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Apr 28, 16

May Day Across North America

Originally posted to It’s Going Down

May Day is an anarchist holiday against capitalism. Following demonstrations in the wake of strikers being killed by the police in Chicago in 1886, which left scores of workers killed as well as several police, the state rounded up several anarchist organizers and militants, Samuel Fielden, Albert Parsons, Louis Lingg, George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, and August Spies, and sentenced them to death despite any evidence connecting them to the violence. In the wake of the execution of the “HayMarket Martyrs, ” militant working-class formations began to mark May Day as a holiday to remember the slain anarchists as well as to honor their fight for a world free of capitalism. Meanwhile, many others were radicalized by the events in Chicago and became anarchists in the process of supporting those executed by the State. Others such as Lucy Parsons, a former slave who was married to a former Confederate soldier, Albert Parsons, who was executed, went on to play a huge role in the anarchist and wider labor movement. By honoring May Day, and moreover, by connecting it to struggles happening now, we build a link to the past; to others who fought and died to make these ideas a living, breathing reality.

The events at Haymarket square did not fall out of the sky; the anarchist movement in Chicago had been growing for many years in working-class areas. In the years leading up to Haymarket, anarchists both involved themselves in working-class struggles and also organized a counter-society that included everything from raising money for political prisoners, learning how to use weapons, and the publishing of anarchist ideas. Sound familiar?

In 2006 in the United States, immigrant workers took to the streets to beat back HR-4437, again tying May Day to workers struggles. This year, prisoners across the US are also calling for actions and work stoppages in various prisons and for those on the outside to organize rallies in solidarity. Meanwhile, a strike by tens of thousands of Verizon in the US is starting to gett out of the control of union bosses and a boycott of Driscoll’s berries expands in solidarity with a strike in Mexico.

What follows is a partial list of May Day events happening across the US, Mexico, and Canada called by anarchists and other revolutionary autonomous anti-capitalists. We recognize this list is incomplete and will be adding events as they are announced. Please feel free to contribute your May Day event.

Happy May Day!

may day

New York City, NY:
WHAT: Noise Demo in solidarity with prison strikers and Akai Gurley
WHEN: 6 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC, the federal prison in downtown Manhattan); Pearl Street, between Cardinal Hayes Place and Park Row (J to Chambers Street or 4/5/6/ to City Hall)
BRING: Noisemakers, air horns, drums, anything that is loud!
EXCERPT: American society’s core is predicated on slavery. When outright ownership of human beings was abolished, the prison system eventually filled the demand for a free labor force. However, while labor arrangements changed from chattel slavery to a wage labor system, the pervasive social context in the US has rested on the negation of person hood for Black people.


Seattle, WA:
WHAT: Anti-capitalist March
WHEN: 6 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: West Lake Park – 400 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
BRING: Black clothes, awareness, resolve, and running shoes.
EXCERPT:  It is a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives to give workers less hours, better pay, and safer working conditions. This is an annual event where we march in rage against capitalism and the oppressive forces that seek to gentrify our communities and force the poor into everlasting homelessness, or death.


Seattle, WA:
WHAT: Music Festival
WHEN: 10 am, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: West Lake Park – 400 Pine St, Seattle, Washington 98101
BRING: The little ones, the older ones.
EXCERPT: A family-friendly festival featuring anti-capitalist bands, various organizations and groups tabling, and presentations from groups about their various projects. The idea is to provide space for radical folx who may not be able to attend the Anti-capitalist March later in the day, be it due to children, priors, or anything else, and connect people to the wealth of organizing projects in the area. This is also an opportunity to showcase some local bands who refuse to shy away from their anti-capitalist leanings.




Boston, MA:
WHAT: Black Rose/Rosa Negra Love and Rage contingent (Rally and March)
WHEN: 3 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Chelsea City Hall – 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA 02150
BRING: Love and Rage.
EXCERPT: We have rage against the rich and their lackeys, for the pain, oppression, exploitation and fear they bring. We have rage against the police for targeting and murdering Black youth and incarcerating generations of people of color. We have rage for the prisons that hold our loved ones, stealing lives while perpetuating poverty, addiction, and trauma.


Oakland, CA:
WHAT: Rally / March
WHEN: 12 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Fruitvale Bart. 1 pm March to San Antonio Park
BRING: Food, picnic items, and plan to stay at San Antonio Park!
EXCERPT: UPHOLD WORKER AND STUDENT RIGHTS! No More Raids! No More Deportations! No More Gentrification! No More Police Violence – Black Lives Matter!



