This is just Mayday-related news and announcements. For a full round-up of UK and international news relating to protest & the anti-capitalist movement, and independent analysis of mainstream news, check out the IMC site at http://indymedia.org.uk
Monday 29th April - Ex Black Panther to speak at Mayday Festival of Alternatives on Tuesday April 30th.
Robert King Wilkerson, recently released after 27 years solitary confinement speaks this Tuesday night as part of the Mayday festial of Alternatives.
6pm - The Union Tavern, Camberwell New Road. Nearest tube Oval, Buses 36 or 185.
Robert King Wilkerson was held in solitary confinement in Angola maximum security prison, Louisiana, for 27 years for a crime he didn't commit. He was framed because of his political organising at the prison as a member of the Black Panther party. Released in February 2001 after a long campaign, he's now spending his time doing speaking tours around the world to raise awareness of the brutality, corruption, racism and injustice of the Louisiana criminal justice system. His co-accused, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, are still in prison and entering their thirtieth year of solitary confinement.
Protest against Channel Four's censorship of 'Injustice' - 9.00pm
Injustice is a radical feature length film about the struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody. On its release a year ago the police tried to censor the film by threatening cinemas. Months of fighting, by the film makers & families in the film, ended in victory with the police backing off and the film on release in cinemas across the UK & internationally. But Channel Four still refuse to broadcast the film because they won't take on the Police Federation. C4 are not only banning the film they are telling the police 'It's ok to kill, we won't turn our cameras on you'. Protest against the ban - since C4 won't screen Injustice then we are going to screen it on C4!
Organised by 'Friends of Injustice' as part of the Mayday Festival of Alternatives.
Venue: Channel Four Television, 124 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P. Tube:
St. James Park.
For full details see: http://www.injusticefilm.org.uk
Monday 29th April - Indymedia Radio London - Mayday Webstream
Indymedia radio is broadcasting every day of the Festival of Alternatives, at: http://radio.uk1.indymedia.org:8000/MayDay
(if not launched on clicking link to streamed MP3; copy and paste URL into open location on Realplayer or Winamp)
The start of the week will see information, interviews and music being rotated. On Mayday (Wed May 1st) itself there will be up to date live coverage throughout the day. Telephone numbers for the radio will be published soon allowing people to call to do interviews and live updates from the streets.
Sunday 28th April - Mayday Social Centre
Mayday Social Centre - Temporary Autonomous Zone for Mayday 2002
A building has been liberated & the social centre is open at:
'Speedy's cafe', 10 Great Eastern St, EC2. Nearest tubes: Liverpool St, Old St. Buses: 8, 26, 47, 67, 149, 242, 243.
Saturday 27th April - May Day Social Centre Opens
10 Great Eastern Street
London EC2A 3NT
tel: 07786 716 335 or 07960 973 847
It's the squatted building which is being used as a Temporary Social Centre for the London Mayday Festival of Alternative
Friday 26th April - Changes to Mayday Festival of Alternatives timetable
Sunday April 28th: To celebrate the affliation to the GMB, the International Union of Sex Workers presents:
Bands, performers, DJ's & visuals.
Dress code: Fetish, body paint, carnival, masquerade or any pagan godess.
Venue: The Fringe, 330 Kennington Lane, London SE11, 9pm til late.
Wednesday May 1st: Mayday Madness: Save Spitalfields Market.
Spitalfields Market Under Threat (SMUT) & the 333 Club present:
A benefit night hosted by The Pineapple Boys, with suave surf sounds of The Bikini Beach Band, latin inuendo of Cuban funkistadors Y-ya, & retro latino tonemeister DJ Bakan, while Budgie & guests bring on the funk & break beats.
9.30 - 2am, Entry £8.
333 Club, 333 Old Street, EC1
Thursday 2nd May: Film: 'Injustice' - 6pm
Injustice is a radical feature length film about the struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody. On its release a year ago the police tried to censor the film by threatening cinemas. Months of fighting, by the film makers & families in the film, ended in victory with the police backing off and the film on release in cinemas across the UK & internationally.
