On May 1st 2011, workers all over the world came out onto the streets to protest against the injustices of the capitalist system and to reiterate their resolve to build a world free of exploitation of man by man.
Tens of thousands of people in London, UK, marched from Clerkenwell Green in front of the Marx Memorial Library to Trafalgar square. The march had an international character with Iranians, Turkish, Indians, Sri-Lankans and many other groups militantly shouting their slogans throughout the march. The main slogans in the march were: “We still need to change the world”, “Capitalism is a Disaster – Workers revolution is the solution”, “Save jobs not banks”, “Welfare not warfare”, “Capitalists must pay for their crisis”, “Fight for the Alternative”, “Stop paying the rich”.
Over 500,000 (five lakh) people took part in May Day demonstrations in various cities and towns of Germany. Militant marches were organised Berlin in which over 12,000 people took part, while demonstrators clashed with the police in Berlin and Hamburg as well. Protesters carried banners proclaiming a 'Day of Anger' and calling for a 'Worldwide Social Revolution' whilst rallying against capitalism. On the eve of May Day (Saturday April 30th, 2011), clashes took place between anti –fascists and Neo– Nazis in many cities: over 4,000 people protested against a fascist NPD demo in which 200 people took part according to official estimates while over 5,000 anti – fascist demonstrators protested against a few hundred neo-Nazis who had gathered near Stuttgart.
In France several hundred thousand people turned out for marches in over 200 locations including Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Toulouse etc. The protesters voiced anger over high unemployment - measured at 9.6% - and job cuts in the public sector.
In Italy, militant May Day marches were held in Turin, near the headquarters of the Fiat company as well as in Rome and other cities. In Bulgaria, several thousand workers took part in May Day rallies to protest against the government's spending cuts. In Portugal, tens of thousands also marched protesting austerity measures expected to be imposed under the terms of a European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout plan. In Greece too, several thousand people took to the streets to protest the government's deep spending cuts.
In Spain, where the unemployment has reached a Euro zone high of 21.3 percent, several thousand people gathered in the eastern port city of Valencia and protested the government's failure to create new jobs.
In Moscow, over 5,000 workers marched through the city carrying a sea of red flags to celebrate their traditional day. May Day rallies were held several towns of Austria, Belgium and other countries of Europe as well.
Over 200,000 workers gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square in the largest May Day rally there since 1977, when 34 people after shooting triggered a stampede. Turkish unions weren't allowed to hold demonstrations in the square until last year. They demanded more jobs, better working conditions and higher wages and voiced their resolve to end the capitalist system of exploitation.
Vigorous May Day demonstrations were organised in Seoul, South Korea, in which tens of thousands of workers took part. One of the main demands of the workers was to cut the rising prices of food and articles of mass consumption. Thousands of workers also took part in May Day demonstrations in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. Massive May Day demonstrations were held in Jakarta and other cities of Indonesia.
In Canada, May Day rallies were organised in several cities including Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Windsor, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. Two major events were organised in Toronto – a protest march titled “no one is illegal “ opposing the attacks on immigrant workers and a May Day demonstrationdenouncing the cutbacks to social services by governments at all levels, along with anti-worker arrangements being put in place attacking the right to organise.
At the Ottawa rally, Speakers outlined the systemic destruction of the manufacturing sectors of Canada and how the decreasing production spurs on the increasing export of Canadian resources, leading overall to the lowering of the quality of life of Canadians to serve the narrow interests of the global monopolies. This is what they are trying to realize across the country, and pensions, benefits, job security, health and safety, public services, the right to strike -- all the arrangements established in the post-WWII period are being nullified by the monopolies.
In the United States of America, May Day rallies were organised in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Milwaukee and other cities.
Massive May Day rallies were organised in Havana, Cuba as well as in Venezuela, Nicaragua and other countries of Latin America.
The May Day demonstrations and rallies organised throughout the world show the feeling of solidarity of the workers worldwide, their resolve to fight for their rights and those of other toiling people while reflecting their growing realisation that the overthrow of the capitalist system and setting up a system where the toilers are the real rulers is a necessary condition for ending all the woes of unjust war, poverty, deprivation and injustice that pervades the world today.