Crowds celebrate May Day in Ipswich

GALLERYPumping music, blazing sun and thousands of relaxed revellers made Ipswich's 30th May Day Festival an afternoon to savour.More than 12,000 people attended the popular musical event yesterday, organised by the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council to mark International Workers' Day.

PUMPING music, blazing sun and thousands of relaxed revellers made Ipswich's 30th May Day Festival an afternoon to savour.

More than 12,000 people attended the popular musical event yesterday, organised by the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council to mark International Workers' Day.

And this year's event was extra-special because it marked 30 years of the festival in Ipswich.

Roger MacKay, the president of the Ipswich and District TUC and organiser of the event, said: “It was an amazing day. We were lucky because the weather held up for the forth year on the trot.


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“It's an Ipswich institution now; people know they will have a good time.

“Ipswich is one of the few towns in the country that has had a May Day Festival for so long and so regularly, which is important.

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“The event is all about solidarity and support between workers. I think in some ways the trade union movement it is even more relevant today because the conditions which were around in the 1970s are happening again; public sector wages are going down, there is a housing crisis.

“But things have changed. Originally at events there would have been a march and a rally. We have made the event in line with the 21st century.

“It is about fun for everyone and shows the human face of trade unionism.”

Did you enjoy yesterday's event? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

International Workers' Day

International Workers' Day is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labour movement.

It is mainly celebrated on May Day - May 1 - and sees street demonstrations by millions of working people and their labour unions throughout the world.

In Britain it is celebrated on the first Monday in May - it first became a bank holiday in 1978.

The day commemorates of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886 when police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour day, killing a dozen demonstrators.

The eight hour day movement spread outside America and May 1 became a symbolic date for the workers' movement internationally.

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