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Mayday - its anarchist origins and meaning today

category international | anarchist movement | feature author Sunday May 01, 2005 18:26author by Andrew - Anarkismo Report this post to the editors

A history of the anarchist origins of Mayday in the struggle of workers for the 8 hour day in Chicago in 1886. Add reports of your local Mayday events to this article or add your own thoughts on Mayday.

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In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by "hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge". The state had, in the words of the prosecution put "Anarchy .. on trial" and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea.

The anarchists were trade union organisers and May Day became an international workers day to remember their sacrifice. They were framed on false charges of throwing a bomb at police breaking up a demonstration in Chicago. This was part of a strike demanding an 8 hour day involving 400,000 workers in Chicago that started May 1st 1886 .

The anarchist idea did not die in Chicago in 1887. Today it inspires a new wave of struggle against global capitalism. Join in this struggle. In 1887 four Chicago anarchists were executed. A fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by "hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge". The state had, in the words of the prosecution put "Anarchy .. on trial" and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea.

began over a century ago when the American Federation of Labour adopted an historic resolution which asserted that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labour from and after May 1st, 1886".

In the months prior to this date workers in there thousands were drawn into the struggle for the shorter day. Skilled and unskilled, black and white, men and women, native and immigrant were all becoming involved.

Chicago

In Chicago alone 400,000 were out on strike. A newspaper of that city reported that "no smoke curled up from the tall chimneys of the factories and mills, and things had assumed a Sabbath-like appearance". This was the main centre of the agitation, and here the anarchists were in the forefront of the labour movement. It was to no small extent due to their activities that Chicago became an outstanding trade union centre and made the biggest contribution to the eight-hour movement.

When on May 1st 1886, the eight hour strikes convulsed that city, one half of the workforce at the McCormick Harvester Co. came out. Two days later a mass meeting was held by 6,000 members of the 'lumber shovers' union who had also come out. The meeting was held only a block from the McCormick plant and was joined by some 500 of the strikers from there.

The workers listened to a speech by the anarchist August Spies, who has been asked to address the meeting by the Central Labour Union. While Spies was speaking, urging the workers to stand together and not give in to the bosses, the strikebreakers were beginning to leave the nearby McCormick plant.

The strikers, aided by the 'lumber shovers' marched down the street and forced the scabs back into the factory. Suddenly a force of 200 police arrived and, without any warning, attacked the crowd with clubs and revolvers. They killed at least one striker, seriously wounded five or six others and injured an indeterminate number.

Outraged by the brutal assaults he had witnessed, Spies went to the office of the Arbeiter-Zeitung (a daily anarchist newspaper for German immigrant workers) and composed a circular calling on the workers of Chicago to attend a protest meeting the following night.

The protest meeting took place in the Haymarket Square and was addressed by Spies and two other anarchists active in the trade union movement, Albert Parsons and Samuel Fielden.

The police attack

Throughout the speeches the crowd was orderly. Mayor Carter Harrison, who was present from the beginning of the meeting, concluded that "nothing looked likely to happen to require police interference". He advised police captain John Bonfield of this and suggested that the large force of police reservists waiting at the station house be sent home.

It was close to ten in the evening when Fielden was closing the meeting. It was raining heavily and only about 200 people remained in the square. Suddenly a police column of 180 men, headed by Bonfield, moved in and ordered the people to disperse immediately. Fielden protested "we are peaceable".

Bomb

At this moment a bomb was thrown into the ranks of the police. It killed one, fatally wounded six more and injured about seventy others. The police opened fire on the spectators. How many were wounded or killed by the police bullets was never exactly ascertained.

A reign of terror swept over Chicago. The press and the pulpit called for revenge, insisting the bomb was the work of socialists and anarchists. Meeting halls, union offices, printing works and private homes were raided. All known socialists and anarchists were rounded up. Even many individuals ignorant of the meaning of socialism and anarchism were arrested and tortured. "Make the raids first and look up the law afterwards" was the public statement of Julius Grinnell, the state's attorney.

Trial

Eventually eight men stood trial for being "accessories to murder". They were Spies, Fielden, Parsons, and five other anarchists who were influential in the labour movement, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Michael Schwab, Louis Lingg and Oscar Neebe.

The trial opened on June 21st 1886 in the criminal court of Cooke County. The candidates for the jury were not chosen in the usual manner of drawing names from a box. In this case a special bailiff, nominated by state's attorney Grinnell, was appointed by the court to select the candidates. The defence was not allowed to present evidence that the special bailiff had publicly claimed "I am managing this case and I know what I am about. These fellows are going to be hanged as certain as death".

