Hundreds gather for May Day march and rally in Lancaster

People’s anger at the ongoing deaths and destruction in the Gaza conflict became the leading issue at this year’s Lancaster and Morecambe TUC May Day march and rally in the city on Saturday (May 4).

It was also a time to reflect on trade union struggles as former miner Billy Pye spoke in Dalton Square on the echoes down the years of the consequences and lessons of the Miner’s Dispute from the mid-1980s, remembered on its 40th anniversary – and also marked recently with an evening of talk and music at the Gregson Centre.

There were a few hundred out to join the annual May Day march around town with banners and music, representing unions, political parties, campaign groups and supporters, weaving their way to the top of Thurnham Street led by Baybeat band, then down King Street and through the centre streets and walkways back to Dalton Square.

The crowd for speeches in Dalton Square included a lively element of Palestinian Campaign Group campaigners, who continued their town centre presence, out every weekend since the current conflict in the Middle East started in the autumn resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.

A range of strong speakers included a rousing appeal from the college union UCU criticising the links between Lancaster University and defence and armaments manufacturers such as BAE Systems. Other speakers covered trade unions, environment, refugee support and the Palestinian cause.

Everyone then headed to the Gregson Centre for music and food provided by the trades council.

Eugene Doherty, TUC president, said: "It was another positive May Day bringing together trade unionists and members of political parties to celebrate all that workers do for society.

"It was also to show solidarity with the people of Palestine. A genocide is taking place and our government are complicit in it. We are calling for a ceasefire and for the government to stop arming Israel."

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