For around half the world’s population it’s a holiday. Why?
Age as a spring festival: Well over 2,000 years old.
Age as official International Workers’ Day: 121 years.
Appearance: Millions of people in South America, Asia and mainland Europe lining the streets, frolicking in fields or just relaxing in the comfort of their homes. Doing just about anything, in fact, except going into work.
Why? Because for around half the world’s population – including the people of China, India, Brazil and more than 80 other countries – Tuesday is a national holiday in celebration of the successes of the labour movement.
But not here in the UK? But not here, no. Although we do hold a bank holiday on the first Monday of the month, May Day itself is not an official day off work. Instead, we make do with the odd march for solidarity in our cities and, in the countryside, middle-aged men dancing with bells strapped to their shins and young boys and girls tangling ribbons around a pole.
Is that all? Not this year.
What’s happening this year? The Occupy movement is staging a “fun and inspiring” protest event in London involving musicians, performers and white flowers.
What are they going to do? Details are hard to come by but many are predicting protesters will attempt to occupy the tube.
Based on what? Based mostly on the fact the event is called “Occupy the Tube!”.
Is that all those Occupy folk have planned? Not globally, no. In San Francisco, they’re aiming to blockade the Golden Gate Bridge in solidarity with local transport workers, while in Los Angeles the movement is planning a ”Four Winds People’s Power Car and Bike Caravan” to create gridlock in the city, ”shut down the flow of capital” and make life exceptionally difficult for local transport workers.
That’s more like it! Anything else? They’re also planning a one-day worldwide general strike. Which, at present, has 23,000 attendees on Facebook. So get ready for a global stand-still.
Do say: “We are the 99%!”
Don’t say: “Of whom more than 50% have the day off anyway!”
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