Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Russia Revives May Day Tradition on Red Square… A Sign of a New Red Revival

00h KPRF May Day 2012 Moscow


More than two million people will take part in May Day labour union demonstrations throughout Russia. A festive march will occur on Red Square in central Moscow for the first time since 1991. Mikhail Shmakov, head of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions, told a news conference at ITAR-TASS, “Russia is reviving a tradition to celebrate May Day at the Kremlin walls. We’ll hold demonstrations in 1,100 cities and district centres. More than two million people will take part and I hope that they’ll hear our voices. Regional branches of trade unions will add their demands along with common slogans with their requirements. Despite the more than 100-year history of May Day, the fight for an eight-hour labour day remains topical”.

After the 1917 Revolution, the day of workers’ solidarity was an official holiday, with massive and festive celebrations. Traditional festivities began with speeches of top party functionaries, then, there was a parade, ending with performances by athletes and a workers’ march. For a long time, May Day was a symbol of revolution and class struggle. Now, almost all countries mark it as a peaceful holiday of labour. In Russia, International Day of Solidarity of Workers became the Holiday of Spring and Labour in 1992. In 1990, the second-to-last year that of Red Square rallies, May Day grew into high-spirited political action. Demonstrations in Moscow assembled around 100,000 people in the past. Around 50,000 people participated in a rally on Red Square in 1991, after which the tradition lapsed for 13 years. Then, Shmakov said the rally “involved Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachyov, Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Anatoly Lukyanov, Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin [first Russian president], and Chairman of the Moscow Gorsoviet Gavriil Popov, with the theme, ‘Solidarity and Human Rights for Labour’”.


Here’s another revival of past Soviet practises by V V Putin. Can’t American leftists see that he’s a new NEPman, NOT a neoliberal swine like Willy Romney? There’s none so blind as those who WILL not to see.


29 April 2014

Voice of Russia World Service


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