Festival of Alternatives: Get Involved

Big mass street actions like Mayday in Mayfair and the decentralized autonomous Festival of Alternatives take a lot of co-ordination, networking and energy to pull off. Because they are lead by everyone and no-one, everyone puts in as much time, resources and effort as they can, voluntarily. No-one is coerced into anything, everything is based on mutual aid and free association.

The point of the street action and the Festival is to make ourselves, our culture and our resistance, visible, loud, radical and permanent. At the end of the day, we don’t want May Day to be the only day we meet each other in the streets en masse, and make our voices heard Loud; we don’t want the Festival to just be some quirky sampler of underground film and interesting one-off workshops with no continuity. Both events, we hope, will be an opening for people (that means you!) to get involved in ‘the movement’ – lots of clusters and world wide webs of groups, individuals, gangs, crews and collectives agitating and laying the foundations for social change - and feel they are part of an autonomous current of resistance and change. We also want people to recognize their own power and use it to create an alternative way of life and reality for themselves, their families and ultimately, their communities and wider world.

Ways to get involved:

Start talking friends and people in you area about May Day and more generally about the things blighting your life, holding you back, vexing you; work, no money, poor housing etc etc and how they connect to the wider political struggle happening around.

1. Come to meetings

For May Day:
We have organizing meetings for the Mayday Festival of Alternatives every week in either North London or South London. These are completely un-arduous, fun and friendly. We discuss what workshops, films and events we would like to put on and how/where to do them.
for details of mayday meetings, see meetings page>>> 

The groups listed in the links section of this site all hold regular weekly or monthly meetings. Have a gander at their sites, see what appeals to you, grab a mate, don’t be scared, and just come on down and join in. Alternatively, set up your own local group; put ads in the local papers and local shops, talk to like-minded friends, find a pub function room, community centre or home you can gather in, and start discussing how and what you would like to achieve.

2. Organise a workshop or event for the Festival of Alternatives.

Do you have a skill you can share? Are you in a band? Maybe you could organise a workshop or gig as part of the festival. Let us know the date, time & venue and we'll put it on the timetable. If you'd like help organising it, email us at: festivalofalternatives@yahoo.com or come to a meeting.

3. Form an affinity group/team.

Get together with your mates, decide which element of the Mayfair in Mayday you fancy being part of (None are mutually exclusive) and start planning what kind of frolix you want to get up to and what bits and bobs you might need…

4. Make Cool Stuff.

It’s amazing what a laugh you can have and the mad shit you can come up with if you just rustle through a few skips, charity-shop doorstep bags, markets, jumble sales etc, grab a tub of glue/needle and thread and get busy making costumes and props. Unusual, ridiculous, flamboyant – the more outrageous the better, just use your imagination and go to town..
Costumes - clownsuits, honk-y red noses, shimmery showgirl bodices, witch cloaks, hooded alchemist robes, fairy wings, grim reaper threads, peasant madman outfits, death masks, sorcerer force-fields, belly dancer veils, ghost costumes, donkey noses, Pele shorts, David Beckham pecs, Peter Beardsley face-masks, George Best sideburns/hip-flasks - whatever takes your fancy
Props – colourful coffins, tombstones, headdresses, parrots, goals, balls, party-shin-pads, cloaks, horses, trapezes, unicycles, wheelbarrows, shopping trollies cum spangle chariots or pirate ships, tame-able pigs etc etc etc
Banners and flags – no demo is complete without them. Piss easy to make, all you need is some sheets or off-cuts of material, a pot of paint or a needle and thread, a steady-ish hand, and a spare half hour.

5. Participating in the action

Work out what your skills are - can you juggle, fire-eat or ride a unicycle?
Maybe you can be part of the 'Mayday Travelling Circus'. If you don't think you have any skills, don't worry - everyone can participate in some way. Come to the legal, first aid, circus skills, marching band & banner-making workshops on Sunday 28th April (see timetable for details) for hands-on action skills sharing.
6. Legal Knowledge

Check out the legal guide to street demos on the site before you go out for the day, it’ll calm you down a bit if you’re worried about what the cops might do, and also empower you with the facts you need to keep yourself from being intimidated by the bullyboys and gals in blue.