Rigged jury

The eventual composition of the jury was farcical; being made up of businessmen, their clerks and a relative of one of the dead policemen. No proof was offered by the state that any of the eight men before the court had thrown the bomb, had been connected with its throwing, or had even approved of such acts. In fact, only three of the eight had been in Haymarket Square that evening.

No evidence was offered that any of the speakers had incited violence, indeed in his evidence at the trial Mayor Harrison described the speeches as "tame". No proof was offered that any violence had been contemplated. In fact, Parsons had brought his two small children to the meeting.

Sentenced

That the eight were on trial for their anarchist beliefs and trade union activities was made clear from the outset. The trial closed as it had opened, as was witnessed by the final words of Attorney Grinnell's summation speech to the jury. "Law is on trial. Anarchy is on trial. These men have been selected, picked out by the Grand Jury, and indicted because they were leaders. There are no more guilty than the thousands who follow them. Gentlemen of the jury; convict these men, make examples of them, hang them and you save our institutions, our society."

On August 19th seven of the defendants were sentenced to death, and Neebe to 15 years in prison. After a massive international campaign for their release, the state 'compromised' and commuted the sentences of Schwab and Fielden to life imprisonment. Lingg cheated the hangman by committing suicide in his cell the day before the executions. On November 11th 1887 Parsons, Engel, Spies and Fischer were hanged.

Pardoned

600,000 working people turned out for their funeral. The campaign to free Neebe, Schwab and Fielden continued.

On June 26th 1893 Governor Altgeld set them free. He made it clear he was not granting the pardon because he thought the men had suffered enough, but because they were innocent of the crime for which they had been tried. They and the hanged men had ben the victims of "hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge".

The authorities has believed at the time of the trial that such persecution would break the back of the eight-hour movement. Indeed, evidence later came to light that the bomb may have been thrown by a police agent working for Captain Bonfield, as part of a conspiracy involving certain steel bosses to discredit the labour movement.

When Spies addressed the court after he had been sentenced to die, he was confident that this conspiracy would not succeed. "If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labour movement... the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil in misery and want, expect salvation - if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you - and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out".

Revolutionary politics

Over a century after that first May Day demonstration in Chicago, where are we? We stroll though town with our union banners - about the only day of the year we can get them out of head office. Then we stand around listening to boring (and usually pretty meaningless) speeches by equally boring union bureaucrats. You have to keep reminding yourself that May Day was once a day when workers all over the world displayed their strength, proclaimed their ideals and celebrated their successes.

It is important that "once upon a time" it was like that. We can do it again. We need independent working class politics. No collaboration with government and bosses. Real solidarity with fellow workers in struggle, not a blinkered sectional outlook. We still need a further reduction in working hours, without loss of pay, to make work for the unemployed.

We need revolutionary politics. That means politics that can lead us towards a genuine socialism where freedom knows no limit other than not interfering with the freedom of others. A socialism that is based on real democracy - not the present charade where we can choose some of our rulers, but may not choose to do without rulers. A real democracy where everyone effected by a decision will have the opportunity to have their say in making that decision. A democracy of efficiently co-ordinated workplace and community councils. A society where production is to satisfy needs, not to make profits for a privileged few. Anarchism.

  • The complete trial speeches of the Haymarket martyrs
  • Excerpts from the trial speech of August Spies
  • Review of "Hurrah for anarchy!" - Anarchism: Its Philosophy and Scientific Basis by Albert R. Parsons
  • Histories of May Day]

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    The Chicago martyrs: Parsons, Engel, Spies and Fischer were hanged, Lingg (centre) killed himself in prison
    The Chicago martyrs: Parsons, Engel, Spies and Fischer were hanged, Lingg (centre) killed himself in prison

    Anarchist militia from the Spanish revolution
    Anarchist militia from the Spanish revolution

    The memorial to the Haymarket anarchists - Liberty prepares to draw her sword
    The memorial to the Haymarket anarchists - Liberty prepares to draw her sword

    All eight of the anarchist put on trial
    All eight of the anarchist put on trial

  • author by Jesspublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 18:36Report this post to the editors

    There is a PDF leaflet of this text online at http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/leaf/pdf_mayday.html

    mayday_leaf.jpg

    author by Shadow Boxer - NEFACpublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 19:05Report this post to the editors

    MAY DAY 2005: BOSTON CONVERGENCE AGAINST CAPITALISM

    Sunday, May 1.

    No Bosses, No Borders:
    Into the Streets for Freedom for Immigrants & All Working People!

