5 MAY 1894, Page 1


THE First of May has been a failure this year as a Labour festival. In the different capitals the crowds gathered have been unusually small, and in none of them have the Governments been compelled to resort to force. In Paris the troops were con- fined to barracks, but the precaution was not needed. In Berlin the meetings were all peaceful; in Vienna the people enjoyed the holiday ; in Rome and Madrid there was unusual quiet ; and in London the only incident was a rather absurd check for the Anarchists. They endeavoured to hold a meeting in Hyde Park, but the workmen would not have it ; and the leaders, hustled and beaten, in one case severely, were com- pelled to accept the protection of those organised slaves of the bourgeoisie, the police. The Socialists are clearly not pre- pared for action anywhere, the only demand which appears to be cosmopolitan is for the eight-hours day, and there is evidence that the conduct of the Anarchists has severely injured the Labour movement. The masses display an active dislike to the bomb-throwers, who in London and Berlin are inclined to class decent artisans among the bourgeoisie. That is in a way creditable to their sincerity, but ensures their speedy extinction. The single danger was that the true populace might secretly condone their crimes. They pelt the -criminals instead.