Venue: London School of Economics
Friday May 3rd: European Social Consulta: discussion - 7pm
The ESC is a product of the ideas and visions of social movements that are struggling against capitalist globalisation and its neo-liberal policies. Our mobilizations have created spaces of convergence where we have become aware of the importance and complementary nature of our social struggles. Given our growing capacity for mass mobilization, the system is creating the conditions necessary to control us: police impunity, restriction of basic liberties, intimidation and manipulation of information. Because of this, we believe it is important to deepen our contact and communication, strengthen our networks, connect to the rest of society and decentralize our struggles.The ESC will allow our social movements to take the initiative, to build a precess complementary to mobilizations around international summits and forums and to support the cohesion of European social movements. The ESC is therefore meant to be a project that will reinforce the efforts of local groups and networks and to connect local and global struggles.
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)
Monday 6th May: Film: Coconut Revolution - 3pm
Venue: London Action Resource Centre: 62 Fieldgate St., corner of Parfett St., London E1. (nearest tubes: Whitechapel, Aldgate East)
Changes of date/time:
Saturday 27th April - Women's Football Skills workshop - Not Sunday, as originally advertised - meet 12pm Clissold Park
Sunday 28th April - Indymedia film showings at the Rio Cinema will now begin at 12pm, NOT 3pm as originally advertised.
Monday 29th April - Self-defense - Cancelled
Monday 29th April - Talk on Barcelona - Cancelled
See full Festival of Alternatives timetable>>>
Friday 26th April - Spoof Newspaper Published
A spoof newspaper, Hate Mail, has been published in support of Mayday. As well as spoof, satirical and serious articles, it has listing for the Mayday Festival of Alternatives. Copies can be collected from the following bookshops: Centreprise, 136 Kingsland High Street, Hackney E8
Freedom, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1
Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, N1
Saturday 20th April - W.O.M.B.L.E.S. Public Meeting - 3pm
The WOMBLES are having a pre-Mayday public meeting.
We will be discussing the WOMBLE 7 trial, what the WOMBLES will be up to this Mayday as well as some legal advice and a look at the Whiteoverall/padded tactic.
There will also be people speaking from the Mayday Collective (including Festival of Alternatives) and many other exciting things.
All are welcome. Please spread the news far and wide.
Love 'n' Rage 'n' all that!
Venue: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1. Nearest tube: Holborn. 3pm.
why are the Wombles on trial?>>>
12th April 2002 - Press Release : Mayday Festival of Alternatives
For immediate release
12 April 2002
Mayday Festival of Alternatives
The Mayday Festival of Alternatives is to turn the capital upside down promising 11 days of subversive, fun and totally legal community events.
Taking place from 26 April to 6 May, it features events such as the Fayre for Queers of all Sexualities, a number of Critical Mass bike rides, the Loony Left Football Tournament, a Hackney Not 4 Sale picnic, a "pirate screening" in protest against Channel Four's censorship of Injustice, the world movie premiere of Indymedia's Genoa Zona Rossa, a night with Rob Newman and other hilarious Anarchist comix, a Roma/Balkan music extravaganza in support of refugees, a health and healing day, as well as dozens of hands-on workshops, film screenings, gigs, solidarity events and pickets.
YET THE FESTIVAL HAS BEEN PUT TOGETHER UNDER THE MOST DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. The Metropolitan and City Police forces have repeatedly violated the rights to free speech and free assembly, intimidating and photographing people attending public meetings, and putting pressure on landlords of venues that are being used.
THIS MORNING the police raided a squatted social centre in Stoke Newington, Hackney (see below) because they believed that the building was being "used for the organisation and support of Mayday", when really it was providing much-needed services to local people in a cash-strapped
borough that neglects its statutory duties. They have also threatened to raid UK website hosts who tried to put up the website for the festival, delaying its launch several times.