12986960_826799147463880_2155203417758204008_nSan Francisco, CA:
WHAT: IWW Contingent in larger ILWU Port Shutdown and March Against Police Violence
WHEN: 11 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: UNION HALL – ILWU, Local 10, 400 North Point Street, San Francisco CA.
BRING: Red and black flags, noise makers, banners.



bike_strike_may_1_flyerSan Francisco, CA: 
WHAT: IWW Bike Courier’s Strike
WHEN: 5pm
WHERE: Justin Herman Plaza, 1 Market Street, SF
EXCERPT: On Sunday May 1st 5PM at Justin Herman Plaza in SF the Bay Area IWW Couriers Union will be hosting a Bike Strike rolling picket line against courier companies that are exploiting their workers such as Postmates who illegally is mis-classifying their workers as independent contractors to pay them often below minimum wage and deny bike couriers workers compensation and Sprig inc. who’s bike couriers recently went union with the IWW were illegally laid of in mass in retaliation for organizing. Bring your bike!!! We will have music and different speakers who will talk about different exploitative delivery companies and how to fight back against your boss to build union power in the Bay Area and beyond.


Chicago, IL:
WHAT: Anarchist Black Cross Noise Demo
WHEN: 1 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Douglas Park – Garden on Ogden
BRING: Noise Makers and Friends.
EXCERPT:  Since 1886 May Day has been celebrated as an important anarchist holiday. It is especially relevant in Chicago, because it began here! We’re calling on all anti-capitalists to come out, reclaim the streets, and show solidarity with those behind prison walls. Wear your finest articles of black clothing and your snazziest black mask. Bring noisemakers and friends. We will meet in Douglas Park in the Garden on Ogden at 1 and step off at 2. See you in the streets!

11070546_708056615977863_1786695468085940910_nLos Angeles, CA:
WHAT: “General Strike
WHEN: 12 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE:1st & Main St. Downtown Los Angeles.
BRING: Food and Friends.
EXCERPT: Join us in Solidarity park for an open mic people’s assembly and pot-luck lunch. There are several May Day marches planned.
12 NOON arrive south lawn of LA City Hall
1:00 PM open mic people’s assembly
TBA (2,3 PM?) lunch served
4:20 pm Sunshine’s Daydream Garden memorial
7:30 PM film screening
9:00 PM begin clean-up
10:00 PM depart park


Pittsburgh, PA:
WHAT: May Day Eve Commemoration
WHEN: 8 pm, Saturday, April 31th
WHERE: 449 W 8th Ave Homestead, PA. Bulgarian Macedonian Cultural Center
BRING: Solidarity.
EXCERPT: All members of the working class are invited to come join Pittsburgh IWW as we recognize the true Labor Day, May 1. May Day, or International Workers’ Day, is a commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago and the fight for the eight-hour work day. Wobblies in Pittsburgh decided to mark the incredible historical significance of this day by having the Pittsburgh IWW chartered on May Day 2002. There will be working class music, a cash bar, potluck food, and an IWW literature table. If possible, please bring food to share.




Denver, CO: 
WHAT: IWW May Day Celebration
WHEN: 2-6pm
WHERE: 2199 California Street, Denver
EXCERPT: International Workers Day commemorates the fight for the 8-hour day in 1886, which led to a general strike in many U.S. cities on May 1st. In Chicago, worker militancy was met by police gunfire, killing two workers on May 3rd. Workers in the city revolted, not unlike the reaction in Ferguson to the shooting of Michael Brown, the Arab Spring sparked by the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia, and most recently the Nuit debout uprising against labor law gutting in France.

13062051_1049509041787743_6375216006296545608_nDenver, CO: 
WHAT: Denver Anarchist Black Cross hosts Paul Z. Simmons discussion on the autonomous Kurdish regions in Rojava.
WHERE: Whittier Community Center, 2900 Downing St, Unit 1
WHEN: May 1st, 6:30pm
EXCERPT: Anarchist author, Paul Z. Simons, will share reflections and inspirations from the scene. After the fall of the Syrian Government and in the midst of the current crisis, Kurdish organizations have been setting up regions free from domination by capitalism and state authority, attempting to put to rest feuds between different religious and ethnic groups, and challenging patriarchal domination over women and relating communally to the land.




