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Monday, May 5, 2008


Two Parades in Three Days

May Day is celebrated as a labor day in Italy.
In the States we try not to remember the events of the Haymarket Riots (you can look it up on Wikipedia), but here in Italy May 1st is commemorated with parades. Since we live right next to one of the main parade routes in Rome, Via Cavour, I was able to see this one which seems to have been sponsored by the UGL, the Unione Generale del Lavoro - something like the AFL/CIO. Many groups paraded representing different kinds of work and different cities and regions in Italy. Things seem to be somewhat depressed here for labor, too few jobs, low salaries, inequity for women, difficulty coping with immigration... What kind of future does this little guy have?

I think these guys, who were actually at the May Day parade, might have been scoping out the route for the Million Marijuana March which happened two days later.

We were sitting peacefully in the garden with the sun shining, when police helicopters and loud music sent me running out with my camera once again.
This time the parade looked very different with thousands of under-30s (and a few well-over-30's) making their way down Via Cavour dancing, drinking beer, clowning around (some literally!)

and generally having a good time.

This group were just hanging out and let me take a few shots.

This was the Million Marijuana March, Roma MMM 2008. Not much weed that we could smell, though, mostly beer. People in both parades seemed fine with being photographed - some even welcomed it, though some not.

I especially like this shot
of these two girls who were taking a break before the serious partying started down the hill near the Forum.

The parade ends.

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