Forthcoming Events in Manchester




Here’s all the information for this year’s Manchester May Day Festival. Make sure you don’t miss it!

Saturday 29th April

11.00 All Saints Park

Come and march with us to celebrate our Trade Union City and tell the government that the NHS is not for sale. Bring union banners, ballons and flags. Bring your campaign banners. Bring your family and friends.

12.00 – 16.00 Sackville Gardens

We’ll have a short rally and run through the events for the day.

From 12:00 Real Junk Food Manchester

Serving a selection of hot dishes, snacks, treats and kid-friendly fodder.

Who are we? Real Junk Food Manchester is a not-for-profit project. We work with food businesses to source food that would otherwise go to waste, cook it up into lovely meals, with a focus on health and nutrition, and serve them to anyone and everyone on a pay-as-you-feel basis. The project tackles food waste, food poverty and social isolation and is a mix of practical action and campaigning. We currently operate a range of pop-up events and outside catering services, including pop-up restaurants, community cafes and event catering. We have recently found a permanent site, and in May /June this year we hope to open Manchester’s first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant in Ancoats.

From 12:00 Coffee from Coffee Cranks

Coffee Cranks was set up in 2013 with a passion for social change and great coffee. We are a not-for-profit workers’ co-operative working to use our coffee sales to fund interesting sustainable projects in our community. With your help, we can continue and improve on our work promoting sustainable travel and co-operative business model.

13:00-14:30 Woodcraft Folk

Education for Social Change

Woodcraft Folk is the UK’s progressive, co-operative youth and children’s movement. Our volunteers will be running drop-in activities for children and their parents/carers. We have more than 400 groups for children and young people across the UK, including six in South Manchester.
We are a unique movement united by the vision of a fairer, more sustainable world. Our volunteer-led groups provide opportunities for children and young people to try new experiences, develop their understanding of the world and take action for social change. Our belief in co-operation means we seek to work together as equals to shape our activities. We empower our young members to take every opportunity to learn to think critically, develop life skills, participate in wider society and raise their voices to shape the future.

14:45-16:00 University of Manchester Students’ Union

Come and get involved in some fun craftivism!

Contribute to this year’s May Day banner or create your own. We’ll have everything you need to make sure you stand out on your next protest.


MTUC, CWU, FBU, Friends of Kurdistan, GM Hazards, GM Law Centre, Musicians Union, NUJ, Stand up to Racism, Unison LGBT, Unite Community, Manchester UWC

13.00 – 17.30 Mechanics Institute

Visit our stalls in the main hall from 13.00-16.00: .

BFAWU, Cuba Solidarity , Global Justice Now, GM and District CND, GMATUC, GMB, Mary Quaile Club, Morning Star, NUT, Palastine solidarity, Pathfinder books, PCS, Peoples assembly, Peoples History Museum, Resistance Books, Stop CETA, Thompsons, UCU, Unison, WCML

The bar will be open all day. If you’re having a drink make sure you try the Taybeh beer. Tea and coffee will also be on sale all day this year.

John Tocher Room

North West Unison are back with the hugely popular International Zone. Get there early to get a seat!

13:15-14:15 Latin America: Reform and Reaction

Films and discussion with director Pablo Navarrete, Alborada.
Join us for workshop of documentary clips and discussion on the reforms undertaken by progressive movements in Latin America and how the right has mobilised to overturn these. What we in the UK can do support the progressive movements will also be discussed.

14:30-15:30 Venezuela: Democracy and Social Progress under Attack

Rocío Maneiro, Venezuelan Ambassador to the UK and Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of Latin American Studies, Middlesex University
This session will explore the political and economic challenges facing Venezuela’s progressive government and discuss ways trade unionists and activists can demonstrate practical solidarity with the people of Venezuela.

15:45- 16:45 International solidarity and trade union organising
Ethel Buckley, SIPTU

Ethel Buckley is Head of SIPTU’s (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union) private sector services division. She leads the union’s collective bargaining, industrial organising, membership growth and activist engagement strategies in some of the most union-hostile and difficult to organise industries in the private sector. Ethel was elected to the Executive Council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in 2013 and re-elected in 2015. She is a member of UNI Global’s Property Services Steering Committee. She is a feminist and a socialist.

Mary Qualie Room

13:00-14:00 Manchester & Salford NUJ

Reporting Poverty: The film.

The language of skivers, scroungers and slackers that dominates some of the country’s journalism can serve to justify brutal Tory cuts to much-needed benefits. The National Union of Journalists is challenging the way poverty is reported.

May Day 2017 will see the premiere of a film on reporting poverty made in collaboration with Reporters’ Academy. Young people from the organisation, some of whom have experienced poverty themselves, will screen the film highlighting the campaign to media workers and to media consumers alike.
By working together to challenge the language of the media when it seeks to demonise the poor in times of politically-charged austerity, trade unionists can defend workers against legislation intended to blame them for the poverty they experience.

Speakers from organisations including the NUJ, Church Action on Poverty and Reporters’ Academy will discuss how we can challenge the way poverty is reported.

