‘A socialist revolution in this country will open up the whole of the world,’ Frank Sweeney, the General Secretary of the Workers Revolutionary Party, told the rally of a hundred after the May Day March last Tuesday.
The May Day Rally took place at the Africa Centre in Covent Garden after a five-thousand-strong march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square.
A lively delegation of Young Socialists and Workers Revolutionary Party members shouting ‘Capitalism is collapsing! Socialism now!’ were joined by youth, students and workers on the march.
At the WRP&YS rally after the march Frank Sweeney told the audience: ‘Today is the day when all over the world the working class comes together in struggle.
‘We are supporting all the working classes of the capitalist countries all around the world that are fighting their governments.
‘We stand with all the embattled workers of the ex-colonial countries fighting against the threat of recolonisation at the hands of the imperialists.
‘We support the workers of the Soviet Union who are battling to overthrow their Stalinist governments and kick out the would-be capitalists.
‘We stand side by side with the Palestinian prisoners who are in their third week of hunger strike against administrative detention.
‘We are for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
‘We send our greetings to the people of Syria who are fighting against imperialism as it tries to take away their sovereignty, and tries to take away their stability.
‘The world crisis of capitalism is fomenting wars and revolutions.
‘Comrade Lenin was absolutely correct on that.
‘We are privileged to be living in the final days of capitalism and the forces are going to emerge to complete the revolution.
‘We have to recruit these forces, assimilate them into our branches, train these forces and build our revolutionary party.
‘If you bring down the coalition government in Britain, the working class does not want to go back to a Labour government.
‘The door is going to be open for a workers’ government and a revolutionary seizure of power in Britain.’
The rally opened with revolutionary greetings from the United Workers Party in Sri Lanka.
The chair Bill Rogers read out a message of revolutionary greetings from the South African Revolutionary Peoples Party and from the Workers Revolutionary League in the Soviet Union who are continuing their struggle for a political revolution against the Stalinist bureaucracy and the would-be capitalists.
Rogers said in his opening remarks: ‘We should send our revolutionary greetings to them! Forward to the world revolution!’
Anna Athow, a member of the BMA council, spoke in a personal capacity. She said: ‘I have worked in the NHS all my life.
‘In the last month, the Tory coalition government has passed through parliament a law to privatise the NHS.
‘On the 20th March they passed the Health and Social Care Bill through parliament.
‘This Act aims to legislate away the very basis of the NHS, which is health care that is provided free at the point of need.
‘They want to set up a market within the NHS where any willing provider can move into the NHS to make a profit out of health care.
‘They have opened the door to charging for health care and health insurance. It is all modelled on the American style of health care.
‘Millions and millions of people will be denied health care because they will not be able to afford it.
‘This has to be stopped.
‘We have to kick out the very conservative trade union leaders that sit there and prop up the government.
‘We have to replace these right-wing leaders with a leadership that will stand up and defend public services.
‘The only way we are going to defend the NHS is through bringing down this government and replacing it with a workers’ government.
‘We are going to have to lead a revolution to get rid of this system!’
Issa Chaer, from the Syrian Social Club UK, addressed the audience. He said: ‘Our organisation is trying to be the voice for all those Syrians who have no voice in capitalist western countries like Britain.
‘We want a Syria where Christians, Muslims, Sunnis, Shias, everyone of all religions live as people side by side, peacefully as they have lived for two thousand years.
‘The western governments and their corporate media are preventing the voices of normal Syrian people from reaching the people of Britain.
‘They only allow the voices of their cronies to reach the ears of the people in Western countries.
‘They have sent people into Syria from other Arab countries to make problems in Syria.
‘For the people who live in Syria, they are being attacked every day by these people.
‘The Syrian army is being killed by them and mutilated by them.
‘They are hijacking members of Syrian families and demanding ransom. If the ransom is not paid by the family then the kidnapped person is killed.
‘They are not trying to create a democracy in Syria. The word democracy is an illusion created by corporate capitalism.
‘They use this word to make corporate war on countries and nations, to grab money and wealth and resources.
‘This is a war on the people of Syria, a war that is being organised outside of Syria.
‘They want to create a bureaucratic government in Syria that they can control from outside and steal all the wealth of Syria just as they did to Libya.’
Paul Lepper the editor of the Young Socialist paper, said: ‘This is a historic May Day. We are living in revolutionary times. Capitalism is nose diving, it is collapsing.
‘People all over the world are rising up and fighting against the system.
‘Youth in Britain are part of a generation that is fighting for a socialist future.
‘We have been inspired by the revolution in Egypt that got rid of Mubarak, we have been inspired by the revolution in Tunisia, inspired by the struggles in Greece and in Spain against the savage cuts.
‘We do not want to live without being able to afford university education.
‘Nine thousand pounds a year means that this government is closing the door to university on working class students.
‘Education is a right. It should not be a business and international students should not be bled dry by this system.
‘This system has nothing to offer young people. Over a million young people are unemployed.
‘The only jobs available are cheap labour jobs or working for free.
‘Young people will not be treated like slaves. We are not going to have it.
‘They have taken away Education Maintenance Allowance, that was £30 a week that would go towards a student’s travel or lunch money or equipment.
‘The students did rise up, young people did take to the streets and fight against student fees.
‘They were not deterred by the police that launched attacks on them, threatened them with rubber bullets and water cannons, kettled them for hours.
‘Students are absolutely defiant! They say that young people are criminals. Is it criminal to want a future?
‘The real criminals, the real thieves are this government. The source of the real violence is the police.
‘What has to be done is that we need to build the Young Socialists movement in a really big way.
‘We are going to take the Young Socialists on the road. We are going to start by organising a big march through Swindon for jobs for youth and to bring this government down.
‘We are going to take our marches around the country and build in town after town, city after city.
‘The only future for young people is a socialist future!’
Bill Rogers chair of ASLEF Chingford branch and secretary of the North East London Council of Action told the rally: ‘We have been fighting to save Chase Farm hospital for five and a quarter years.
‘We started with monthly pickets of the hospital but we felt that we had to step up the fight to a daily picket.
‘Even the government has had to admit Chase Farm is a test case for the whole NHS.
‘They plan to shut the A&E, paediatrics and maternity.
‘Occupation is the only way to stop these closures.
‘The Health and Social Care Bill has passed into law, but the law is just a bit of paper; they have to try and implement it and that is where we come in.
‘We are going to take the bold step of occupying the hospital. On the tenth of May, Unite are coming out on strike and ten thousand health workers are coming out on strike.
‘We have a duty to stand and fight for the health service.
‘The pickets of Chase Farm hospital have to get stronger and stronger.
‘We will occupy if necessary and we will prevent the closure.
‘It will be a beacon for others whose libraries are threatened, schools and anything else that is threatened with closure. ‘We say occupy!’