    On International Workers Day, we call for people of Boston and greater New
    England to take to the streets in opposition to capitalism. Capitalism is
    the enemy of the worker, the enemy of the immigrant, the enemy of all
    freedom loving people. We reject its wars, its governments, its
    immigration laws, and its exploitation and degradation of life.

    We stand for a world free of bosses and borders. One day we will abolish
    them and seize control of our own lives, workplaces, and communities. In
    the meantime, this May Day, we will take back the streets of this city and
    stand in solidarity with the struggles of immigrant workers. We will make
    anti-capitalist resistance visible again. We will give new life to the new
    world that's in our own hearts and the hearts of working people
    everywhere.

    12:30 - Converge at Boston Common at Park & Tremont St
    1:00 - Anti-Capitalist March through Downtown Boston
    2:00 - Immigrant Rights Rally at Copley Place
    5:00 - Benefit for ABC No Rio at 45 Mount Auburn St
    11:00 - Reclaim the Streets in Harvard Square

    Bring friends and lovers and fellow workers. Bring pots and pans, drums
    and instruments, songs and banners and flags. Bring creativity and
    defiance.

    History of Struggle

    May Day was born in the struggles of workers here in America in 1886, when
    general strikes broke out across the land and were met with bloody
    repression - including the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, followed by the
    frameup and death sentences of anarchist labor organizers Parsons, Spies,
    Fischer, Engel, Lingg, Fielden, Schwab and Neebe.

    Every year since, workers all over the world have marked May Day with mass
    mobilizations, work stoppages, and other direct actions. In the place
    where it all began, the forces of reaction have done all they can to make
    us forget. Yet we remember with our feet: We remember in the streets.

    Boston and eastern Massachusetts has been a historic center of working
    class resistance to tyranny and exploitation, from the Boston Tea Party to
    the Bread & Roses Strike to community struggles against segregation,
    gentrification and corporate invasion.

    Join us in the streets of Boston as the Spirit of '76 and '86 rises again!

    Called by BAAM Boston. With solidarity & support from ACUB, Animal Defense
    League, Black Radical Congress, La Rivolta, Mass Direct Action, Starbucks
    Workers Union, Worcester Global Action Network, Workers Solidarity
    Alliance, and others that do not wish to be named here.

    author by ? - OSLpublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 23:29Report this post to the editors

    1st May 2005 - LONG LIVE THE STRUGGLE OF THE WORKERS ALL OVER THE WORLD!
    * Wages in line with the cost of the average food basket.
    * Reduction of working hours and production speeds, against exploitation and unemployment.
    * Pensions at 82% of active salary.
    * No to "illegal" labour: stability and transparency of employment.
    * Workers' control over safety and hygiene in the workplace.
    * Re-nationalisation of all privatised companies and all natural resources
    under the control of the workers and users.
    * Coordination of the struggles, for a fighting, anti-bureaucratic workers'
    movement. Down with the bureaucracy!
    * No to payment of the Foreign Debt and the government's Economic Plan
    in concert with imperialism.
    * Imperialist troops out of Iraq, Argentinian troops out of Haiti.

    THE WORKERS IN STRUGGLE HAVE SPOKEN!

    Plaza Lorea at 1.30pm
    Sáenz Peña and Avenida de Mayo (Congreso)

    and afterwards at the Plaza de Mayo

    We invite the delegates and activists in the following sectors: the
    underground, telephones, civil service, hospitals, railways, refrigeration,
    coal, car manufacturing, universities, airports, local transport, metalworkers,
    etc... and all unemployed workers.

    May Day, the International Workers' Day, commemorates the murder of a group of
    anarchist union leaders who were struggling for the 8-hour working day and who
    were killed in Chicago in 1898.

    This May Day, we are inviting those workers who have struggled so hard in the
    underground, the hospitals (such as Garrahan Hospital), the state institutions,
    the schools, the air industry, refrigeration workers, telephone workers and
    others to march with us to Plaza de Mayo.

    There, we will meet up with our comrades who have shown us the best way to
    fight the bosses and the Kirchner government's economic plan which maintains
    the country's dependence on the imperialist powers and the international
    organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, the objective of which is to
    ensure a high level of exploitation with the lowest possible wages.

    There, we will meet up with our comrades who are building a new workers'
    movement with the aim of overthrowing the corrupt and treacherous union
    bureaucracies.

    We will be in Plaza Lorea (Avenida de Mayo and Saenz Peña) at 1.30pm, where
    there will be some speeches by our comrades in struggle, before setting off on
    the march to the Plaza de Mayo where an agreed statement will be read.



