“The rapid passage of time has brought us once again to the symbolic, evocative date of 1st May” CNT Spain 1947.
As the recession deepens, unemployment grows, another case of police brutality makes the headlines, factories become occupied, schools blockaded and thousands begin to come out on the streets, again we find ourselves approaching the historic May day date. Despite the media perpetuating a campaign of fear mongering continuing from the G20 circus, these turbulent times have put the anarchist movement back on the stage of history and the May Day weekend is on the cards to be quite a scorcher in the “Summer Of Rage”.
On the 1st May 1886 strikes and demonstrations brought the United States to a standstill under the demand of an eight hour work day. Real trouble didn’t occur until the 3rd when Police escorting scab workers into Chicago factories purposely fired revolvers into a demonstrating crowd. Two people were killed and many others injured. An emergency meeting was called for the 4th May in Haymarket Square on how to respond to the Police brutality and State oppression. Ironically the meeting was moved into Desplaines Street therefore the Haymarket tragedy didn’t happen in Haymarket at all or of course on May Day. As people left the meeting a large contingent of armed police attacked and a single dynamite bomb was thrown into their ranks, the explosion killing one policeman and wounding others, amongst the confusion the police fired their revolvers into the crowd killing seven of their own officers and injuring roughly sixty. The same number of civilians were killed and wounded. No one was ever caught or tried for throwing the bomb. But during the next eighteen months a small group of anarchists were turned into the Chicago Martyrs.
Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Louis Lagg, Michael Schwab, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe were put on trial and deliberately framed for murder by the State. These eight men were seen as the hard core of anarchist leadership in the Chicago labour movement and therefore a threat to the inbalanced power of the Capitalist State. On November 11th 1887, known as Black Friday, these men were condemned to death by hanging.
“The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” – August Spies.
For the forthcoming May Day weekend we will once again evoke the spirits of the Chicago Eight.
THURSDAY 30TH APRIL 2009 10AM: City Hall, Sir Paul Stephenson addresses first full meeting of the Met Police Authority since Ian Tomlinson’s death, so lets keep the pressure up on these bastards. Make some noise either in the public gallery or kettle them outside.
FRIDAY 1ST MAY 2009 12 NOON: Anarchist Rally, Clerkenwell Green London, open platform. Bring Red and Black Flags. Speakers so far include Pete Gold (Wapping Print Striker), Michael Dooley (UCATT), Ian Bone and possible speaker from current Visteon Factory occupations. Plus speakers from local anarchist groups across London (Including Whitechapel) and nationwide organisations as well as any one up for it.
FRIDAY 1ST MAY 2009 5.04PM: The Bank Of England London, “A Celebration Of The Police State”. Either come as a convict or come as a copper – “If they want a nation of criminals then let’s let them have it!” – called by our good friends Space Hijackers. Full details click HERE.
SUNDAY 3RD MAY 2009 12-6PM: Zine Symposium, Rag Factory 16-18 Heneage Street London E1 5LJ, just off Brick lane. Whitechapel Anarchist Group will have a stall with current and back issues of W.A.G paper plus stickers, posters, biscuits, debauchery and rowdiness.
MONDAY 4TH MAY 2009 12 NOON: Mass Street Party, Smash Edo/ITT Brighton. All details in the flyer below. Check the website HERE.
The true historic day of May 4th will see us in Brighton. Don’t miss out. Make sure you are there. As the momentum builds and builds we will all realise that the G20 was just the beginning of the long hot “Summer Of Rage”…
“The workers of Chicago and district had not assembled to celebrate the May Day holiday. They had gathered to resolve, in common, the problems of their lives and struggles.” – Nestor ‘Bad Man’ Makhno