Mayday 2000 - Guerrilla Gardening

Submitted by Steven. on October 13, 2005

Information about the Mayday demonstrations in London in 2000.

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. Many were from differing backgrounds and political traditions and there was an exciting exchange of ideas.

On Mayday itself, which fell on a bank holiday, Parliament Square was transformed by Guerrilla Gardening. "Resistance is fertile" was the declaration and the banner tied across the treasury building in Parliament Square read "the earth is a common treasury for all". The enduring image was of the statue of mass murderer Churchill dressed in a green turf mohican and the desecration of the cenotaph. Mayday was followed by the official visit of Putin, who had overseen the death of 20,000 Chechnyans as Russia bombed Chechnya back into the Dark Ages, but damaged statues are of much more concern to the ruling class. As RTS said afterwards: "we do not necessarily celebrate the generals and the ruling class that send these people to their deaths in order to protect the privileges and control of the few. The abhorrence of sending millions of men to their deaths in the trenches dwarfs the stupidity of any possible slogan on any possible piece of stone".

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