Together with the show trial against the WOMBLE 7 (picked up on the way to a Halloween party last October) starting on 29 April, the increased harassment shows that the state has no scruples in extending its attacks on the DIY/anti-capitalist movement, even if this means violating human rights and so-called democratic procedures. Festival volunteers also believe that these and the much hyped emphasis on potential "violence" on 1 May are initial moves in a wider campaign towards criminalising dissent.
The Mayday Festival of Alternatives is inspired by a month of dissident art/culture events in France, held last year in response to the irrelevance and media saturation of the General Election 2001. It is
also a model used worldwide to encourage political awareness and expression, e.g. Festival Des Pueblos in Boston, USA - May 2002.
The festival is a response to the frequently asked question 'What are you for? What do you actually want?' We aim to show our goals of creating a society based on solidarity, autonomy and co operation - in practice. We want to demonstrate that there is a future beyond capitalism, apathy, wage-labour and the state.
To contact the Mayday Festival of Alternatives collective or to be put in touch with some of the participating groups; please e-mail:
1. The Mayday Festival of Alternatives group is part of the Mayday 2002 umbrella collective. However, it does not organise the mass actions on 1 May. Should you wish to get more info about planned events in Central London on the day, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07786 716 335.
Actions and Events include: Film showings, gigs, comedy & cabaret, free shops, mass picnics, bicycle rides and art exhibitions. The Week-long reclaimed social centre will be offering infoshop, café, & workshops. For more detailed info about individual events, please check the timetable on the website ourmayday.org.uk, put together by the Mayday 2002 collective.
2. In an early morning raid today, 30 riot police in conjunction with London Electricity used a hydraulic ram to force entry to the Radical Dairy. The police said that they had a warrant to investigate the abstraction of electricity and the misuse of drugs. No drugs were found and the occupants had already applied for a legal electricity account.
However, a computer [which was used as part of a free Internet service for local residents] was seized as "proof" of abstracting electricity.
The police also read out a statement saying that because a Mayday leaflet was displayed in the window of the Social Centre that it proved that the building was used as "part of the infrastructure to Mayday", which now seems to be an illegal act!
No one was arrested but the centre is now without electricity. During the raid angry residents came out onto the streets and gave the cops hassle. This is the third visit the cops have made to the dairy. The first being on Friday April 5th. They used the guise that they had broken down outside the dairy and were waiting for a repair vehicle; that obviously explained why they were outside for 3 hours taking peoples photographs. On this occasion they left after the local residents came out in support of the Radical Dairy, which has been offering free events like Yoga, Shiatsu massages, vegan cafe, DJ workshop for kids, Drama and singing lessons.
The second occasion was on Tuesday April 9th, three cops from different police stations inc. a video camera were filming the structure of the building. The police were there for only 10 minutes as again local residents complained at the continued harassment of the collective which runs the
centre (contact the email@example.com).
3. Previous hosts of the ourmayday website were contacted by the Metropolitan police demanding to know all of the personal details of the people behind the site. They were told they must remove the site (or not host it) or be faced with a police raid during which their web servers could be seized. The Police did not say under what legislation they are making these demands and threats. The suspicion exists that they acted outside any legal framework, as the new Regulation of Investigatory
Powers Act (RIP), which will give the police some new powers to demand information from Internet Service Providers, has not yet come into force.
4. The Legal Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG) has recently uncovered secret Mayday Sentencing Guidelines that instruct Judges to hand down heavy sentences in connection with Mayday protests in both 2000 and 2001. The document titled "Mayhem" first came to the attention of LDMG
in June 2001 at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court. The defence barrister Ed Rees QC originally asked to look at the document, but the court refused this on the grounds that it was secret! Sentencing in England and Wales is supposedly based on individual circumstances and the seriousness of the offence, but clearly in the case of Mayday protestors this is not the case. LDMG can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. The WOMBLE 7 trial:: On 31 October 2001 a group of approximately 15 people, many wearing white overalls to symbolise ghosts and Halloween masks were harassed by uniformed police officers whilst walking down Oxford Street on their way to a Halloween party. Seven were arrested and held in police custody for between 14 and 19 hours.
