While these signs and slogans may have ended up in the Norra Bantorget dumpster after the march, the Soc Dems nonetheless delivered another impressive Första-maj event in Stockholm. The sun was shining, red balloons were everywhere, and both the mood (and poll numbers) were optimistic.
But Stockholm Yankee knows that only Americans can hold a proper parade. And as an experienced Första-maj marcher, I can tell you what’s missing from the whole concept:
1. Floats. Beyond the band, is there anything interesting to watch in the actual march? Don’t the folks who bothered to come out and wave roses along Kungsgatan deserve to see some creative costumes/vehicles/decorations? A float can help drive home the point of message in a memorable and fun way.
2. Good chants. How many times can a person sing Internationelen? What is the Swedish equivalent of Obama’s Fired Up and Ready to Go? How can we rally everyone—both marchers and parade watchers– around a common theme?
3. Is this a protest….or not? Is there one uniting thing we want to change in this “demonstration”? What do we want those on the sidelines to go out and know, feel, and do? Those marching around me seemed to all come with their own agenda, any many seemed to be marching mostly for the sake of nostalgia.
May 1st is the Soc Dems day, and their best platform to reach both the media and the general public with their message.
So come on, let’s infuse some Obama-style rallying in next year’s Första Maj!