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Today a group of anarchist protestors marched through downtown portland carrying a mock casket in honor of nicolas david neira alvares, a 15-year old anarchist beaten to death by police in bogota, columbia on may day.
The turn-out was small, but focused, and began at pioneer square and made its way through downtown--blocking the bus here and the streets here and there--and to the saturday marketplace, and then down 1st avenue to the world trade center, where the casket was left at the door under the guard of a security officer who raised his fist in solidarity with the marchers when they arrived.
As vibrant south american music played through a loudspeaker and various speakers keeping the marchers hungry, passers-by joined the march for a time and people watching voiced their support.
This Mayday, like many others around the world, workers from many social movements gathered in Bogota, Columbia to march for worker's rights and to commemorate the events of 1886 in Chicago. According to accounts there was music and dancing and folks were in a non-violent mood. As the march reached the downtown area, pigz suddenly opened fire with tear gas and rubber bullets. Exploiting the chaos that ensued the pigz(faces concealed) charged into the crowd brutally beating people. In this moment 8 pigz singled out a 15 yr old male anarchist and beat him into unconsciousness. Many comrades bravely attempted to interfere to rescue him. It is unclear how long it was before they were successful. Alvares was then taken to the Salud Coop Hospital where he suffered for 7 days until his death. Apparently the trauma was so extensive that they were unable to operate to save him.
As usual, this May Day there was a massive demonstration in BogotÃ¡, Colombia. Hundreds of people from a diverse range of social movements took the streets to fight against capitalism. Walking along with the workers, there were a lot of young anarchists that agitated their black flags and shouted for freedom while hearing rock bands in a non-violent attitude. Suddenly, when the demonstration reached one of the main streets of downtown BogotÃ¡, the police started to throw tear gas to the anarchists without any reason. Soon there was an explosion and the police initiated a violent repression, hitting people with wooden sticks and shooting rubber bullets in all directions. In this moment a 15 year old, who was walking inside the anarchist block, was badly beaten up by various policemen.
We met in the North Park Blocks and there were speakers from unions, farmworkers, anarchists and Code Pink. Someone put up a maypole and unionists, anarchists, children, a farm worker and other people took hold of the ribbons that walked the may pole.
There were several hundred people who walked to the INS where speakers talked about legislation and corporation around immigrants and farm workers. Someone tried to burn a flag there and someone else tried to take it away and after a short tussle, the flag was given back and we all walked on.
We walked a mile or so to the World Trade Center where there was a banner strung across the street celebrating free trade. It was hard to hear the speakers because they did not have any kind of amplifying device.
[ May Day's Past, as reported to portland indymedia ]
May Day in Oly an expression of Freedom and Liberty with resistence against war, oppression and dumb rules made by dumber 'residents' high on power. No blood oil to burn - all foot power to reclaim the streets. A day away from our chattel to say for Labour Day in Oly-Ox-Run-Free!
This May Day in Oly, was a day off in celebration of our lives and a renewal of what it may feel for us to truly be free and be at liberty to do whatever we please in our city and streets and do no harm and not comply to the belief in blood oil or the WAR. The day started with an essential late breakfast of several hundred loaves of organic hearth breads for several hundred friends of peace. Later, the hoe down band came and there was square dancing at Heritage Park. Food not Bombs fed a wonderful lunch (even with a vegan ice cream made on site) to the band on one side and drums on the other. [ read the full article... ]
After attending the May Day march, I wonder what exactly is going on here? The history of May Day is a dispute between union members and anarchists, but at its heart, May Day is a celebration for the working class. The struggles of class war and the fight for workers rights is the spirit of May Day...and, you know, it seems Portland has lost its spirit.
I started on the march at the IWW hall, where the radical feeder march was leaving from. I got there shortly before they pushed off. Around noon-ish, someone stood on a chair and gathered peoples attention. He asked questions about how/where people would feel comfortable with this feeder march. Overwhelmingly the people gathered wanted to take the street and march across the Burnside Bridge without a permit, regardless of the police. I think only one person raised a hand for marching on the sidewalk. [ read the full article... ]
REALTED ARTICLES: Portland May Day 2004 Pictures | May Day 2004 Photos | insulted by kucinich's presence at mayday | Kucinich May Day 2004 Appearance in Portland (photos) | Vancouver Canada May Day Photos
Portland IWW Mayday Planning Committee to provide childcare at our union hall.
Where: IWW Hall, 616 East Burnside St., Portland, OR
[ Contact Info... ]
Mayday is a day long event this year!
