Who Owns May Day?

The once innocent placing of May Day baskets and the celebration of Spring  has been secreted away only to be replaced by events for every wannabe occupy group from Oakland to NYC and beyond .  What is the attraction to May Day? While it is a holiday in other countries and the communist worker’s day,  groups here are trying to use May Day to revitalize the occupy passion again after it fizzled out in a slow degradation of health and safety issues at most encampments.

A sampling of posters and event schedules suggests that anyone can claim the day; immigrant rights, gay rights, free education, labor unions, anti corporate greed, anti Wall Street greed. Some roll it into a more enigmatic phrase, 99% Spring. Most art or graffiti is a call to return to the glory of the camp. All agree that no one should work, shop, attend school or have fun.  That’s what they’ve  always had in common anyway. Emphasis this year is put on students and teachers to abandon school, or better yet,  bring the whole class to Occupy.

“No single day, park, or effort can contain our vision; instead, we propose and will struggle to make all our universities places of free education, inquiry, and access to knowledge for all. We demand that our society put forward the necessary resources to provide such an education for all”.

Not all posters claim May Day peace and love. There are always the unspecified threats from Anonymous seen in this depiction.

” …official websites announce plans to “occupy” Manhattan-bound bridges and tunnels as well as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Tuesday. Besides street protests, sympathizers are asked to engage in a U.S. general strike to “shut it down,” referring to the country’s economy”.

 

Some posters display weapons or torching.  The headless cop is by far the most provocative. Many advocate picket lines, sit-ins, road blocks, and shut downs, the usual fare.  Seattle is bracing for violence cited in the Mayor’s press release.  LA activists claim they will shut down the flow of capital.

SEIU will be right in the middle again but will disavow any knowledge of property damage or violence. Expect the police to be blamed if people get hurt.

Of course, there will be drum circles and after parties.

By Mr. Nice Deb

Linked by Points and Figures and Pirates Cove, thanks!