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‘It’s important to mark May Day’

Trade unionists turn out on historic Clerkenwell Green before taking part in annual parade

03 May, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Mick Gilgunn and Jan Pollock from Islington Trades Union Council head the march

THOUSANDS gathered for the annual May Day parade which started in Clerkenwell Green before ending in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday.

May 1 is also known as International Workers’ Day and hundreds of trade unionists and members of various political organisations gathered to hear speeches and wave banners.

Clerkenwell Green is a historical spot for radical and socialist politics and houses the Marx Memorial Library.

Cat Allison speaking at the event

The Venezuelan ambassador to Britain, Rocío Del Valle Maneiro González, gave a speech asking the gathered crowd to support the current president, Nicolás Maduro, who is facing an ongoing coup attempt.

Rocío Del Valle Maneiro González with a supporter

Mick Gilgunn, who chairs Islington Trades Union Council, said it was “important” for workers and ordinary people to mark the day. This tradition stretches back way over a century and a half,” he said.

On the march with Finsbury Park RMT union banner

“It’s celebrated all through America. It’s not just about workers’ rights but human rights. Trade unions are important to support various campaigns locally and internationally.”

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