With the themes of Health Care, Jobs/Overtime, & The Right to Organize,
8:30am Labor Breakfast with Congressman and Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich
After the March party at the IWW hall at SE 6th and Burnside
6 pm 7th Annual Labor Appreciation Night @ Westmoreland Union Manor, 6404 SE. 23rd Ave.
Attention my fellow Anarchists, anti-capitalists, anti-authoritarians and activists this is a call for a Portland Black Bloc on Mayday at the North Park Blocks. At high noon speakers until 2pm then we take the streets! [ read more... ]
you know. comments: Hi Folks. Okay, I am all for black bloc tactics and think that they can be wonderfully effective when organized and carried out correctly. This is not it. I want to encourage every single person that reads this to pay attention to some of the things that I will say and to show up for the MayDay actions but not for the black bloc.
Gene Lawhorn comments: In response to the call to militant action by Widerstand: First Widerstand needs to brush up on his or her history. May Day originated out of the Carpenters Union back in 1884 when P.J. McGuire had a resolution introduced in the FOTLU convention. That's the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of Canada and the US, the predecessor of the AFL, American Federation of Labor. The resolution called for a general strike for the eight hour day by all working people to begin on May first of 1886. The Anarchist who like to claim May Day as their holiday were against the eight hour day at first. They felt the eight hour day was too much of a compromise to the capitalist system. Furthermore the Haymarket martyrs were executed in 1887, not 1886.
From the open publishing newswire: I showed up at the May Day staging area (corner of NW Park and Burnside) at about 3pm. The march itself was scheduled for 4:30pm. By the time I arrived, the turnout was still quite small, probably not more than a hundred people. The first thing I noticed was a Maypole set up at the south end of the park, where about twenty people were enacting a traditional Maypole dance, as befits an event which is a combination ancient pagan folk holiday celebrating the advent of Spring, and a workers holiday celebrating the struggles of workers. The folks enacting this archaic ritual seemed a bit bemused, in a self-conscious way, but a lot of goodnatured goofiness was enjoyed by all.
A stage was set up on a rented flatbed truck at the northwest corner of the park. I didn't pay much attention to the speeches, though I caught a few snippets. There were speakers from the Carpenter's Union (who were instrumental in organizing the stage and equipment and other details of the event), the Socialist Party, and the local IWW chapter. By the time the march started, the crowd had swelled to between 500 and a thousand people. As we marched through the canyons of tall buildings downtown, the drummers acquired an impressive verve that more than made up for the relatively modest turnout. People carried banners and buttons denouncing the war and calling to defend workers rights. At one point early on the Critical Mass intersected the march, at that time pursued by a not yet too aggressive police presence.
mayday - festive, even if it wasn't interesting
soon the IWW feeder march arrives to much fanfare and much in the way of black and red balloons. seeing the black bloc gals and fellows marching with little red and black balloons serves as a highlight to the day. the march starts, and the banners upfront are made small by comparison to the looming black star carried by two poles that says 'achieve' with a circle A.
What has happened to Indymedia and to May Day?
Back to May Day, what a dissapointment! One would think that getting a permit would help ensure more participation from mainstream union folks, and less participation from the police. In fact, it seemed to work the other way around. Yesterday's march had a much smaller turnout than the last two year's. Andy Davis mentioned May Day 2001, where organizers were able to force the police to have a minimal presence. This year, organizers not only retreated on the important political and tactical position of no permits, they apparently failed to get anything in return for this major concession.
From the open publishing newswire: - I was under the impression that riding bikes in the street was lawful? I assumed wrong. That officer Rowley came zooming up behind us (about 40 people riding) and started laying on his horn - I looked back and recognized him - "that's the one that needs a hug" - He pulled out a red can of pepper spray and taunted folks with it - he was yelling too - but I couldn't understand what he was saying. I then asked fellow riders - "are we in trouble?". Being a single mom - and a self-employed artist - I can't - and don't want to go to jail - nor be beaten and sprayed. I was told no - just stay together and ignore them.
