Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Fotos – London May Day

Ah, those were the days. I remember them well, or at least as well as my aging memory is able to recall after more than 30 years.

Back, way back, when I was in my 20s living in London during the 1970s, it seemed as if there was a demonstration taking place there every weekend, and I’m sure I attended most of them. There were liberation struggles in Africa to support; anti-racist protests against home-grown nationalists; support for the burgeoning women’s movement, and of course the struggle to unite Northern Ireland with the rest of that troubled country.

The series of images captured here were taken around London’s Trafalgar Square in the aftermath of the May Day march that ended there in 2008. To be honest, I had completely forgotten the anniversary, and just happened upon the event as the final speeches were taking place and the crowd was dispersing.

May Day (celebrated on May 1) is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night (after Saint Walpurga, an English missionary to the Frankish Empire who was canonized on 1 May ca. 870 by Pope Adrian II).

Since the end of the nineteenth century, May Day has also become synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, and the annual anniversary is often used as a day of political protest.

Now this is more like it! Forget the KISS principle, let’s combine a series of slogans on one placard to maximise the message.


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