The group are probably to be tried by Roger Davies, District Judge at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court. Davies has achieved some infamy as a biased judge of protestors. Following Mayday 2000, he commented in court that protestors who pleaded not guilty and opted for trials, were "gutless", implying that he "knew" they were guilty and therefore saw no need for them to have time to prepare a defence! The barrister who prosecuted all the Mayday protestors in 2001 will be prosecuting the WOMBLE 7.
This trial is about the criminalisation of dissent, and the political repression of a group of activists. The date of the trial starting on 29 April, two days before Maydaym is no coincidence. The state believes that it has found a way of keeping the seven and their supporters out of the May Day celebrations.
Parallels have been drawn between this trial and the OZ obscenity trial in the late 1960's. OZ was a counter-cultural magazine and the trial became a cause celebre. It was widely felt that the magazine was being targeted as a way of getting at the counter-culture as a whole. The state is fearful of 'anti-capitalism' and has targeted the WOMBLES as a highly visible symbol of the movement. Groups such as Indymedia ( http://www.indymedia.org ) and the Mayday Collective are under increasing attack from authorities all over the world.
5. Mayday Festival of Alternatives Event schedule highlights:
see timetable>>> or events>>>
2nd April 2002 - Press Release : Police threaten Mayday web hosts
2nd April 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POLICE THREATEN MAYDAY WEB HOSTS
The MET police have threatened to raid UK website hosts who tried to host the website for this year's "Mayday Festival of Alternatives".
The content available at www.ourmayday.org.uk is information about the 2002 'Mayday Festival of Alternatives'. Running from 26th April - May 6th, the festival mostly includes community events such as music performances, film screenings, and workshops on a variety of issues and do-it-yourself skill sharing. The website also has details of protests with some for May 1st itself.
The website should have 'gone live' at the end of February, however at least four different website hosts were quickly approached by police, when the domain name 'ourmayday.org.uk' was pointed at their servers.
MET Police contacted the hosts demanding to know all of the personal details of the people behind the 'ourmayday' website. They have also told the hosts they must remove the site (or not host it) or be faced with a police raid during which their web servers could be seized. The Police have not said under what legislation they are making these demands and threats. As a result of the police threats the four web hosts decided not to host the website, with the result that the website was offline for almost two weeks.
Appeals have now been made for other servers to mirror the website and many offers to host the website have been made from both the uk and abroad, while online rights and privacy campaigners have expressed concern over the police threats. The actions of the police in requesting personal details and threatening to raid premises and seize web servers outside of any legislative framework and are a clear attack on the freedom of expression.
NOTES to Editors:
1. This year's Mayday Festival is an attempt to provide constructive ideas and alternatives to commercial and corporate Britain. It seeks to involve the wider community in community inspired events. Text on the website and on Mayday leaflets says:
"This Mayday we are responding to the frequently asked question 'What are you for? What do you actually want?' We aim to show our goals of creating a society based on solidarity, autonomy and co-operation - in practice. We want to show that there is a future beyond capitalism, wage-labour and the state."
2. Even activists have civil liberties: "Everyone has the right... to seek, receive and impart information through any media regardless of frontiers" Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. Under clauses of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIP) about to come into force, the Police will have much greater powers to demand information from Internet Service Providers under a joint threat of arrest and gagging order, as well as monitor email and website usage. Despite this the recent threats of server seizure by the Police could still constitute a denial of the rights to freedom of expression. Also since no crime had been committed there would be grounds for asking the Information Commissioner whether such requests for details was 'proportionate' and justifiable under the Data Protection Act.
4. The MET and City Police have been repeatedly violating the rights to free speech and free assembly, intimidating and photographing people attending public meetings, and putting pressure on landlords of venues that are being used.
