Wednesday May 1st 1pm - Multiple
Independent Meet-up Points
This year sees us return to the traditional place of Mayday celebrations
- Mayfair in London. Mayfair is the area bounded on the north by Oxford
Street, on the east by Regent Street, on the south by Piccadilly &
on the west by Park Lane. Now one of the most opulent and cloistered
areas in the capital, full of luxury pads, exclusive shops, fancy hotels
and national embassies, it takes its name from the fair which was held
every year from 1 May for 15 days until its suppression in the mid-18th
century. Mayfair was once a teeming hotbed of fun, frolics and freedom
for the working masses, in what is now Shepherds Market. Circus performers,
magicians, pagan priestesses, vagabonds, alchemists, nomads, witches
and outlaws made merry in the mossy lanes and shacks to celebrate the
over-turning of the elitist and prohibitive class system they were increasingly
subject to - if only for a short time.
After having been transferred from Haymarket in 1686-8 the May Fayre
soon became notorious for riotous and disorderly behaviour and in 1708
it was abolished, only to be revived again with similar results. Building
on the site was probably the most effective way of permanently suppressing
the fair and by the mid-18th century almost the whole of modern Mayfair
was covered with houses.
Mayday falls slap-bang in the middle of the week, so make sure you have
the day off work, school, college or university. Call a strike (you
know it makes sense), phone in sick (or well!), bunk off, but do whatever
it takes to be on the streets of Mayfair on Wednesday 1st May.
Mayday in Mayfair
Mayday in Mayfair will be a fluid, spontaneous and exciting return to
the Mayfayre, happening everywhere at once, without a fixed starting
point or finish. Four separate but intertwined elements of Ye Olde May
Day will take place. There is no advertised starting point to the celebrations
due to police tactics of containing movement by violently imposing cordons
for hours on end, which resulted in the entrapment of thousands in Oxford
Circus last year. We can't allow this to happen again! We all need to
take the initiative in Mayfair. So create your own fun events, play
your own games, come with friends, join with others, generate your own
street party/performance/pavement picnic, everyday-reality-subverting-situation
- above all This way our festivities will not be crushed.
A mobile, spontaneous, and collective performance full of jesters, jugglers,
minstrels, show girls, gypsies, pagan sorcerers, ring masters, ring mistresses
and clowns - reclaiming the roots and culture of mayday! Fancy dress,
a sense of humour and the guts to shake lose and inhabit new characters
and roles; the true spirit of circus culture - is the order of the day.
A vibrant and luminous celebration of the imminent death
of capitalism; a celebration of the new world waiting to be born; a resistance
in remembrance of those incarcerated and murdered by capitalism; and a
manifestation of our defiance as a movement to be labelled 'dead' by the
state, media and politicians the world over post September 11.
Following the tragedy in New York and continuing daily tragedies inflicted
by the war on terrorism the world over, many people, resident citizens
and "aliens" have been terrorised and attacked - the state whipping
up a climate of fear to justify its new racist and authoritarian legislation
and actions. We say: DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. Bring your fear, bring
your terror and exorcise it on the streets of Mayfair. Dress all in black
or white. Don the mantle of death with skeleton or ghost masks. Coffins,
tombstones - fluorescent a la the Mexican day of the Dead or blacker than
black props and garb - you chose.
A rambling, co-operative gigantic game with balls that reclaims the UK's
precursor to football - gameball - in a carnivalesque way. Gameball was
a mass multi-sided festival of play, enjoyed in villages throughout the
country in the 15th and 16th century. The objective of gameball was to keep
the ball (or pigs bladder as it was then) moving from one end of town to
the other. In the 17th and 18th centuries, people often called gameball
get-togethers with the aim of pulling down the fences around enclosed land
- common land "privatised" by the gentry, the state and private
landlords. This year's version of gameball has many balls and inflatables
(bring them with you), with the main goal being to keep co-operating, moving
and having a jolly good time. Handballs and bounces allowed. Anything goes!
Our goal is a new world! see
Mass bicycle (or wheel barrow/horse and cart) rides are a traditional part
of mayday celebrations today as much as they were in the past. Villagers
and townsfolk often took to the streets and lanes, together, in a show of
leisurely strength and solidarity. Got a pair of wheels? - be it a bicycle,
rollerskates, a wheelchair, a shopping trolley, or a skateboard - join in!
find out more about mayday critical
For Mayday in Mayfair to be a huge success we all need to
prepare. Make costumes, banners, flags, placards, whistles, claxons and
musical instruments. Get hold of inflatables, balls, nets and other props.
Make food and bring it to share. Look at a map of Mayfair and consider
the possibilities. Contact us for leaflets and stickers or produce your
own. Spread the word. Get together with your friends and form an affinity
group - a group of people you know and trust who will look out for each
other on the day. Above all get planning as Mayday is fast approaching!
There will be many other autonomously organised actions taking place
on Wednesday May 1st.
B.A.R.F - a Breakfast Against
Routine Fit-ups outside the WOMBLES trial at 9am, Horseferry Rd Magistrates
find out why the Wombles are on trial>>>
and a Soho
Carnival called by Sex Workers Pride which meets at 5pm, Old Compton
For details of these and other actions that we know about see the:
MAYDAY AUTONOMOUS ACTIONS PAGE>>>