    ORGANIZACION SOCIALISTA LIBERTARIA argentina
    EN LA CALLE - the journal of organized anarchism
    oslargentina@yahoo.com.ar
    Buenos Aires: libertaria@infovia.com.ar
    Parana: orgalibertaria@hotmail.com

    Translation by FdCA International Relations

    author by Hankpublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 23:31Report this post to the editors

    What: May Day March and Rally in Solidarity with Local Labor
    Struggles and Immigrant Workers.
    When/Where: Sunday May 1st.
    3PM - March from Jefferson Square Park (Gough/Turk 10 minute walk from Civic Center BART)
    5PM - Rally at Dolores Park (18th/Dolores)
    7PM - Midnitght- Town-Hall meeting, food, music, film screening, at
    CellSpace (2050 Bryant near 18th St.)
    9PM - Live Music Performance by Entartete Kunst at CellSpace.
    Who: Anarchist Action, Bay Area Anarchist Council, Industrial Workers of the
    World-Bay Area Chapter.

    May Day is International Workers Day. It was born out of the struggles of
    workers here in America in 1886, when general strikes broke out across the
    land and were met with bloody repression - including the Haymarket
    Massacre in Chicago, followed by the frame-up and state-sanctioned
    executions of several anarchist labor organizers.

    Since then, it has been observed worldwide as International Workers Day.
    This year once again, all over the globe, working people will take to the
    streets to celebrate their struggle for workers' rights and opposition to
    the capitalist?s wars.

    We stand for a world free of bosses and borders. We are fighting and
    struggling so that one-day we will abolish them and take back control of
    our own lives, workplaces, and communities. This May Day, we will take
    back the streets of this city and stand in solidarity with the struggles
    of immigrant workers.

    We will gather on Sunday May 1st at 3 PM at Jefferson Square Park
    (Gough/Turk) and march to Dolores Park in San Francisco?s Mission
    district. There we will hold a rally including speakers from recent and
    ongoing local labor and immigrant workers struggles with a report-back
    from the recent delegation, which went to Arizona protesting the racist
    vigilantes Minuteman Project. The march and rally will be followed by
    food, music, and a free movie screening at 7PM at Cellspace (2050 Bryant
    St). We will also hold a brief town-hall style meeting at Cellspace where
    we will discuss plans for fighting back against the proposed cuts and fare
    hike of San Francisco?s public transportation system.
    Following the film screening there will be a live musical performance by
    Entartete Kunst (a class-conscious, worker-owned hip-hop and electronic
    music collective).

    In Solidarity,

    Anarchist Action
    www.anarchistaction.org
    anarchistaction@riseup.net

    Bay Area Anarchist Council
    baac@riseup.net

    Industrial Workers of the World- Bay Area Branch
    bayarea@iww.org

    author by Andrew - WSMpublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 23:32Report this post to the editors

    Mayday events in Dublin
    May Day Demonstration - Solidarity with Migrant Workers
    This years May Day trade union demonstration will take place on Saturday April 30th meeting at 2.30 at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square. The demo will march to Liberty Hall and is on the theme of solidarity with migrant workers. The march has been called by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions
    http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69176

    Join The Get Up Stand Up Bloc And Help Organise The Unorganised
    This Mayday weekend, the Get Up Stand Up Campaign will be organizing a block on the Trades Council March In Dublin. After the march we will be returning to the roots of Mayday and parading through the city to distribute leaflets on basic workers' rights to people working in casualised labour. Join us in building the labour movement.
    http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69495

    Anarchist 1st of May picnic in Phoenix Park
    This Mayday let us go back to the park and have ourselves a picnic free of all the state imposed hassle and madness of last year. This will be (at least) the fourth anarchist picnic held in the park. Meet up at the Wellington Monument at 1pm
    http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69488

    Reclaim The Streets
    On Monday, May 2nd, starting from the Spike on O'Connell Street at 1.30pm, Reclaim The Streets and Dissent! Ireland, along with Critical Mass will be holding a free street party to help highlight the effects that the G8 leaders have on the world, and to help people mobolise to take action and travel to this years G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland on July 6th.
    http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69141

    author by Anotherpublication date Fri Apr 29, 2005 23:33Report this post to the editors

