The Wolverhampton May Day Committee was established in 1994, as a result of the threats of the last Conservative government to abolish May Day in Britain and replace it with a nationalistic holiday. Since our workers` holiday has been celebrated again in Wolverhampton it has gone from strength to strength and is now probably the most popular West Midlands event. The May Day Committee was founded by Wolverhampton & Bilston TUC and the local branches of the Communist Party and Indian Workers Association.
While not the blueprint for all May Day events, our shared experiences may be valuable. In our city, we have achieved some success. The event has filled a void and brings together the labour movement, for more than just one day a year, by building trust between individuals and groups.
The May Day event has now achieved a regular place in the labour movement activities within Wolverhampton and obtains a wide range of national and international speakers.
After initially growing each year, for the last few years our audiences have averaged about 200 people, drawn from political and trade union movements but more so from the differing local communities within which the venue is always held. We have always had the intention of holding a march in addition to a rally. We have however never done this, perhaps for several reasons. The event`s cultural side has grown increasingly and it is this that attracts the bulk of the audience primarily. Due to the very few numbers each year (usually 2 or 3 comrades) who do all of the organising, the whole event has never been able to develop. The same programme has been adapted from year to year. The main fear is that a march would attract too few people and split the organisers on the day who would be needed for setting up for the rally.