Sunday, May 8, 2011

May Day in Lima

Unlike the United States, in much of the rest of the world May 1st is Labor Day and in many places it is an official or de facto holiday.   In the US, until recently, the date has been relatively ignored despite the fact that  it was picked in commemoration of the martyrs of the Chicago "Haymarket Affair" of 1868.

My last full day in Lima was Sunday, May 1st, so I decided I'd take the opportunity to attend the local May Day observance.

This was the May Day rally called by the General Workers' Confederation of Peru (CGTP), the country's largest and oldest labor confederation.    About 300-400 people gathered in the Plaza Dos de Mayo and then marched up Ave. Nicolas de Pierola and then down Ave. Garcilazo de la Vega, to rally at the monument to the founder of the CGTP and of the Peruvian Socialist Party, Jose Carlos Mariategui.

I was a bit surprised, given the bad rap that the Shining Path gave Maoism for so many years, to see Mao's portrait so prominently displayed. At right  is literature praising the programs of reformist general Juan Velasco Alvarado, who, among other things, nationalized petroleum and initiated agrarian reform in 1969.

Kids from the street youths' union.  At right: their representatives at the podium, nect to them, in the white shirt, is Mario Huaman, head of the CGTP

This guys is a left party bigwig, but I can't recall his name.  In the past he was associated withe the United Left (Izquierda Unida) coalition, and maybe Patria Roja.

National Teachers' Union, Lima Region: "In Defense of Teachers' Rights! For Free and Quality Public Education!"

Group accusing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori of being complicit in forced sterilizations of poor women during her father's dictatorship 

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