Well we rounded the corner - and the whole group was split into two groups. My group was told to drop the bikes and get your id ready. At this point I'm getting scared. It was as if they had swarmed in on us - and this whole time I'm having a good time and assumed I wasn't breaking the law. Officer Rowley was like a seething dog - not sure what his problem is - but he seemed to be extremely angry?? People were pushed to the ground - backpacks were RIPPED OFF OF people and their bikes - one other guy had 4 officers on him - (he was NOT resisting) - and had his forehead crack on the pavement. [Full Story...]
interesting ride this evening
pictures of critical mass arrests When we turned left on Salmon it was so charming to see every one in the critical mass stretch out their arms in unison to make their left hand turn signals. The cops in the cruiser were not impressed. They had already flipped on their red and blue lights and siren and called for "back up". Before we crossed Tenth Avenue the cops began grabbing cyclists. I have no idea how they chose their victims. Here are some pictures of how the police handled two cyclists today: [Full Story and detailed photos... ]
MayDay Critical Mass a Success!!!
From the open publishing newswire:
MayDay 2003 in Olympia (a real I witness account)
I walked up to the convergence around 12:34pm and saw an American flag! My first thoughts were that the fascists took over the Oly May Day. When I walked closer I saw that it was the Adbusters corporate flagÃ‚Â—to my somewhat relief.
The crowd, or unruly mob as some will paint it, was unusually small this year. About 300 people made a quick turn towards the 4th Ave. Bridge, which is forbidden to protesters since the anti-capitalist earthquake destroyed it a couple of years ago. The Ã‚"protest policeÃ‚", actually the die-hard liberals, heeded the pigÃ‚'s advice and moved the parade the other way. The INB drummed us in a Ã‚"nicer directionÃ‚". The black bock of two were thoroughly discouraged by this move.
We paraded in a snake march around Oly, stopping traffic and disrupting business as usual. We headed to the National Guard Armory by way of City Hall and Mickey DÃ‚'s. Organizers wanted to point out the militarization of our community, and that if we ever did get out of hand, these assholes would be the first ones to try to fuck us up. Not on this day though. [Read More...]
Well, maybe not "just another parade." As parades go, its certainly way down on one side of the spectrum down past the Procession of the Species and pretty far away from the Lakefair parade. But, yes May Day has become established. Now in its fourth year... [Read More...]
From the open publishing newswire:
Love and Revolution with Anti-Capitalist Action2:30 pm - Gathering/Speakers
4:30 pm - March
And Later [8PM] come celebrate Mayday at Liberty Hall! (311 N Ivy) --- Plus tables, food, films and revolution. Also the release party for Little Beirut three (biggest issue yet!) [ Celebrate Mayday w/the ACA! ]
Chased and Smashed
and spoken word by Laurie
IWW Gives You the WorldChildcare: Don't feel comfortable bringing your youngun to the march? The IWW will provide childcare at the hall (616 E Burnside) starting at 1pm.
Feeder March: Fellow and Sister Workers & Friends of the IWW are invited to march with us from the IWW Hall (616 E Burnside) at 3pm to the North Park Blocks. Red & black clothing (or your Sunday best) is encouraged.
Jail Support: Even though the march is permitted, you can't be too careful. The IWW has arrange to provide Jail Support. The phone number will be made available on the day of the march.
After March Reception: After the march, join the IWW for snacks and beverages at the Hall (616 E Burnside) starting at 7:30pm. [ IWW's May Day plans ]
Critical Mass in RedblocMeet at the block north of the "north park blocks" and the big elephant statue at 4pm (the permited MayDay march leaves at 4:30pm). Form riding groups of 10 to 20 riders with people that you know or recognize, and off we go! After this it is up in the air, any direction we please, perhaps looping back several times to the main march to check in and give moral support to those being herded by portland's finest. Bring noise makers!!! buckets, cans, pots and pans! bang it, ring it, yell and sing it! this is our party, [ let's make it so! ]
May Day Radical Feeder March | Mime Block For May Day | May Day--Final Night of Labor Film Fest 7 & 9:30 at Laurelhurst Theater | GENERAL STRIKE in Bend, OR | May Day Flier May Day - the Real Labor Day (Full) | History of May Day | May Day Permit? | Will there be a Maypole? | Corporate Media: May Day Activists Apply for Permit | Color Posters at Revolutionary Worker | http://www.rwor.org/a/may1/may03-e.htm | IWW's May Day plans | let's make it so! | May Day Radical Feeder March | Mime Block For May Day | May Day--Final Night of Labor Film Fest 7 & 9:30 at Laurelhurst Theater | GENERAL STRIKE in Bend, OR | May Day Flier | May Day - the Real Labor Day (Full) | History of May Day | May Day Permit? | Will there be a Maypole? | Corporate Media: May Day Activists Apply for Permit | May Day Betrayal - There will be a permit but no May Pole | YES, THERE WILL BE A MAYPOLE! | Merry May! | You Are Being Watched! | Why I Wear a Mask | mayday (What is Mayday? It is a distress signal, a warning cry.) | the bottom line is the dollar sign | Can't get off work for the rally?