14:15-15:15 Mary Quaile Club

Any help possible will be given: Official launch of the website of the Minutes of the Manchester and Salford Women’s Trades Union Council 1895-1919

The Manchester and Salford Women’s Trade Union Council was set up in 1895 to organise women workers into trade unions. In 1919 it dissolved and merged with the men’s Trades Council to form a single body.

The original hand-written Minutes of the Council came to light during the research into the life of Mary Quaile for the pamphlet ‘Dare To Be Free’, published by the Mary Quaile Club in 2015. Mary worked was the Organising Secretary for the Council from 1911 to 1919 and took the Minutes with her when the office was shut down.

The Minutes are a complete record of the meetings of the Council, and are a unique item of national significance. They will be a major contribution to the study of women workers and trade unionism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Mary Quaile Club has raised money from the trade union movement to transcribe the Minutes and placed them on a website for all to read.
Speakers: Bernadette Hyland (Mary Quaile Club) and Lisa Turnbull (Durham Teaching Assistants).

15:30-16:30 Manchester People’s Assembly

The People’s Question Time

Despite Teresa May’s promises to fight injustice, poverty and deprivation, her actions as Prime Minister have made it clear that the Tory Party is still the party of cuts and austerity. Teresa May holding hands with Donald Trump, both literally and metaphorically, shows that the Tory Party represents the interests of the rich and powerful, not the interests of ordinary people. Our NHS and social care services, starved of funding, are at breaking point, schoolchildren and parents have been on strike over cuts to education and welfare benefits continue to be cut. At the same time, Teresa May has invited Trump, a racist, misogynist war-monger, on a state visit which will cost the tax-payer at least £10 million pounds. At the beginning of October the Tories will be holding their conference in Manchester and Trump will be here. Join Manchester People’s Assembly Against Austerity for A People’s Question Time. It will be your chance to put questions to our exciting panel of anti-austerity artists and activists. Find out everything you need to know about fighting back against austerity and how to build the demonstrations against the Tory Party conference and Trump’s state visit.

16:45-17:30 BFAWU

Trade Unions and Corbyn’s Labour

Last summer, the general secretary of the BFAWU Ronnie Draper was suspended from the Labour Party following a lifetime of membership. Join him to hear his story.

Peterloo Room

13:20-14:15 Greater Manchester & District CND

Trident: Alternative Production – Jobs Not Bombs

It is argued that the current Trident system and its replacement provide civilian jobs, some of them highly-skilled and well paid, many in deprived areas where alternative employment of the same quality is scarce. While this is true, the extent of this job creation is tiny relative to the sums involved. In effect, they are amongst the most costly jobs in history.

14:45-15:30 Manchester NUT

Can we really manage without SATs? Yes we can!

Ken Jones, Senior NUT Policy Officer on curriculum and assessment will outline some of the aims of the ‘More than a Score’ alliance of parents and educational professionals, and lead a question and answer session: ‘The chorus of unhappy voices is growing stronger by the day. If we want a truly world-class, twenty-first century education for our children, it’s time the government listened properly both to professionals and to parents.’

16:00-17:15 Greater Manchester Unite Community, supported by Unite Community North West Forum

Universal basic Income: Has its time come? Is it the answer?

Many claim that a universal basic income is better than complex social security systems. It is claimed that such a move may be needed because of the way that work is being re designed in the context of zero-hour contracts, self-employment and the so-called ‘gig economy’.

It is also argued that a universal basic income will be needed as a way of dealing with the fourth industrial revolution, advanced digitisation and the increasing use of robots.

Come along and contribute to the debate on what will be an issue that will have a major impact on all every aspect of our lives in the future.

Woods Room

14:00-15:40 I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach’s Palme D’Or and BAFTA winning film

17.30-19.00 The Manchester May Day rally – Mechanics Institute

If you were there last year, you know you mustn’t miss it! This years speakers are:

Ethel Buckley, organiser from SIPTU, the Irish Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union
Lynn Collins – Secretary of the North West TUC, a favourite May Day speaker back for her third year.
Ronnie Draper – General Secretary of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Ruby Kelman who will be talking about the Woodcraft Folk’s involvement in the union movement.
Lisa Turnbull – Unison rep and Durham Teaching Assistant talking about a really inspiring dispute.
Holly Fishman Crook from the ongoing BECTU Ritzy Cinemas campaign
Huda Ammori – University of Manchester Students’ Union

19.30 till late- Mechanics Institute the May Day Festival Music Night

19.30 Tony Harper
20.00 Claire Mooney
21.00 Quiet Loner – Matt Hill
22.00 Honeyfeet Duo – Ríoghnach Connolly & Ellis Davies

You must book here to be sure of a place…

Sunday 30th

13.30 Peace Trail walk around central Manchester. Meet outside Victoria Station and explore the radical political history of Manchester.

18.30 -22.30 Mechanics Institute

An evening of comedy, poetry and fun.

19.00 Kerry Leigh.
19.40 Gerry Potter.
20.00 Annette Fagon.
21.00 Steph Pike…

Debate. Demonstrate. Performance. Solidarity.