International workers day is celebrated worldwide on May the 1st to remember the struggles of the labour movement in the past and the present. This year one of Tamil Solidarity’s affiliate Waltham Forest Trades Council held a summer time event at Abbotts Park Leyton on the 28th of April 2019 for majority of the Trade unions to gather and celebrate international workers day.
Waltham forest Trades Council had invited Tamil Solidarity to set up stall at this event. TS’s activists were present to raise awareness of the role of TS within the trade union framework of this country and also raise awareness on it’s other commitments. An event such as this had been brought to life after many years according to some.
The event kicked off with remembering all workers who had lost their lives at work. This was followed by speeches by Chris Baugh PCS assistant General Secretary, Claudia Webbe Labour Party NEC, Melanie Strickland of the Stanstead 15 protest groups, Linda Taffee secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council and many others from various trade unions.
The event also included entertainment provided by various local music talents ranging from folk/punk to this era’s rap,grime and pop followed by a cultural indian dance. This event showed all the characteristics of a party with food, drinks and ice cream but the real reason for this party was highlighted to the guests such as the need for more council homes to be built, rent control, tackling the housing crisis, fight for a living wage for everybody thereby ensuring a better standard of living and the urgent call for action on climate change.
TS was also able to raise the issues regarding the recent atrocities committed in Sri Lanka and were able to raise awareness that these terror attacks affect the working class and poor masses. TS demands were laid out and circulated amongst all those who attended this event. Demands such as right to religion, unite to fight for better conditions, democratic rights for all, oppose scapegoating and divisive hatred propaganda, unite to end the capitalist system once and for all, the right to self determination of Tamils, free education and healthcare for all were few of the demands that TS activists were able to discuss with various trade union representatives and all others who attended this event. To sum up TS’s demands were well received and some of the trade union reps signed up to TS’s campaign.