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About 100,000 to take part in May Day rally in Moscow

May 01, 2012, 8:45 UTC+3
About 100,000 people are expected to take part in the traditional May Day rally in Moscow Tuesday
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 1 (Itar-Tass) — About 100,000 people are expected to take part in the traditional May Day rally in Moscow Tuesday.

The action is organized by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions /FNPR/ and the United Russia Party. It will be held under the slogans ‘Peace! Work! May!’ and ‘Peace on to the World!’.

One more slogan answering what the trade union activists believe to be an acute issue of the day reflects the demand to introduce the Ministry of Labor.

Some other slogans demand more specific things, like a ban on “borrowed labor”.

Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is going to join the rally personally. “We’ll meet there all together,” he told the United Russia party activists Friday.

Medvedev used to take part in May Day manifestations and public actions before the start of his political career. His participation in the rally Tuesday will mark the start of a new chapter in the history of relations between Soviet/Russian leaders and the rank-and-file citizens of the country.

During the Soviet era, members of the Politburo of the then Communist Party would watch the May Day rallies from a special rostrum located in the upper section of Lenin’s tomb. Russian Presidents did not take part in May Day events on Red Square since the downfall of the Socialist system.

As a rule, the march of the columns of participants down the streets of Moscow is led by party leaders. Although Medvedev has agreed to take the post of United Russia party chairman, he has not taken the post formally yet, and that is why he will participate as a president without party affiliations.

“If you take the trade unions, this holiday hasn’t lost its initial meaning for us, it remains the international day of working people’s solidarity,” Trade Union Confederation President Mikhail Shmakov said. “It was established initially to commemorate the shooting of a demonstration of factory workers in Chicago in 1886.”

He recalled that the workers demanded an eight-hour-long workday then. “Considering the appeals coming from some Russian businessmen now, this demand remains very pressing,” Shmakov said.

That is why the trade unions will wave two main demands at the street actions. One of them is the defense of the Labor Code and non-admission of so-called ‘flexible employment forms’ of any description.

Demand number two is to give support to the initiatives put forward by the People’s Front.

“We believe a crucial thing today is to prevent a shift of the economic and social policies towards extreme liberality today,” Shmakov said.

The rally and the march will begin at around 10:00 hours near the Belarussky railway station and then will march down Tverskaya Street to Manezhnaya Square to a big square opposition the Borovitsky gate of the Kremlin.

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