    SATURDAY APRIL 3OTH, 12:00 PROTEST AGAINST POVERTY AND PRECARITY NELSON MANDELA PARC, MÉTRO PLAMONDON
    SUNDAY MAY 1ST, 12:00 ANARCHIST CONTINGENT IN THE LABOUR MARCH
    MCGILL COLLEGE AND SHERBROOKE (look for the red and black flags)
    *April 30th*
    Part of the Mayday 2005 mobilizations, we invite you to a protest and a community
    gathering in Côte-des-Neiges on April 30th. The themes of the protest will be :
    *Against Poverty and Precarity
    *For the Rights of Immigrants and Refugees
    *For Economic and Social Equality

    This year, like the previous 5 years, CLAC will be organizing activities
    around Mayday. This year we invite you to a protest that will end in a
    community gathering in Côte-des-Neiges where the Mayworks! festival of
    working class culture and struggle will be held. We propose a festive
    march with music through the residential streets of the neighborhood. We
    are meeting at 12:00 at Parc Nelson Mandela (métro Plamondon), the march
    will begin at 1pm.

    A few stops will be made to visit local crooks and exploiters...Finally,
    the march will end at Kent Parc where the Mayworks activities will be
    held. There will be activities for all : art exhibits, theatre, music and
    food.

    This community gathering in Côte-des-Neiges is an occasion to make links
    between different communities of working people of all origins. We want to
    link the exploitation of immigrant workers, who by their precarious
    condition within the immigration system, are more vulnerable to abuse and
    economic blackmail at work, to the condition of "Canadian" workers, wich
    isn't much better. Whatever our origins, we are all facing the same
    problem : the boss class and the capitalist sharks who exploit us and
    profit from our work. These parasites are afraid of only one thing : a
    united population that will make them pay for hundreds of years of theft.
    They have consistently tried to divide us, by fabricating an ideology of
    racism and by creating privilieged groups in society.

    *May 1st*

    We would also like to invite you to join the Anarchist Contingent in the
    labour march on May 1st, wich will gather at the corner of McGill College
    and Sherbrooke at 12:00. Like every year, Mayday is International Workers
    Day, uniting workers of all origins.

    Mayday is celebrated across the world, it is a time to commemorate our
    struggles and our past and present resistance to the boss class and other
    social abusers. This class of parasites lives off of our backs, benefiting
    from the wealth we create from our work and forcing us to live in poverty
    and misery so we have no choice to continue producing for them. Wage
    slaves! We are. Docile? We are not!

    This has to stop! Unite against the same enemy!

    ====
    An initiative of the Anti-Capitalist Convergence (CLAC)
    clac.taktic.org, clac@taktic.org, (514)409-2049

    Part of the Mayworks! Festival of Working Class Culture and Struggle
    www.mayworksmontreal.org, (514)342-2111

    author by Oliver - Capital Terminus (secretary)publication date Sat Apr 30, 2005 02:43Report this post to the editors

    Celebrate International Worker's Day!

    12:00 Woodruff Park

    Since 1887 May 1st has been celebrated around the world as a day of
    mass resistance to capitalist domination of our lives, planet, and
    destinies. Mayday is a day to remember those who have been murdered
    while fighting for freedom from the ruling class - it was
    spontaneously celebrated after the judicial murder of the Haymarket
    Martyrs, and has been a day of struggle worldwide ever since. By
    coincidence, just a little over one century later, one of the greatest
    proletarian uprisings in the United States was taking place - the L.A.
    Rebellion.

    This Mayday, come celebrate with the Capital Terminus Collective!

    The beginning of our festivities will be a potluck picnic in Woodruff
    Park - bring your favorite goody (vegan or non-vegan). Later in the
    day we will be displaying resistance to Coca-Cola for their complicit
    role in the ongoing murder of Colombian unionists (and the war in
    Columbia in general), Starbuck's (for union-busting tactics in New
    York), and Starwood hotels (for union-busting practices across the
    United States).

    Contact: capitalterminus@gmail.com

    author by x356012 - IWWpublication date Sat Apr 30, 2005 07:02author email x356012 at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors

    This May Day, anarchists in NJ will have a pot-luck picnic in Feaster Park @ 1 pm, followed by a march downtown to join the Streets 2K5 festival. There will be food, music, soccer and discussion on latin american solidarity. This is the third annual May Day picnic for our growing anarchist community in New Brunswick, NJ.

    Autonomia, Realidad, Solidaridad.

    Sponsors:

    Industrial Workers of the World - Central NJ
    (IWW - CNJ General Membership Branch)

    NJ - APOC
    (Anarchist People Of Color)

    NJ - ARA & North Jersey ARA
    (Anti-Racist Action)

    author by Mitch Miller - Workers Solidarity Alliancepublication date Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:04author email wsany at hotmail dot comauthor address 339 Lafayette Street #202, NY NY 10012Report this post to the editors

    Workers Solidarity Alliance May Day Greetings
    The Workers Solidarity Alliance sends all our May Day greetings to all.

    Let the anarchist tradition of the Haymarket Matyrs once again be known and an anarchist inspired revolutionary workers movement be built.

    In the spirit of the Haymarket Martyrs,the W.S.A.continues the tradition of workers solidarity in the struggle for a better world today and a future self-managed world.

    No War But Class War!

    Yours in solidarity and internationalism,

    W.S.A.

    339 Lafayette Street-Room 202
    New York, NY 10012
    tel. (212) 979-8353
    wsany@hotmail.com
    www.workersolidarity.org

    Related Link: http://www.workersolidarity.org
    author by billpublication date Sun May 01, 2005 00:26author email billz1936 at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

    Its been discovered with a fair amount of certanty that the bomb only killed one policeman from a leg injury. the rest of the policmen were killed by their own bullets and not the bomb. For a detailed history of the event see "the haymarket tragedy" by paul avrich.

    author by ?publication date Wed May 04, 2005 00:14Report this post to the editors

    The various libertarian and anti-authoritarian groups met up at 2.00pm in Praça de Alvalade, located half-way along the route of the big CGTP demonstration. The groups distributed propaganda material, sold or handed out their newspapers and waved their red'n'black or black flags, as well as a huge banner with the slogan "Peace among people, war on capital". There was some socializing with the immigrants' associations that were near the libertarian group. For most of the latter half of the big march, the libertarians were organized in a block, and they paraded along while screaming their slogans. A few metres behind, a sound system on one of the CGTP's trucks tried to drown out the voices of the libertarians with the slogan "C-G-T-P, syndical unity". At one point, the libertarians began to answer back with: "social revolution". They also shouted: "here's only one revolutionary syndicalism - the revolutionary one and no other" and "There's only one communism - libertarian communism". People in the march stopped to lookd at us with curiosity but without hostility. There were some positive aspects - the distribution of libertarian propaganda, for example, or the flying of anarchist flags - but it was a demonstration for the most part controlled by the reformist and authoritarian union tendency.

    translation by ainfos

    author by via ainfospublication date Wed May 04, 2005 22:04Report this post to the editors

    This May 1st, 45,000 people marched in the streets of Santiago in memory of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago. During the march, there were diverse political movements including anarchists. The march ended in the Plaza Los Héroes. After the march, many members of the antiauthoritarian movement met in a local park for a festival and community event. There many collectives present including an anarchist university, anarchist publications, and anti-military recruitment organizations. The event also included entertainment and music from the local community. The overall spirit was positive for the struggle and formation of a new world. At one particularly tense moment, police arrived at the event with armored cars and riot gear. After some time, the majority of the police left, and those who remained were witnesses of the struggle for a more just world.

    author by Zaczek - via ainfospublication date Mon May 09, 2005 22:41Report this post to the editors

    Events included: History of events in 1905 revolution, with special attention to events around Lodz, discussions about capitalism in the XXI century, films about Walbrzych miners (the so-called "poor-man's shafts"), and about the Zanon factory in Argentina. Marathon along the places related to workers protests in Lodz. The events were organized by FA-Lodz and OZZ IP Lodz. Mayday events in Czestochowa: The mayday demonstration started at 12. Despite some presence by local nazis and lots of police, about 60-100 anarchists from different cities gathered in Czestochowa (notably from Silesian anarchist groups). They marched to the center of town shouting antimilitarist, antigovernmental and antifascist slogans and threw some firecrackers.

    Pictures here: http://pl.indymedia.org/pl/2005/05/13483.shtml

    author by ?publication date Mon May 23, 2005 23:49Report this post to the editors

    In Sosnoviy Bor of Leningrad Region, local anarchists joined a red demonstration and meeting. Anarchists raised a red and black flag, and distributed leaflets and Situatsiya-tabloid. During a speech of a local leader of Rodina (Motherland)-party anarchists went shouting "fascist!" with some other internationalists, cops were not very happy for this. But eventually nobody got arrested anyway. In Penza some 20 anarchists joined red demonstration. Anarchists had one banner but no flags. Altogether it was some 300-400 people in demonstration. Anarchists shouted "Today with leaflets, tomorrow with rifles!", "Fascism won't trespass!", "Nashism won't trespass!" ("Nashi" is name of new pro-Putin storm trooper organization funded by Kremlin, which has organized violent attacks against some oppositional youth organizations), "Liberty or death!" and "Revolution!".

    In Kazan, 4 members of Alliance of Kazan Anarchists visited both meeting of official trade-unions and red meeting. A special issue of "Kazan anarchist" was distributed, as well as leaflets "How not to get infected with fascism" and against government plans to curb deferment and exemption from military service.

    In Irkutsk, some 50 anarchists joined red meeting at Sport Palace. Leaflets were distributed and speeches were made by anarchists. Local bolshevists did not let anarchists to microphone. After demonstration, anarchists went to grave of Nestor Kalandarishivili, a legendary partisan and anarchist of the civil war era, where both Chicago and Siberian anarchists of the past were commemorated.

    In Nizhni Novgorod, anarchist press was distributed in a red meeting in Minin square. Altogether there were some 300 people in the meeting.

    In Krasnodar, anti-authoritarians ("unaligned" anarchists and communists, Autonomous Action, left-communist Voskhod-group and Federation of Anarcho-Communists) had a common demonstration of some 30 people. Participators carried banners "There will always be a revolution", "Trash nationalism", "Down with the power of corporations", "Down with the police state" and a red and black flag. Demonstrators scanned "Fascism won't trespass!", "Our enemy is not in Chechnya, our enemy is in Kremlin!", "Freedom! Anarchy! Communism!", and singed International and Varshavyanka. There were no arrests.

    In Omsk, local section of Siberian Confederation of Labour SKT joined mayday demonstration of trade unions. Red demonstration was to take place later on. SKT had 9 red and black flags, and one flag of its member organization air dispatchers' union. Motherland-party joined meeting as well, ruling party "United Russia" was officially not part of the meeting. SKT members distributed its paper Syndicalist, as well as brochure of local anarchists Antifa-action. After meeting, syndicalists had a movie screening of Bread and Roses by Ken Loach.

    In Petrozhavodsk, meeting of the opposition gathered up to 2000 people. Anarchists and members of "Anti-fascist initiative" were 10 people, with 2 black flags and banners "Irak - Palestine - Chechnya! Fraternity - Freedom - Spring!" and "No peace with slavery, no agreement with war". Unknown people dropped banner from building next to the square with text "Fuck the power, war and misery".

    In Novosibirsk creative youth organized already a second "Monstration", with up to 200 participants. They had banners "Shame on you, Vasya", "Wash yourselves", "I won't be Tsoi anymore", "It is not eggs who paint people, but people who paint eggs", "Magnet-girl lived in metro 8 years!" and others. One participator of the monstration had a placate with a photograph of vice-chief of local

    police, lieutenant Yuri Pimenov, with a jerky expression with his face, and with text "Everybody is free!". He, together with a friend chained to him, were taken to police station where they spent 4 hours. They were accused of organization of illegal meeting. Rest of the monstration headed to general oppositional meeting, which gathered some 3000 people.

    In Voronezh, official trade unions and reds marched together from Victory square to Lenin square. Anarchists blocked together with human rights activists. Press and leaflets were distributed. Statue of Lenin was decorated with banner "We destroy vertical of power", but it stayed on place only 2 minutes. After demonstration a group of boneheads assaulted young leftists.

    In Murmansk, red meeting gathered up to 3000 people. Anarchists were 30, and they scanned revolutionary and anti-fascist slogans. Nothing special happened.

    In Naberezhnye Chelny of Tatarstan, anarchists attempted to legalize a picket with little success. Already half an hour in prior to announced beginning, already 40 cops gathered in the meeting point. Person who filled announcement for the picket was immediately arrested, and taken to local police station with some other activists. Juveniles were let go after a couple of hours. One person was accused of "illegal picketing" and "distributing unregistered media". Court only gave a caution to organizer, who had to spend whole evening, night and morning in the police station.

    In St. Petersburg, anarchist gathered 10 AM in convergence point of general oppositional march called by "Committee of Common Action" KED, umbrella organization which mostly consists of authoritarians. Anarchist bloc was agreed with KED, but when around 50 anarchists moved from gathering point towards Nevskiy Prospekt, they were surrounded by OMON in a full riot gear and pushed brutally to sidewalk. Around 30 people were surrounded by OMON, another 50 were outside encirclement, supporting those encircled. People shouted "Shame on you!", "Down with the police state!", "Freedom", "Let us to Nevskiy!". Anarchists were held for a long time, all other blocs moved far in Nevskiy and even cleaning machines following them were moving on. But surprisingly OMON gave up the encirclement, and anarchists were let to catch the others - at this point anarchist block numbered 150 people.

