For well over a century May Day has been celebrated as International Workers Day commemorating all that ordinary working people have achieved. This year Salford Against the Cuts is marking not just the May Day holiday, but also the eightieth anniversary of the Battle of Bexley Square at which tens of thousands of people marched against the savage cuts being inflicted by the then National Government.
As the protesters tried to hand in a petition at the old town hall, then sited at Bexley Square, they were charged by mounted police who, wielding batons and truncheons, set about the protesters. Plain clothed policemen joined in the attack on the marchers, lashing out at people indiscriminately and ripping placards and banners down.
The police tactics worked and eventually the crowd dispersed, though two other, smaller, protests were held, they were quickly stopped by the arrival of another large squad of police.
The desperation the cuts caused in the 1930s was almost unimaginable. Suicide rates rose by 25%. And a 1932 survey carried out by the National Unemployed Workers Movement revealed how people were reduced to selling off what furniture they might have had to buy food, with soap boxes being used as tables and a diet of bread and margarine with tea being all most could afford.
To show your opposition to the cuts and commemorate what a previous generation of Salfordians endured, get down to Bexley Square on Monday 2nd May from 2pm.
MAY DAY RALLY
Monday 2nd May 2pm
Bexley Square, Salford
Called by Salford Against The Cuts