As well as celebrating May 1st as International Workers day the main purpose behind organising MayDay in London is to re-establish May 1st as a national holiday regardless of whatever day the 1st falls upon.
This year (2005) May Day fell during the weekend (Sunday) so most workers were on holiday and 40,000 marched. Together with calls to support public services, tackling poverty and racism the main theme for this year’s May Day was Fighting for Trade Union Rights - and calls for a Labour Government to repeal the ‘anti Trade Union Laws’ imposed by the previous Tory Government.
Therefore the platform of speakers was dominated by representatives from the Trade unions including Frances O’Grady (Deputy General Secretarry TUC), Robina Lamche-Brennan (Colombian Trade Unionist), Linda Perks (Unison’s London Regional Secretary), Richard Ascough (GMB Southern Region Secretary), Eddie McDermott (TGWU Region 1 Secretary) Louise Richards (War on Want) followed by the popular veteran Labour campaigner Tony Benn and people’s favourite, Ken Livingstone the current the Mayor of London.
Following the now traditional May Day march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square and speakers rally was a music festival that kept the May Day celebrations going till sunset.