Albuquerque, NM:
WHAT: March and Community Meal
WHEN: 12:30 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: San Mateo and Central. Community meal at 2:30 – Yale Park
BRING: Solidarity, Black Flags, Banners.
EXCERPT: Stand with fellow workers in solidarity here and across the globe in solidarity to uplift the working class and to live in harmony with the Earth. Haymarket remembrance.






Alabama (Prison):
WHAT: Strike / Outside solidarity
WHEN: 12 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Holman prison
BRING: Solidarity
EXCERPT:  Believe it or not, the entire country is looking at Alabama. Specifically, the Alabama Prison System and its Leadership. Right Now- We have a spotlight on the National stage to show & prove the Effects of: Alabama’s draconian Habitual Offenders Statute, Alabama’s Mandatory Life without Parole Capital Offense Statute, Alabama’s arbitrary Parole Board,
Alabama’s parasitic policy of Warehousing & Economical Exploitation rather than Education, Rehabilitation and ReEntry Preparedness.

May 1 – May 31… 30 DAYS OF NOTHING!
… No Work No Talk!

Kansas City, MO:
WHAT: Commemorative Picnic
WHEN: 6 pm, Saturday April 30th
WHERE: Prospect Plaza Park






montrealMontreal, Canada:
WHAT: Protest / Economic Disturbance
WHEN: 3 pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Entrance of McGill University (corner of Sherbrooke and McGill College, McGill metro station) & Square Phillips (corner of Ste-Catherine and Union, McGill metro station)
BRING: Solidarity, black clothes, accomplices.
EXCERPT: Against Imperialism, Racism, Borders and Colonialism: Together Let’s Smash Capitalism! Workers, the unemployed, students from everywhere in the world must unite against capitalist power. Against these attacks we must answer with solidarity.


Hamilton, Canada:
WHAT:  March & Block Party
WHEN: March @ 2 pm | Block Party @ 4:30 pm, Sunday May 1st
WHERE: Beasley Park
BRING: Friends, fun, noise
EXCERPT: The Hamilton May Day Coalition, in the tradition of May Days past, in the spirit of anti-capitalism, in solidarity with migrants and refugees, and in support of local struggles, invites you to a festive march and block party on Sunday, May 1st.




Toronto, Canada:
WHAT: No One is illegal march
WHEN: 1pm, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Yonge-Dundas Square
EXCERPT: Highlight the struggles of resistance to anti-black racism, police brutality, and issues deeply affecting black communities.


Cuernavaca, Mexico:
WHAT: March
WHEN: 9:30 am, Sunday, May 1st
WHERE: Barranca de Amanalco – Morelos, Mexico
EXCERPT: Porque tenemos memoria no olvidamos a nuestros compañeros caídos en mayo de 1886, hace 130 años, en Chicago. Conocidos como los mártires de Chicago, un grupo de trabajadores anarquistas que fueron condenados a la horca por reivindicar las demandas obreras.

Lxs compañerxs del Tianguis Cultural Zapata Vive nos unimos a la marcha independiente y junto a lxs trabajadores en lucha saldremos a las calles este primero de mayo día internacional del trabajo.

Nuestras demandas son por el respeto al espacio de trabajo de todxs los comerciantes en el territorio morelense en particular la de todxs nuestrxs compañerxs en resistencía, por nuestro derecho a trabajar, por la verdad y el castigo a los culpables de la desaparición de los 43 normalistas y en contra del Proyecto Integral Morelos, así como por todas las legitimas causas del pueblo mexicano.


13129013_1022657384482805_656244500_oOaxaca, Mexico:

WHAT: Demonstration
WHEN: 8:00 am, Sunday May 1st
WHERE: del Monumento a Juárez al Zócalo
EXCERPT: National Day of Struggle
United Struggle of All Exploited Sectors of the Country
For the valor of the working class of the country
For respect for labor rights
Against the structural reforms
Freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience!
United and organized we will win!

13077044_838861076242551_7857573432813724158_nYucatan, Mexico:
WHAT: March
WHEN: 9 am, Sunday May 1st
WHERE: Santa Lucia
EXCERPT: May First (International Workers Day) is not for celebrating with the boss, but for commemorating the struggle of the workers who gave their lives and blood to obtain better working conditions, the same that were snatched away with the Labor and Educational Reform. We invite you to participate in the march called for by Retirees, Students, and Teachers, against all structural reforms that harm the nation and to express your repudiation of the Educational Reform and to against demand its repeal. People unite!



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