May Day Celebrations

The May Day celebrations on Moscow's Red Square, organized for the first time by official trade-union organizations alone rather than by the CPSU, were perfunctory and joyless. Western agencies reported on May 2 that about 50,000 workers had attended, carrying slogans reflecting the country's dire economic straits. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was present atop the Lenin Mausoleum, together with Supreme Soviet Chairman Anatolit Luk'yanov, but he did not speak. Radio Moscow noted that security was tight. The USSR's democratic opposition boycotted the rally. Marchers included members of the conservative group "Edinstvo," who carried portraits of Stalin and anti-Semitic placards, Radio Rossit reported.