May Day 2016 – Manchester Celebrates

On Saturday 30th April, Manchester began a weekend of May Day celebrations alongside tens of thousands of others across the UK, and millions worldwide. The day kicked off with a march through the streets of Manchester, concluding at the Mechanics Institute and nearby Sackville Gardens, where a comprehensive agenda of events awaited.
UNISON Pennine Acute Branch Education Officer, Bernard Murphy, spoke on the panel of the NHS Rally. Speaking on a range of issues such as the NHS Student Bursary, attacks on Agenda for Change, and the Trades Union Bill, Bernard and the rest of the panel went onto answer a series of questions from the floor.

UNISON North West hosted the International Zone, with debates on Cuba, Venezuela, the threats from TTIP, and Palestine. All debates were standing room only.

The final session in the main hall included speakers on a range of current and topical issues, such as the Junior Doctors strike, NHS Bursaries and the Hillsborough justice campaign. After a round of current General Secretaries addressed the room, Arthur Scargill, the man who led the era defining NUM strike in the 80’s, reminded us all of what a tremendous force he was then, and remains today. Often splitting the room on the subject of the EU and the upcoming referendum, he nonetheless gave a rousing, entertaining and motivating speech.

Saturday continued for many with a choice of social events. A theatre group in Manchester, or a night of Irish music in Cheetham Hill.
On Bank Holiday Monday, all roads headed north to Burnley. Not to watch the local team achieve promotion into the Premier League, but to join in the Burnley May Day Fare. The event attracted record numbers, largely due to an appearance by Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party.

Date Online: 03/05/2016

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