This year again, there were demonstrations and other kind of gatherings in different parts of the country to celebrate May Day, the International Workers Day. Here is a report we collected from our supporters:

In Toronto, the Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee joined the revolutionary May Day March put on by the May 1st Movement (M1M) coalition. A group of about 300 marched through proletarian neighborhoods in Toronto. Some people came out of their houses to wave at the marchers and drum on their recycling bins in solidarity.

The M1M coalition protest met later in the day at a park with the several hundred marchers organized by No One Is Illegal for a concert of progressive artists.

In Ottawa, supporters of this newspaper, election boycotters, and young communists joined some 300 locked-out members of United Steel Workers local 1005 and other workers and revolutionaries to support USW 1005’s fight against U.S. Steel and celebrate May Day. Waving red flags, the comrades in Ottawa distributed copies of Partisan and flyers with the slogan of “There is no Future for Steel Work in Canada under Capitalism!” to most in attendance.

In Montréal, about 1,500 people attended the fourth annual anti-capitalist and revolutionary demonstration marking International Workers’ Day. For the second year in a row, the event was organized by the Anti-Capitalist Convergence, which was re-established last year before the G20 Summit.

The atmosphere was both enthusiastic and militant. Following a call issued by “La Pointe Libertaire” collective, 60 children took part in a very lively “Baby Bloc” that marched in the last rear of the demo, until police action forced them to disperse. Many demonstrators responded to the call of the organizers to carry flags and wear scarves, giving a more militant tone to the event.

The police were a bit quieter than last year at the gathering point; at least, they didn’t engage in any attacks and allowed people to take to the streets. But a first incident took place half way through the demo, when a group of eight obviously unprepared cops grabbed the photographer of this newspaper and tried to make an arrest while the RCP detachment was watching. In less time than it took to shout “Free our comrade!” the cops were repelled with sticks and projectiles. They were forced to free our comrade and retreat. According to the Montréal Police Service, two policemen had to be treated for minor injuries that required a few stitches.

In the minutes that followed, the cops appeared more nervous. Detachments in riot gear faced the RCP contingent. After learning that a line of cops was already blocking the street the demo was supposed to take to get to the office of a Conservative Party candidate, the organizers changed the planned route and then called for safe dispersal. Ultimately, six people were reported to be arrested.

In the end, the anti-capitalist demonstration gathered a few more people than the one held two hours earlier by the trade unions. Boring as can be, the union demonstration did not even make a stop in front of the building of the Journal of Montréal, where it could have at least condemned the anti-union Sun News/Quebecor empire and its CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. Moreover, unions allowed the Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe to march at the head of the demonstration, along with his bodyguards! The contrast could have not have been more stark with the anti-capitalist demonstration, where the denunciation of bourgeois electoral circus was in the spotlight.

In Québec City, some 275 people attended a march organized by a coalition of community groups and local unions. They particularly denounced the policies of privatization and pricing of public services of the Charest government. Supporters of the RCP were present with a banner and red flags and they handed a copy of Partisan to virtually everyone who attended.

Although May Day 2011 has been celebrated unevenly across the country, the strong presence of communist revolutionaries who widely distributed this newspaper has helped strengthen its militant and internationalist nature.

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