There were a wide range of campaigns represented, many of them familiar faces from previous Maydays: Shut Down H&K, Greeenpeace, Friends of the Earth, CND, SWP, Socialist Party, Veggies and others. One new group was Nottingham Radical History Group.
The weather forecast had not been encouraging, but for much of the day it was sunny and warm, at times even hot. The weather even held out for the duration of the march.
Inevitably beginning late, the march was led by a samba band, as in previous years, and the Urban Gypsies belly dancing tribe with their impressive portable sound system. Marchers wound their way from the park, past Victoria Leisure Centre, itself recently closed as part of the city council’s cost saving exercises. From their the march continued onto Parliament St up to King Street and down to Speaker’s Corner.
Here there were speeches from Notts County Unison and others before we continued on our way. There was an abortive attempt by a group of anarchists to encourage people to move into the Market Square, but few people followed them and the march was soon on its way again, along the pre-arranged route.
Moving along Smithy Row onto Pelham Street and up through Hockley, the march returned to the park, passing once again past Victoria Leisure Centre. This time there was a brief stop outside to protest against the facility’s closure, although people were hurried on to ensure we had time for speaker’s at the closing rally.
Once back at Victoria Park, demonstrators were addressed by speakers from various local campaigns including Shut Down H&K, Notts Stop the BNP, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Nottingham City Unison and others. There was also a speaker from the Mayday organising committee who was critical of the many obstacles the city council had put in the event’s way this year.
Speakers were interspersed with music and dancing from Ngomo, Urban Gypsies, Wholesome Fish and others, although the arrival of the expected rain showers did dampen people’s enthusiasm somewhat.