Archived libcom.org web feature for the events of Mayday - 1 May, International Workers Day - 2004.
Since 1999 Mayday in the UK has re-established itself as a focus for anti-capitalists to gather and to celebrate our collective visions and mark our past struggles. This in turn began a dialogue which still continues, into the nature of such manifestations; how we engage with each other as a movement and how we relate such visions to those around us in our ideas and practice.
Reports, photos and comment on Mayday can be found here. Thread on your mayday experiences in our forums.
The next Mayday will fall on a Saturday. This year there is no specific anticapitalist event planned in the UK, the reasons for this will soon be explained in a statement from the Mayday Collective. As Mayday coincides with an EU summit being held in Dublin (Ireland) some people will be travelling there to take part in actions, see below for more info.
Mayday events at the 1in12 Club, click here for info.
Bristolian newspaper is re-launched on Mayday with a party at The Reckless Engineer from 1-5pm with th Scavengers. You can also join a mass paper sale in Broadmead/.Corn Street from 11am and take in the RIOT! show at Queen Square all day - recreation of the 1831 riot(SOUND ONLY!) before ambling down to the Reckless to grab yer Bristolians.
Planning for Mayday events in Cambridge is under way.
We do not have much information on what is happening in Dublin, May 2004, but the links below should help you find out.
Don't forget to check out the Indymedia UK Mayday feature and read Indymedia-UK to keep up to date with all the latest news and annoucements. If you have more info on Mayday events in the UK or Ireland please email us!
Mayday 2003 - 'Weapons Of Mass Construction'
Mayday 2002 | 'The Festival Of Alternatives'
Mayday 2001 - 'Mayday Monoply'
In 2001, Mayday fell on a working day. The theme of the action was Mayday Monopoly and participants were invited to consider the possibilities of the Monopoly board and organise autonomous actions. Read more...
Mayday 2000 - 'Guerrilla Gardening'
Mayday 2000 was a four-day 'Festival of Anti-Capitalist Ideas and Action'. This began on a wet Friday night with a Critical Mass cycle ride in Central London and a revolutionary history walk of the East End. The highlight of the latter was the surreal sight of a group of revolutionaries standing outside the former Match Girls strike factory, which is now Yuppie flats, in the pouring rain surrounded by cops! Over the next two days about 2,000 people attended a well-organised conference with a diverse range of workshops. Read more...
Mayday 1999 - 'Underground'
Several hundred people gather at the Tower of London. In smaller groups they descend underground, on to the Tube. At Liverpool Street station they meet up, on the clockwise bound circle line platform, waiting for a particular train. On board decorations go up, lengths of brightly coloured material decorate the carriages, balloons are released, slogans displayed, games set out, music played, food given away and signs erected declaring the line under joint worker/passenger control. The Tube is transformed from a dull empty alienated space. The Party Line has begun. Read more...
Mayday 1886 - The workers history of Mayday
Mayday originated with the execution of four Chicago Anarchists in 1886. Their crime? Fighting for an eight-hour day. The campaign for the eight-hour day started in 1884 when the Federation of Organised Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada tabled and passed a resolution declaring that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s work from and after May 1, 1886”. Read more...
History - The origins of Mayday
Mayday originated as a pagan festive holy day celebrating the first spring planting. The ancient Celts and Saxons celebrated May 1st as Beltane, which means the day of fire. Bel was the Celtic god of the sun. The Saxons began their Mayday celebrations on the eve of May, April 30. It was an evening of games and feasting celebrating the end of winter and the return of the sun and fertility of the soil. Torch bearing peasants and villagers would wind their way up paths to the top of hills or mountain crags and then ignite wooden wheels, which they would roll down into the fields below. Read more...