Ansar Ahmed Ullah:
Expressing solidarity with the militant working masses of the world and promising to build a world free of exploitation and inequality defined the observance of May Day in East London on 9th May. The meeting was held in East Ham’s Trinity Centre under the auspices of Bangladesh Workers Council (BWC) UK.
Speakers at the rally expressed the view that it was primarily the workers through their labour, skills and self-sacrifice that have been the mainstay of the progress achieved by the countries all over the world. However, this has not led to the well-being of the workers themselves. That outcome is dependent on the elimination of exploitation by the propertied and ruling classes and will require a united struggle by workers and other toiling classes.
The rally was jointly chaired by BWC Chairperson Shahriar Bin Ali and General Secretary Sushanta Das. Among others, the rally was addressed by Alex Gordon, Chair of RMT, Roksana Faiz, the newly re-elected Mayor of Newham, Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of Communist Party of Britain, Leader of the Anti-War movement Andrew Murray, President of Communist Party of Bangladesh (UK and Europe) Abed Ali Abeed, David Rosenberg of Jewish Socialist Group, Editor of Haldane Society Lawyer Joe Latimer, former member of Greater London Assembly Murad Qureshi, General Secretary of Liberation Roger Mackenzie, Dr Rafiqul Hasan Jinnah of UK Udichi, Vice President of BWC, Jahanara Rahman Jolly, BWC Organising Secretary Bablu Khondakar.
The meeting put forward a series of demands around health and safety issues in workplaces, rehabilitation and compensation of injured workers, strict adherence to working hours and a minimum living wage.
Furthermore, the speakers highlighted environmental destruction and the threat of war being inimical to worker interests. The necessity of vigorous campaigning in the UK around ethnic minority workers and refugees was emphasised alongside the widespread racism and discriminatory immigration policies.
The rally also saw the rendition of Gana Sangeet by members of the UK Chapter of Bangladesh Udichi Shilpi Goshti. Gopal Das and Juber Akhter Sohel gave solo performances. Dance was performed by Mohammed Dip along with poetry recitation by Shib Sanker Saha.