Celebrating a veteran socialist’s lifelong commitment – marching to affirm our continuing desire for a socialist revolution!
As is customary in Cork, the evening of May 1 sees trade unionists, workers, socialists of many organizations and cherishers of the Bealtaine traditions march together through the city centre to remember the struggles and sacrifices of the countless millions of working-class people through history and to affirm our continuing commitment to the vision of a better world they bequeathed us. It’s also a time to celebrate and recognise socialist comrades among us who’ve given decades of unwavering commitment to working for positive social change in the world.
This afternoon, the Cork May Day committee honoured the veteran socialist activist and long-time Youghal resident Bob Bickerdicke. In spite of his advanced age and the frailty it brings, Bob come to the city today to receive a lifetime achievement ‘working class hero’ award from the committee and several friends assembled specially for the occasion at Cois Tine in Cork city centre. The reception and presentation was held outdoors to take advantage of the splendid afternoon weather and to spare Bob further unnecessary walking.
Bob was born in Co. Leitrim nearly 90 years ago and his early experiences during ‘the hungry thirties’ and his early working years as a circus entertainer convinced him of the necessity and desirability of a socialist revolution for humankind. He spent a portion of his adult years as an emigrant in Britain where, as a working man and trade unionist he was involved directly in many workplace struggles, and where his lifelong passion for opposition to war, nuclear weapons and imperialism was given focus and space for action. He settled in Youghal in the 1970s and there raised a family and re-connected with socialist activity in Ireland. As a stalwart attendee of anti-war events and marches at Shannon until quite recently, he has been a beacon of inspiration for many activists in Cork city and county, and it was a privilege to share his company and to attest to his continuing burning desire for a better tomorrow for us all. Salud Bob!
This evening’s march started at the now-traditional venue of Lapps Quay, and the several-hundred-strong contingent marched their way through the city centre in the glorious evening sunshine to a hearty welcome from spectating citizens and beeping motorists. Once the marchers reached Daunt Sq. there were speeches from Cllr. Mick Barry of the Socialist Party and Joe Moore of the Cork Anti-Racism Network, and then the music from the decks and PA took over to reclaim the city’s streets for May Day and Bealtaine.
Today’s attack on May Day-celebrating workers in Istanbul today was remembered at tonight’s gathering and our solidarity and thoughts are with our socialist and trade union comrades in Turkey, even as we celebrate tonight in the south of Ireland. Solidarity to all working class people everywhere today, and happy May Day!
Bob’s personal message will hopefully be added tomorrow.
Link to indymedia.ie article on Turkish cops' attack on Istanbul May Day march: