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May Day 2001-2007
May Day is a day for celebration. Celebrating our lives, our families, our history, and our future. May 1st is recognized as International Worker's Day by many countries around the world. While there are numerous debates about some specifics, it is generally regarded as a day to celebrate our collective histories rooted in the struggles of labor unions and anarchists (quite often one and the same) to organize against the tyranny of the ruling class. While this particular Worker's Holiday has been celebrated for over a hundred years, May 1st has also been a celebrated Pagan holiday, Beltane, observed for centuries. Beltane is a time to celebrate the life of spring and oncoming summer, to bask in the beauty of life with those you love, and to remember those that have come before you. Recently, May 1st seemed to have been given another meaning and reason for celebration. In 2003, President Bush proclaimed May 1st as Loyalty Day and gave many reasons why it was vitally important that this new holiday be imparted to our youth. Unfortunately for our youth, this was not in fact the birth of a new holiday; Loyalty Day has been presented to the American people on several occasions since its inception as a resolution in the late 1940's, and later being enacted into law in 1958. Moreover, the rallies and marches that resulted in the resolution were a reaction and counter to the 'Communist' celebration of May Day in the early twenties at which point May 1st was dubbed "Americanization Day." The history of May Day/Beltane/Loyalty Day is undoubtedly more intricate and amazing than most of us would have initially imagined and although these holidays might have some very different origins, they definitely have some strong commonalities. So whatever our reasons for celebrating May 1st this year, let's try to enact a few of the commonalities that these holidays embody: Learn your history (and someone else's)! Meet your neighbors (and get to know them)! Get out into the Commons and let your voice be heard!!!
Recently, May 1st seemed to have been given another meaning and reason for celebration. In 2003, President Bush proclaimed May 1st as Loyalty Day and gave many reasons why it was vitally important that this new holiday be imparted to our youth. Unfortunately for our youth, this was not in fact the birth of a new holiday; Loyalty Day has been presented to the American people on several occasions since its inception as a resolution in the late 1940's, and later being enacted into law in 1958. Moreover, the rallies and marches that resulted in the resolution were a reaction and counter to the 'Communist' celebration of May Day in the early twenties at which point May 1st was dubbed "Americanization Day."
The history of May Day/Beltane/Loyalty Day is undoubtedly more intricate and amazing than most of us would have initially imagined and although these holidays might have some very different origins, they definitely have some strong commonalities. So whatever our reasons for celebrating May 1st this year, let's try to enact a few of the commonalities that these holidays embody:
Learn your history (and someone else's)! Meet your neighbors (and get to know them)! Get out into the Commons and let your voice be heard!!!
MAY DAY RALLY AND MARCH
From the open publishing newswire: As the economic crisis deepens our movements must come together to protect our rights and build an economy that works for everyone.
Today, faced with a crumbling economic system and increasing attacks on immigrants and working people in general, we must join together to defend our basic rights to health and happiness.
1-4 pm poster making and party
4-5 pm rally (speakers and music)
First Annual Mayday Kickball Game - Anarchists Vs. Socialists
From the open publishing newswire: Come celebrate mayday as it was meant to be enjoyed. A celebration of fun and leisure where it can be found in capitalistic society. You're taking the day off work anyway, and we can still get you to the rally and march on time. 12 noon, May 1st, Colonel Summers Park (20th Ave and Belmont St)
Whose Streets? -- Recommendations to the Portland Police Bureau for Responding to First Amendment Assemblies
From the open publishing newswire:
The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center and the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild work together to safeguard the rights of political activists in Portland. At every major demonstration in downtown Portland, legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild take to the streets to walk alongside protestors, documenting incidents of police misconduct. In addition, National Lawyers Guild legal workers and attorneys volunteer their time to defend the rights of individuals arrested at protests. The Northwest Constitutional Rights Center investigates protestors' complaints of police misconduct.
In the sections that follow, this report provides a chronology of Portland Police Bureau tactics during protests in Portland over the past decade. The report also analyzes the Portland Police Bureau crowd control and use of force policies as they relate to these tactics. Finally, the report concludes with a series of specific recommendations for changes in Portland Police Bureau policy.
AUDIO FILE: Whose Streets?
Today, May 1, 2007, the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center and the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild released the report, "Whose Streets? Recommendations to Improve the Portland Police Bureau's Response to First Amendment Assemblies."
The report was released at a Press Conference, moderated by Alejandro Queral, Director of the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center. Alejandro spoke briefly about why these recommendations are necessary. "The report presents recommendations on what the Police Department needs to do to improve it's crowd control tactics. Over the years we have seen time and again the Portland Police Bureau using excessive force against protesters, ranging from just a show of force all the ay to using impact munitions, such as bean bags and rubber bullets. There have been a number of incidents over the years involving pepper spray...we have also seen the use of mounted patrol as crowd control tactics which have resulted in injuries, panic by the crowd and adverse reactions by the crowd."
Companion Video to Recommendations (via youtube)
Mayday: Riots in ISTANBUL
From the open publishing newswire:
In Istanbul, Turkey, mayday protests turned into heavy riots when police tried to stop several thousand protesters to reach central Taksim-place in Istanbul where in 1977 500 000 people celebrated mayday and where police-snipers killed 36... Nevertheless 3000 protesters entered the place. [read more >>]
Mayday, Germany: anti-nazi rally turns into heavy riots
Germany, Dortmund. Thousands of antifascists gathered in Dortmund on tuesday afternoon to protest against 1500 neo-nazis who traditionally try to use mayday for fascist propaganda. After the police declared the anti-fascist protest illegal and tried to desperse it, the protest turned into heavy riots. [read more >>]
Mayday Switzerland: riots, fire bomb attacks on banks, courts, and police stations
After many hours of streetfighting between protesters and police, people began to attack banks, private companies, courts, police stations and cars of the rich with fire bombs and paint bombs. countless windows were smashed... police and media in switzerland are shocked. no one expected such an angry mass. [read more >>]
May Day Events and Actions
From the open publishing newswire:
May Day Jail Support Number is 503.233.3194
Immigrant Rights Now! May Day Action Let's march for immigrant and Workers' rights! We demand just and comprehensive Immigration Reform Legalization NOW! Come and join us! When: May 1st 2007, 4:00pm. Where: SW park blocks and SW Salmon St., Portland What to Bring: food, water, and white, red or blue T-shirt and all of your friends! [read more]
Sin Fronteras Portland Mayday events! 4PM March and Rally with the Immigrant Rights Coalition. Meet down town at SW park blocks and SW Salmon St. Look for L@S Macheter@s de Justicia and the Sin Fronteras banner! Later MAY 1ST: SIN FRONTERAS AND THE WATERSHED MAYDAY CELEBRATION! 8PM @ the Watershed [read more]
Activists, be safe tomorrow and always, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS Tonight, 6:00 at Liberty Hall (311 N Ivy) come and listen to lawyers from the NWCRC speak about what your rights are on the street. Do you have to leave when police say, do you have to give police your name, where can you be, what can you carry, have your questions answered. [read more]
Immigrants and Allies to Rally for Comprehensive Immigration Reform What: Mass rally and march for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and access to Oregon driver's licenses. When: Tuesday, May 1, 2006. Gather at 11 am, rally at 12 noon with march and lobbying to follow. Where: Oregon state capitol building, 900 Court St NE, Salem, Oregon. [read more]
related: [ Fire the Bosses! A Call for a Mayday Black Bloc | PREPARE for Mayday! | What's going on May Day? | March on May Day! | May Day 2007 - Requests for Documentary Contributions on May 1 | Help from Food Not Bombs on MAYDAY? | Mayday Flier ]
Immigrant Rights Now! May Day Action & Background Reading
From the open publishing newswire: From PCASC: As May Day approaches, ICE (aka la migra, formerly known as the INS) is picking up their campaign of raids targeting the Latino community. While the aim of these raids is to terrorize immigrant communities and scare them behind closed doors, they have only made people more determined: this May Day we will stand up once again for immigrant and worker rights. See event details below.
Push and Pull: Free Trade and the Immigration Debate
David Bacon and Juan Sandoval, two leading scholars and activists, one from each side of the border, will help us grapple with the complex and controversial issues surrounding free trade and immigration using photos and stories from their years of organizing.
International Workers' Day Celebration on May 1st
When: May 1st 2007, 4:00pm
Related: MayDay background | MayDay2006 | Sin Fronteras Portland '07 Mayday events | Immigrants Rising Archive | Putting it in Writing: Immigrants Rights Coalition Sends Strong Message to Congress | Immigrants: 50,000 March for Immigration Reform 4/7/07 in LA
May Day 2006
From the open publishing newswire:
An audio file featuring about 50 minutes of the powerful and engaging speakers from the May Day '06 Rally in the South Park Blocks in front of Smith Memorial Hall at Portland State University on May 1, 2006.
The remarks delivered to the crowd, prior to their March through downtown Portland and back to PSU, are in both Spanish and English. Speakers include Ed Edmo, Native American Poet and Spoken Word artist; Carrie Dann, Shoshone elder and activist; a student speaking for students; a union member; a day laborer, and an African American speaker. Other spoke during this time and after returning from the March, but this is all I recorded.
All spoke passionately for their Latino people and for America, their country. The Rally was flush with American flags and signs, some declaring that "no human is illegal" that "immigrant rights are basic rights," many reminding Americans that they too come from immigrant roots and that these Latino immigrants, despite being undocumented, have arrived with a strong work ethic and family values. [ read more and listen ]
Any Portland May Day Reportback?
worker bee: When I was riding downtown to the rally I saw a group of high school age people marching over the Hawthorne bridge behind a banner or flag (couldn't see what kind). As soon as they hit the west end they began chanting slogans about workers' rights-they had definitely made the connection. And these were, it appeared, white kids. Maybe they'd walked out of school to come down.
As for the event itself I have not seen that many people march and stay strong and together ever before. And why have all forms of media diminished the number of people? There were so many that when I ducked out to have some food it was still going past when I got done so I hopped back in. Many people were young (under 35?) and they stayed strong and spirited the whole way which was very long and wound around up through the Pearl district and back to PSU.
pchy: I thought the march was awe inspiring to say the least. I was near the front of the march... within the first block or so that is. It was a good spot b/c we really got to see the "whoa, this is still going?" reactions of on lookers. I had expected there to be a big turn out, but nothing like I had witnessed. On some of the small hills throughout the route, I had an excellent vantage point to see the thounsands of people in front of me filling the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. Turning around, I saw at least twice as many people behind. The energy was incredible too... even as we approached the last turn, we were still chanting, clapping, shouting, and whistling. Flags were still being waved while we marched up Broadway towards PSU. [ read more ]
"Illegal Immigrants" Take to the Streets
Bringing up the rear is harder than I expected. Block on block I wonder how far back this mass of people extends. All the way up to 8th, and then left, and then a few more blocks, I finally make it to where the contiguous mass of participants thins into a milling crowd of spectators. I turn and step into the mille, empty my paper cup and throw it into a garbage can, and then start slowly back down the path from whence I came.
I've walked about a mile, down and twisting around the streets of downtown Portland. The only thing of note to strike me came as I walked under the glass bridge that spans the two building of the World Trade Center. There, a business man in a suit stood leaning up against the glass, staring down onto the mass of people in the street. It struck me that this could very well be the one single thing that this man feared the most - the masses joined as one, rising up like a great wave, high enough to wash him out of his glass tower. [ read more ]
elsewhere: May Day Footage from New York City || Hundreds Mark Historic May Day in Olympia || Seattle May Day Photos || Olympia May Day Celebration || May Day in Madison, WI || Photos of MayDay Marches || Philly's March A Diverse One
Hundreds Celebrate May Day in Olympia
From the open publishing newswire: Today in Olympia, WA, hundreds gathered to celebrate May Day and send a message to the government: Hands off immigrants, workers and families. The gathering started at Sylvester Park at 2:30 when a small gathering danced around a May pole. The crowd began to swell as music came on around 3:00 and continued to grow speakers began around 3:30.
The Citizens Band, a music group composed of IWW folk played songs celebrating free speach and labor history. People from groups including the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition, Bread and Roses Advocacy Center, Schools For Chiapas and more spoke about their organizing. The crowd left the park and marched in the four lanes of the street to the capital building around 5:00. At the Capital a sign reading "Hands off our- Immigrants, workers, families" with hand prints from marchers on fabric attatched to the banner was hung from the capital building while people stood, chanted, and spoke on the steps.
related articles: breaking news - May 1st 2006
Portland Workers Celebrate May Day, Monday May 1st
From the open publishing newswire:
[ Nota de padres por faltar escuela / Parents note for student absence May 1st | Bilingual Pamphlet About Radical Context of May Day | Resources for Workers Participating in May Day Protests | Apoyo a la HUELGA de los INMIGRANTES! Strike & march on May Day! EN,ES ]
Portland May Day Location Set
From the open publishing newswire:
The location has been confirmed--South Park Blocks at PSU (SW Park and SW Mill).
And just to be clear, everyone is working together on this. The local Immigrant Rights Coalition (including PCUN) has joined forces wih the May Day Coalition to organize a Portland May Day event. There will be events in several cities in Oregon, and in cities across the country. There is a call for an immigrant general strike--hopefully there will be large crowds in Portland, Salem, and everywhere! [ read more ]
PLDN: Jail Support number for May Day 503-234-4518
The PLDN is working with the May Day Coalition to organize jail support for May 1st. We are working with the National Lawyers Guild and Lewis and Clark legal observers, to try and provide the best legal backup possible for this event.
To do a good job we need everyone to have the heads up and to be paying attention. Carry the jail support number and call us if you see anything happening, or even if you think something is about to happen. If something does happen, write down names and contact numbers for other people who saw it, take notes and look around for folks who may have video. Then call and give us the info. Even the smallest details can be helpful. [ read more ]
related: [ MayDay Olympia, 2006 | MAY DAY EVENT | RADICAL LABOR FAIR THIS THURSDAY! | Story on Portland May Day from JwJ Website | MAY DAY- ALL DOWN TO SALEM! | For May Day and Beyond: White People Step Up for Immigrant Rights! | Mayday party at IWW Hall, B2B Cafe ]
¡Apoyo a la HUELGA de los INMIGRANTES! Strike & march on May Day!
From the open publishing newswire: Millones de inmigrantes estan tomando las calles en protesta ante la viciosa legislación del Congreso, que ha estado manipulando en su contra. Proyectos de ley que podría transformar de la noche a la mañana de 10 a 12 millones de inmigrantes en este pais, en criminales, proyectos de ley que bloquearía el status de 12 millones por 12 o 13 años antes de que pudieran obtener su ciudadanía, proyectos de ley con la creación de un programa de "trabajador eventual" que super-explotaría millón y medio de Mexicanos, Caribeños y otros trabajadores de la agricultura. Proyectos de ley para inmigrantes que estarían sujetos mas alla de un regimen policial. Además a estos proyectos de ley, la gran erupción de protestas conectadas que se ha venido estado construyendo por años de discriminación racial y opresión en contra de inmigrantes no blancos.
Port of Olympia dismantles Mayday Community Garden
From the open publishing newswire: I was walking down State Street on my way to school this morning, when I saw Port of Olympia employees landscaping in the empty lot, which once contained the May Day Community Garden. I asked one of them why the garden had disappeared. He smiled and said it was the orders of the Port, he suggested I call them to complain. He recalled when there was a big garden in that location a few years earlier, according to him it was a place where "all sorts of people, of every age would come and garden."
The Mayday garden was planted this year as part of Olympia's annual May Day celebration. I have been watching it grow over the last few weeks, it has been kept up by volunteers who have been bringing it water, making sure it stays clean and just enjoying it. On the street across form the now defunct garden, was parked a semi carrying a load of tree's; killed and ready for export.
March for Nicolas David Alvares
From the open publishing newswire: Today a group of anarchist protestors marched through downtown portland carrying a mock casket in honor of nicolas david neira alvares, a 15-year old anarchist beaten to death by police in bogota, columbia on may day.
The turn-out was small, but focused, and began at pioneer square and made its way through downtown--blocking the bus here and the streets here and there--and to the saturday marketplace, and then down 1st avenue to the world trade center, where the casket was left at the door under the guard of a security officer who raised his fist in solidarity with the marchers when they arrived.
As vibrant south american music played through a loudspeaker and various speakers keeping the marchers hungry, passers-by joined the march for a time and people watching voiced their support.