Around 100,000 people attended the Durham Miners’ Gala last Saturday. Some 80 miners’ banners were paraded through the city and about 50 brass bands turned up from ex-mining communities.
They were joined by large delegations from the PCS, Unison, RMT, Unite and many other unions.
A massive rally heard several speakers from the Labour and trade union movement. Two striking Spanish miners went down well.
Andres Avelino Gutierrez Perez said, “I will use the last drop of my blood to fight for justice. Long live the working class, long live the miners.”
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, got a brilliant reception and invited everyone to “get angry at what the government was doing”. He finished with a call for “a million on the streets on 20 October”.
Labour leader Ed Miliband also spoke—making him the first Labour leader to attend the Gala for 23 years. He said, “This is a wonderful celebration of the tradition and of the communities which made up the Durham coalfield.”
Hundreds of trade unionists, activists, students and campaigners met in Tolpuddle, Dorset, last weekend for the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ festival.
The event featured workshops on how to fight against the Tory cuts programme, alternatives to austerity, and the role of women and young people in resistance today.