5. The Legal Defence and Monitoring Group (LDMG) has recently uncovered secret Mayday Sentencing Guidelines that instruct Judges to hand down heavy sentences in connection with Mayday protests in both 2000 and 2001. The document titled Mayhem first came to the attention of LDMG in June 2001 at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court. The defence barrister Ed Rees QC originally asked to look at the document, but the court refused this on the grounds that it was secret! Sentencing in England and Wales is supposedly based on individual circumstances and the seriousness of the offence, but clearly in the case of Mayday protestors this is not the case. LDMG can be contacted at: email@example.com
6. More quotes from the website: "The Festival will consist of around 10 days of community-based events aiming at diversity of our movement, with the intention of building long-range sustained alternatives." "The Mayday Festival of Alternatives is inspired by a month of dissident art/culture events in France, held last year in response to the irrelevance and media saturation of the General Election 2001."
Planned workshops throughout the Festival of Alternatives include: *Allotments *Wildlife garden projects *Asylum *Biodiversity and food security *Journalism *Clothes making *Desktop publishing *Feminist History *Film *Flamenco *Gender *GM monoculture *Shiatsu *Sweatshop labour *Nuclear issues *Climate Change *Social Centres *Squatting *Plumbing *Tree climbing *What is Anarchism? *Yoga
Saturday 13th April - Benefit gig for Mayday 2002
Chu Nah Mi ("7 piece ska n roll, funkin dynamite"), Headjam, Free State Prophets + Megabitch DJs.
Saturday 13th April, 8pm till 2am at Arsenal Tavern, 175 Blackstock Road, N4 (Arsenal, Finsbury Park).
Entry 5 quid/3 quid concs.
Spoof newspaper seeks contributions! - 25th March
Cheeky spoof newspaper seeks articles and graphics on Mayday-related themes. Range of subjects includes: environment, refugees & no borders, repression & police, war and anti-terrorism, work and dole slavery, plus general anti-capitalist, anti-state subversion. Nice pictures and détournable adverts especially appreciated. Sense of humour, vision and imagination encouraged!
Deadline: 8 April (but send em ASAP!)
Send contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles may be edited.
Globalise Resistance - which styles itself as the anti-capitalist movement, but has been dubbed by others Monopolise Resistance has teamed up with the London May Day Organising Committee, which is linked to the Greater London Trades Union Council and South East Region TUC, to host an event called "United for Mayday". The announcement from Globalise Resistance proudly boasted that: "This is also the first time a march will go to Trafalgar Square while Parliament is sitting. May Day is building up to be another incredible event."
The London May Day Organising Committee was more honest: "Marches to Trafalgar Square are forbidden on days when Parliament is in session, under a Sessional Order dating from 1829. Despite this, the Mayor of London has made the Square available to us and the Metropolitan Police have agreed to the march, on the understanding that this does not set a precedent and that the march will be disciplined and orderly."
Of course, Trafalgar Square is simply an empty space. If Globalise Resistance, the London May Day Organising Committee or anyone else wanted to hold a demonstration there they could simply do so without seeking permission. Numerous anti-capitalist events have been held in London and elsewhere, without the state being consulted.
Behind the Globalise Resistance bluff, what is planned is the usual boring march, taking much the same route as in 2000, followed by a rally at which the speakers "will include Tony Benn, Barry Camfield (T&G), Ruth Winters (FBU), Mark Serwotka (PCS), Diane Abbott MP plus other MPs. trade unionists, environmentalists and anti-capitalists [i.e. Guy class traitor Taylor and other Globalise Resistance members]." Excitement indeed!