    People shouted "No to fascism!", "Main enemy is in our own country, main enemy sits in Kremlin!", "Antifa!", "Freedom to people, death to empires!" and others. Bloc had banners "Lust of freedom is stronger than any prison", "Peace to people, war to power", "Take the streets, reclaim the city" and others. Black bloc caught the queue. But eventually those in the back of the demonstration (anarchists and other "more radical" youthful groups) were not let to the Palace Square in front of the Winter Palace.

    People from this group were only let to the square without flags and banners. Some fulfilled these orders, but some 50 people stayed in the new encirclement during around one hour. This time, official meeting in the square was finished and main crowd began to disperse. Encircled people used the occasion, broke through to the square and lighted a number of sea torches. An unofficial meeting against police despotism was organized, where everybody could talk to open mic (which was exactly speaking a loudspeaker).

    People decided to organize an illegal demonstration to Italianskaya street, headquarters of 5th TV channel in order to combat media blackout of police despotism witnessed during the day. Actually, this was also planned in prior by Pyotr Alekseyev Resistance Movement, a group which claims to follow Maximalist tradition, but is also mixing a number of other anti-authoritarian and authoritarian ideas (you may know this "Pyotr Alekseyev" better by his surname, Kropotkin). An illegal, spirited march went on to Italianskaya street, only few cops were spotted at this point - apparently they had already went for their mayday booze. Another illegal meeting was organized in Italianskaya street, but people failed to get to tv anyway.

    (The following report from Moscow was already posted to internet)

    This year, in Moscow "unaligned anarchists", Rainbow Keepers, Autonomous Action and the rest could bring only 40 people to anarchist mayday march in Moscow. This apparently because everything was put together very hastily due to other ongoing projects, and many people have apparently made a conclusion, that walking around with flags and shouting out for anarchist communism with a few dozen people changes nothing. But they are wrong, aren't they?

    March grouped in the beginning of the Leonteyevskiy side street, where underground anarchists had a good try to blow up Lenin back in the 1919. Intelligence judged that Tverskaya was full of pigs, so soon after passing Moscow municipal council ("city duma") march walked across the street, and went on marching Kamergerskiy side street and Kuznesky most towards Lyubyanka. These streets had way better acoustics, so shouts such as "Death to state, freedom to labour!", "Factories to workers, we will destroy all the power!", "Rubber bullets and tear gas, gift of the president to working masses!", "Freedom to people, death to empires!", "Main enemy is in our own country, main enemy sits in Kreml!", "No to war in Iraq and Chechnya!" and others sounded loud as if we were twice more.

    When we crossed Dmitrovka street, we discovered a horrible failure of our intelligence - 2 busloads of OMON in full riot gear were stationed there, in reserve for many mayday events around the city... but they did not expected us, and were not going to crack our heads without a special commands from above, so we just passed them peacefully, shouting "Down with the police state!". Some better-off citizens shouted us "shame on you!", perhaps they considered we should have assaulted OMON...

    When arriving to FSB (x-KGB) reception (the same which NRA bombed some years ago), some participators began spraying the building next to it while rest shouted "Down with the FSB!". Due to many unlucky circumstances, a traffic cop (DPS), not sticking in his own business, managed to grab one person he suspected of spraying. A de-arresting attempt was made, but in a shameful episode anarchists lost a wrestling match with the traffic pigs. They were BIG, FAT and STICKY traffic pigs! But I wonder when we will be able to challenge OMON, if we can not do even with the DPS? Soon a bunch of FSO (Federal Guarding Service) thugs ran from the building, pointing everybody with assault rifles and submachine guns and trashing some heads with nightsticks - march dispersed quickly, although some heroic acts of individual resistance were observed as well. This years anarchist Mayday march lasted only 20 minutes.

    Rest of the evening, we spent in police station waiting for 9 arrested comrades to be released. Luckily, there was no enough evidence to charge people of "vandalism" (felony of up to 3 years), people were given irrelevant misdemeanors of "participating to an illegal demonstration" or "organizing an illegal demonstration" and released the same evening. One of the very few good sides of the Russian pigs is (lack of) their working ethics - unless pressure from above, they really do not give a fuck.

    Collected by Aleksander/St. Petersburg Anarchist League (ADA-IFA), except St. Petersburg by Uliana Lesnaya and Moscow by Aleksei. .
    Translated and edited by Aleksei/Autonomous Action of Moscow

    author by .hedgepublication date Tue May 16, 2006 21:12author email a.moon at mail dot ruReport this post to the editors

    >It is not eggs who paint people, but people who paint eggs

    "eggs" in russian = "balls" in english=)

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