magnus.bernhardsen at nm.no
Wed May 2 13:31:16 MDT 2001
Here is small report on Mayday in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. I base myself
on that which has been in the papers
In Oslo (pop. 500 000) 7500 marched in the TUC-called demonstration. The
Foreign minister, Jagland (Labour) got "caked", and that made most of the
news form the demo. The leader of Red Election Alliance, Aslak Sira Myhre,
was overall pointed out as the most well-recieved speaker. He spoke out
against the Hospital reform, which was the issue most marchers lined up
behind. The Labour party mustered only about 270 people in their section,
Socialist Left Party about the same, Communist Party of Norway about 80.
The Red Youth (Youth section of Red Election Alliance (RV) and Workers'
Communist Party (AKP)) was the largest partypolitical youth section, with
Socialist Youth as second and Labour Youth as third. International
Socialists had the smallest section for years, around forty people. This
was probably due to most of the walking in the Attac-section. AKP and RV
don't have their own sections, they walk in the union or mass organization
section they belong to.
The largest section was the LTTE, with 750 people! The solidarity with
Palestine section had about 650 people. The Turkish and Kurdish left was
sadly almost non-existent, about thirty people. Iranians and Iraqis were
out in full force, though.
In the evening there was the party "Red on Blue", at the jazz club Blå
('Blue'). Tore Linne Eriksen, academic from Socialist left party, Gunhild
Johansen (vice-chairman of Public Sector workers' union and member of
Socialist Left party) and Magnus Marsdal (journalist in daily newspaper
Klassekampen (Class Struggle) and member of Red Election Alliance) spoke.
Vera Micaelsen, TV/radio presenter/humorist and RV-candidate for the
General Election, was MC. It was a youthful and popular party, with loads
of different music and bands.The party was arranged by Rød Front (Red
Front), a student organization, and Klassekampen.
In Bodø disabled people who get work-training from the municipality
marched for higher wages.
Also in Gjøvik disabled people were among those who used the day to
protest, as you can see from pictures here:
http://www.oppland-arbeiderblad.no/40/47/52/0.html 1000 people marched
there in all, and in Gjøvik the pol. parties weren't allowed in the
Mayday committee. This brought out a load of new people to the march.
In Rena there were two marches. TUC/ Labour had 50 people, the action "Stop
the new military testing ground!" had twice as many, 100.
In Brøttum 450 marched, primarily against school-closures. This is the
largest demonstration ever in this place.
In Sandnessjøen the RV was threatened by Labour with expulsion for
marching with the slogan "Stop the government's health reform".
In Tromsø 1000 marched, with "stop the health reform" and "Boycot Israel"
as the largest sections.
In Vadsø a woman who has led the "People's rebellion" in Finnmark an
anti-centralist movement was scheduled to speak at Mayday. Labour/TUC got
her kicked of the speakers' list, but in the march the section which
supported her was twice as large as the Labour/TUC section. SV, RV and NKP
In Harstad the woman who was scheduled to speak at first got removed by
Labour/TUC because she planned to criticise the government.
In Stavanger 2800 marched, the international sections the largest. Members
of the Socialist Youth booed education minister Giske for lack of money to
schoolbooks. The wharfies from Rosenberg were strangely absent, these days
they're fighting Norway's largest capitalist for their jobs.
In Trondheim 2500 marched, mostly in the anti-racist section.
Energy-minister Akselsen spoke in Porsgrunn and Skien. In Porsgrunn his
speech was interrupted by Natur og UNgdom, young environmentalists, who
protested the building of gas energy plants.
Otherwise there many marches, mostly just election-campaigneering for
In Denmark, 100 000 gathered for red Mayday in Copenhagen (pop. 1 000 000).
15 000 participated in the Mayday demo of Workers' Communist Party in
Odense (pop. ). IN Copenhagen there was also a 'revolutionary' Mayday party
with Rebel, IS, Feminist Collective, Anti-fascist Action and the autonomen.
100 people were there.
Danish Prime Minister speaks on MayDay
In Hallsberg in Sweden a nurse organized a Mayday march herself when the
social-dmocrats organized a dinner instead. 100 marched, double the amount
the social-democrats mustered. The motto was "Cut from the top
In Gävle 140 youth marched in the Syndicalist Youth- rganized march.
In Malmö several hundred youth organized by the Left Party Youth occupied
a street. Interestingly, after the police vilolence against the antieu
demos, the parents of many of the young people ha a citizen vigil by the
demo to document police violence.
The leader of the Left Youth, Jenny Lindahl, spoke to 7000 people in
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