From the open publishing newswire: Why No IMC Promotion of Mayday March? Hey IMC Folks! Why no center articles about NEXT week's Mayday March. Several pdfs have been posted, articles, etc. it could use a shot in the arm... [ Read More... ] History of May Day | May Day Flier | May Day Permit? | Will there be a Maypole? | May Day - the Real Labor Day (Full) | Little Beirut release party / benefit on MayDay at Liberty Hall | Gertha asks: Does anyone know if we will be so lucky as to have the Infernal Noise Brigade down here this year?
Mime Block For May DayGet out your black leotard and white face paint and join the revolutaionary mime block! ~ We will carry blank signs! ~ We will hand out black leftlets! ~ We will throw imaginary brick through imaginary windows! ~ [ You[r] silence is your dissent! ]
Critical Mass in Redblocfine, fine, the march is permitted this year. The police will be march-stepping the crowd, keeping it "safe." We can make the general march safer by meeting, grouping up in the manner that we did for the Scavenger Hunt Critical Mass of last week, and riding around the city. It's Mayday, let's celebrate it, and not by marching in a police-guided tour... but as the rabidly freedom-loving bike-archists that we all are!!! Meet at the block north of the "north park blocks" and the big elephant statue at 4pm (the permited MayDay march leaves at 4:30pm). Form riding groups of 10 to 20 riders with people that you know or recognize, and off we go! After this it is up in the air, any direction we please, perhaps looping back several times to the main march to check in and give moral support to those being herded by portland's finest. Bring noise makers!!! buckets, cans, pots and pans! bang it, ring it, yell and sing it! this is our party, [ let's make it so! ]
May 1st is International Workers' Day, and is officially celebrated in every country but the United States and Canada. In 2000, May Day was marked by police violence in Portland, but the last two years, Vera's boys in blue have behaved themselves better. Around 1500 people gathered in the North Park Blocks in Portland and marched through the city today, making stops at the INS building and Taco Bell, among other places. A major theme of the event was immigrant rights. One arrest has been reported so far.
Summary of the day: [ "portland mayday" ]
PHOTOS: [ "PDX MayDay photos Series 1" | "PDX MayDay photos Series 2" | "PDX MayDay photos Series 3" | "photos from the portland mayday march #1" | "portland mayday photos #2" | "Portland May Day images" ]
Around The Globe
On Friday, 27 July, police harrassed a special Critical Mass being held in memorium for a cyclist's death. Two arrested and at least six citations were issued. It was described by one participant as "May Day of 1999 all over again". What was supposed to be an 'In Memorium' Critical Mass ride for the death of a fellow cyclist turned into confusion, oppression and of course, arrests made by Portland's finest. The route was simple. From downtown, over the Burnside Bridge, up Sandy Boulevard to 37th, back around onto 39th and into Laurelhurst Park for a party. The ride never made it en mass to the memorial site of 37th and Sandy.
Approximately four Portland Police cars screeched to a halt when the ride came to the bottom of the Burnside Bridge at Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard. PP blocked the ride, and two-and a half lanes of traffic eastbound from the bridge. Tickets were given to a few cyclists for 'impeding traffic'. The ride attempted to continue on across MLK, but was stopped between MLK and Grand, with more tickets given. The ride gave a last ditch effort to continue uninterrupted. At approximately 7th and Burnside, cyclists were told to get off the street, two were arrested, more tickets were issued--the madness had officially began.
May Day celebrations in Portland went off without a hitch; police kept their promise not to riot like they did last year; 1500 people came out and had a great time celebrating workers' rights and demanding an end to corporate and capitalist exploitation. Portland IMC provided a blow-by-blow log of the afternoon's events. For historical background on May Day background, see the Portland IMC May Day Special Feature.
PHOTOS: [ solidarity | may pole | may crown | fairy wings | fire your boss | gold mask | costumes | infernal noise brigade: 1 2 3 | green guns | crowd | radical cheerleaders!: 1 2 | pacific green party | skeleton | baby | mirrored shield | stilts | puppet: 1 2 | riot cops | marching band | even More MAY DAY photos ]
CARTOON from Channel X (requires Macromedia Flash).