May day 2007 - Sweden
Anti-government mood on May Day march
"Put the government in the garbage department" is a rough translation of one of the most popular slogans on this year’s May Day demonstrations in Sweden. The right-wing government’s neo-liberal attacks involving cuts in unemployment benefit, privatisation and abolition of the wealth and property taxes served to increase the number of participants compared with previous years.
In Stockholm, the contingent of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (RS, CWI Sweden) numbered 300, many of whom particularly protested against the US’ and Ethiopian war in Somalia. RS was part of the left’s demonstration with about 5,000 on it in total.
In Gothenburg, 8,000 marched in three different demonstrations. In Umeå, left organisations, including RS, got 700 on their demonstration, which was more than both the Social Democrats’ march and the Left Party march. RS councillor, Ingrid Eriksson, spoke at the demo in Umeå, and RS member, Per Johansson, was one of the speakers at a left demo in Sundsvall.
On May Day, RS launched a new national petition. It demands that the main trade union federation, the LO, organises a day of protest, including demonstrations and strikes, when parliament resumes on 18 September after its long summer holiday. The petition immediately gained a very good response at the demonstrations, reflecting the anger against the government and the lack of any initiatives for organising struggle and resistance.
In total on May Day RS members sold more than 500 copies of the party’s weekly newspaper, Offensiv - two hundred and sixty of them in Stockholm and one hundred and fifty in Gothenburg. CWI members from Sweden were also participating in demonstrations in Denmark - in Copenhagen and Aarhus.