The sun shone down on Cardiff city centre, the day made even more attractive and colourful by the trade union banners of the May Day march.
The main focus of the march was the unrelenting attacks by the Tory/Lib Dem government on the poor, disabled and pensioners.
Over 3,000 homes in South Wales, mainly one-parent families, have been caught up in the Bedroom Tax. Every benefit to the unemployed and disabled has been ruthlessly cut; and even though the financial crisis was brought about by greedy overpaid bankers, it is the poor who have to pay the price.
The response from the public was brilliant. Some joined the march as it wound its way through the shopping centre, past the statue of Nye Bevan, and on to the civic centre.
While many marchers went to the final rally in the Temple of Peace, others turned towards the real cause of the country’s plight, the banks. Barclays was targeted as the largest funder of the arms trade, using our money to invest in cluster bombs and other lethal weapons.
Banners were draped across the bank’s windows: ‘Stop NATO – Dim Rhyfel! [No war!]’. Protesters chanted: ‘Who funds the arms trade? Barclays funds the arms trade!’ The manager called the police, but this did not stop the protest. The bank was closed.
Everyone went outside and blockaded the main entrance with large banners, handed out leaflets against the arms trade and NATO’s planned summit in Newport in September, accompanied by Côr Cochion singing ‘The War Machine’: ‘And the war machine goes round and round and the poor and the weak get trampled on the ground, and from where I stand their cries are drowned by the clink of the franc and the dollar and the pound, as the war machine goes round’.
It was an inspiring day; and everyone left vowing to carry on the campaign to kick the Con Dems into the political dustbin of history.