Norway’s Labour Day holiday on the 1st of May is normally celebrated with lots of breakfast parties and big parades in cities and towns around the country. They’ve all been forced online for the second year in a row, to hinder the spread of Corona virus infection, but major trade unions and other activists still intended to get their messages across.
“We have a permanent liturgy and we’re maintaining that despite the strict anti-infection rules,” said Ingunn Gjerstad, leader of the Oslo chapter of Norway’s largest trade union federation LO. She told news service FriFagbevegelse that traditional song fests, flag-raisings and wreath-layings at various monuments would be streamed live, while virtual parades would follow.
Slogans and banners this year call for the defeat of the Conservatives-led government coalition in the upcoming national election. They also promote protection of full-time jobs, work for everyone, a new trade deal with the EU, more public funding for those hit hardest by the Corona crisis and a halt to jobs being moved out of Oslo. Calls also continue to go out for programs to reduce social and economic differences among Norwegians.
There were also plans to protest nuclear weapons along with lots of speeches from left-leaning politicians, including the leaders of the Labour, Socialist Left and Reds parties.
Since May 1st falls on a Saturday this year, there’s no extra holiday but most all stores not already closed by Corona will be shuttered for the day, and newspapers are not delivered.