- Thousands of roses and carnations distributed on the main Liverpool Street Station concourse
- Tags read: “This flower is a May Day gift from Occupy London. Please put it in water and enjoy it. There is something better out there.”
- Just the start of a full day of May Day activities which continue at Paternoster Square at 11.30am.
Spring is here. The first of May has traditionally been a day in which workers express their solidarity and celebrate what they have gained through collective action. This year, May Day will be marked on a grand scale by the global Occupy movement as it rises into its second phase.
Almost a year ago, the indignados took possession of Spain’s great public squares; an act of defiant optimism in the face of pervasive hopelessness and profound cynicism about the capacity of established institutions to provide for a future worth living in. This morning, supporters of Occupy London brought that unreasonable hope into a rainy London Tuesday, flooding Liverpool Street Station with thousands of flowers bearing the message “There is something better out there.”
Derived from a variety of sources and making good out of what would have otherwise been wasted, Occupy’s flowers weren’t limited to red roses.
Jane Bradley, who was giving out flowers at Liverpool Street, said:
“People were matching the flowers to their outfits. Others were coming up to us and asking for them. Even the policemen ended up putting them in their lapels. It’s crazy how something so simple can have such an enormous impact. It was really moving.
“The way people reacted was really interesting. So many people thought we were trying to sell them something, but when they realised that we weren’t, their reaction changed dramatically.”
The distribution of flowers at Liverpool Street is just the first act of a day that will see supporters of Occupy London demonstrating their solidarity with trade unionists and campaigners against workfare.
Laura Taylor, a supporter of Occupy London, added:
“The flowers we gave to people this morning will be taken into offices all over the city. We hope they will brighten up people’s day, but also provide some food for thought. May Day is a day for everyone who works, whether that be in the public or private sector, in an office or at home, unionised or not. Together, we can make this May the start of something really special. Everyone is invited.”