportunity for a real revolutionary alternative to emerge.
As ‘odds and sods’ from the various disintegrating parties lined the route with a few soggy A4 leaflets, our militant contingent marched proudly into Trafalgar Square carrying the image of the great architect of the victory over fascism, Josef Stalin, at its head. 2014 may well be the year in which the terminal decline of these organisations and their fates are sealed – esto perpetua!
The sun may not have shone much, but politically it was a very bright day – the harbinger of a socialist future!