Having begged the state for permission, Globalise Resistance obviously have good reason to be grateful. But behind this ridiculous posturing lies the serious problem of the lack of a revolutionary critique of the state. We can not forget how last Mayday the state waged an unprecedented campaign against those anti-capitalists, revolutionaries and others who wanted to gather in central London to celebrate Mayday. The press was used to disseminate misinformation, lies, smears and threats. The cops made open threats of violence, whilst Lord Harris, the Labour peer and Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, called for the cops to shoot protesters. Mayor Livingstone, the enfant terrible of the labour camp (who Globalise Resistance and their parent SWP had supported in his election campaign), placed paid-for adverts in newspapers warning people to stay away. Even the Home Secretary and Blair got in on the act. On the day itself Globalise Resistance marched straight into the cops trap by turning up at Oxford Circus before the agreed time and then refused to push their way out. They were last heard threatening to sue! This year, rather than wait for the cops trap, Globalise Resistance has set one itself. Once people are in Trafalgar Square you can bet that they will only be able to leave on the cops terms.
We need to consider the nature and purpose of the "United for Mayday" alliance and question the nature of the "unity". The minor trade union bureaucrats in the London May Day Organising Committee have for years organised a pointless and boring traditional march in London. Over the past two years they have lamented the attention given to anti-capitalist actions:
"If you read or watched the mainstream media you would have thought the only things going on were the protests of the "anti-capitalist coalition". The coverage ranged from the death of civilisation as-we-know-it to sorting out your fashion statement as a WOMBLE or spikey. No attention was given at all to, what has been characterised as, the boring old trade union May Day March which went from Highbury Fields to Clerkenwell Green".
(Statement of the Organiser of London May Day Organising Committee, carried in Voice of the Unions see the similar article in The Morning Star 2/5/01)
For them the link up with Globalise Resistance offers a perceived route to credibility. The trade union and labour hierarchy, who for years paid at best lip service to Mayday, fears the growing militancy amongst some sections of the working class and the possibility of a genuine link up with anti-capitalists, which may lead to the adoption of the tactics of direct action and the rejection of sterile trade union and electoral politics. No doubt they have an eye on the local elections on May 2nd. They are backing "United for Mayday" as a safety valve.
Globalise Resistance also wants a safe alternative to openly defiant actions. Last year they discovered anti-capitalism and joined the actions in Oxford Circus. However, the illegal nature of the action obviously proved to be too much, so a safer form of protest had to be found. Globalise Resistance is, we should remember, a front for the Socialist Workers Party. In the guise of another front, the Socialist Alliance, they too will contest the elections on May 2nd. Last year the sigh of relief amongst Globalise Resistance/SWP activists when the election was postponed was all too apparent, but it will not happen this year. They cannot risk trouble on Mayday and present themselves as good bourgeois democrats the next day, particularly when they have real hopes of picking up a few council seats and being allowed to participate in the rationing of local services. At the same time however they must dress up their Mayday proposal as the radical alternative, to satisfy those who do not share their electoral ambitions. This explains the triumphalism about being allowed to use Trafalgar Square when Parliament is sitting. At a launch meeting (SOAS, 21/3/02) their speaker went as far as to claim that this proves the success of rioting (as though there was any rioting in Oxford Circus last year!). They are now busy proclaiming the support of every worker and trade unionist (watch out for the model resolutions!) and pretending that various strikes are planned.
The third party to this alliance is the state. The states interest is all too obvious. Last year, despite the huge campaign, the state failed to deter a significant minority from coming to central London. Since then we have witnessed Genoa, the uprising in Argentina, the war on Afghanistan and, in the run up to Mayday, preparations are in full swing for a renewed war against Iraq. This year, having sanctioned a demonstration in central London, in Trafalgar Square, the state will be use this to justify state violence against anyone who dares to defy the false unity and takes action elsewhere in London. However, anyone wanting to consider the risk of being in Trafalgar Square needs to look no further back than Mayday 2000, when large numbers of people were attacked by the cops. As last years Mayday Monopoly Game Guide warned: "Remember this is their territory, the place they want us!"
Link: http://www.schnews.org.uk/mr.htm - excellent booklet on Globalise Resistance and The Socialist Worker Party