May Day rally in Lancaster seeks action on cost of living crisis

Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council’s annual May Day march sought action on the cost of living crisis.

By David Barnes
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 10:31 am

It called for trades unionists, climate activists, Labour, Green and Eco-socialists members with community campaigners, refugee support organisations and Stand Up to Racism to unite in the face of a looming cost of living crisis, as well as emphasising a strong anti-racism and anti-war message.

The 200-strong lively and good-humoured march around the town centre was led by musicians from More Music in Morecambe with plenty of banners on show followed by a rally in Dalton Square with speakers from a wide variety of trade unions, political parties, campaigning and community groups.

Before the march, Cat Smith MP and marchers posed with Stand Up to Racism posters calling for community unity in response to the criticised leafleting by a far-right group called Patriotic Alternative in parts of the city the previous Sunday. Sam Ud-din speaking for Stand Up to Racism urged people to join the mass anti-racist leafleting of the affected areas.

The May Day rally in Lancaster.

Peter Billington, as secretary of the Lancashire wide movement of trades union council, made a moving tribute to its former president Dave Wilson who recently died, Dave had been a regular supporter and attendee of the May Day marches and meetings.

Cat Smith was first to address the rally in Dalton Square. She was followed by speakers from the Green Party, unions UCU, NEU and RMT, Blackpool Fylde and Wyre TUC, Extinction Rebellion, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Tenants and Community Union, East Meets West, Stand Up to Racism and Out in The Bay.

Speakers emphasised the need to unite in the face of the onslaught of issues - pay freezes, workers’ rights, zero hours contracts, cost of living increases, the Nationalities and Borders Bill, climate catastrophe, the threat of nuclear war and race division.

Tina Louise Rothery, of Lancashire Nanas and a key figure in the anti-fracking movement, emphasised the importance of unity and solidarity in defending all of the right to protest in the months to come as the new policing bill becomes law.

May Day march participants in Dalton Square, Lancaster.

The rally was followed by a family friendly open mic event at The Gregson.

Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council’s next campaign is running a coach to join the TUC national “We Demand Better” rally in London on June 18.

The march winds its way through Lancaster city centre.
Saturday saw the annual May Day march in Lancaster.
Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council’s annual May Day march in Lancaster city centre.