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News ::
Boston celebrates May Day
08 May 2002
a compilation of articles taken from the newswire regarding May Day celebrations




Boston May Day honors Immigrant Labor

by weaver
9:54am Thu May 2 '02 (Modified on 8:39pm Thu May 2 '02)



weaver (at) bostonglobalaction.net


Brief summary of Boston May Day events.


In Boston, May Day was wonderfully celebrated much like it was last year with three separate but connected events:
1) Late morning, about 200-300 radical youth turned out for the Revolutionary May Day March through downtown Boston. Waving red and black flags in the anarchist tradition, many of the marchers came from out of town, assembling in Boston for the week-long Festival del Pueblo.
2) In the afternoon, the Massachusetts Legalization Coalition put on a larger but also militant rally, drawing over 500 people of both immigrant and native-born backgrounds to the Boston Commons in a show of support for undocumented workers and immigrant rights. Dozens of nationalities and labor unions were represented in the crowd, as speakers and singers talked about the plight of immigrant workers and the need to organize and fight for their rights.
3) At night, the Coolidge Corner Theater was packed for the kick-off of the Third Annual Labor Film Festival. The three-hour extravaganza included a relating of the history of May Day in song, dance, and artwork and a screening of the film ?Occupation? about the Harvard Living Wage Sit-in last spring which was introduced by people?s historian, Howard Zinn. Live performances featured Minnesota?s Larry Long, the man Studs Terkel called ?the closest thing America has to Woody Guthrie?, Boston?s own Martha Leader, Rev. David Carl Olson, and Chilean radical folksinger Sergio Reyes, and members of A Besere Velt: the Yiddish Community Chorus of the Workmen?s Circle. A rich tribute was paid to the Haymarket Martyrs, Sacco and Venzetti, and Lawrence garment workers by various artists, linking their immigrant roots with those of immigrants today.
May Day celebrations will continue through the weekend with the annual Wake Up the Earth Parade and Festival on May 4, and the events connected with the Festival del Pueblo and Labor Film Festival.bostonglobalaction.netadd your own comments







flouri-

it is certainly true that support systems need to be established to allow non-wh
ite, non-priviledged people to join in the normal functions of life (let alone v
ociferous demonstrations). in fact, many of the larger anarchist organizations a
re currently involved in establishing those support systems. the dc acc seems to
have spent a good amount of time on local issues and construction of a local po
litical community--also see www.infoshop.org for an extensive list of organizati
ons that work to support immigrants and other marginalized groups. with support,
the work these groups have committed to will hopefully bring us into a world wh
ere people on the corner can hop into a march regardless of their race.

 



RE been there


by quit whining
2:30pm Tue May 7 '02








Hey Been there, how good of you to point out this same

building had some kind of action in the past. You are so cool. Your comments r
emind of high school when that one kid who could never really hold on to any fre
inds would always whine about what other people were doing, and spend hours broo
ding over different ways to discredit people who were actually doing something.
Grow up.

White, often middle class, usually punk anarchists being the core of the move
ment has been critisized for a while now, as it should be. But is this all you
do? Just play around on the internet and complain about other actions?

Do you know the south end at all?

I never really have time to check out internet sites, because I work. But co
mments like yours really turn people away. It is not constructive critisism, it
is a petty attempt to be condescending and self-gratifying.


to respond




Festival Del Pueblo Concerns


by sterren
12:56pm Mon May 6 '02 (Modified on 7:12pm Tue May 7 '02)



address: maine sterren (at) brandeis.edu <
/font>


This is in response to comments to the newswire post http://boston.indymedia.org
/front.php3?article_id=6207&group= Building Liberation post:


--------


My reply:


I am very glad that the North American anarchist movement is changing rapidly in
various regions. However, that was not evidenced at all at the Festival Del Pue
blo in Boston. To start with the criticisms:


The vast majority of the group that turned out for the festival del pueblo was w
hite. That?s not dissapearing people of color, that?s stating a fact that was ob
vious, and you can even see it quite well in the photos. The majority of people
in the group were in their mid-teens to twenties, childless, able-bodied, and pa
rt of the punk scene. I was there, this is not disappearing people, this is just
stating a fact.


For example - One woman brought her child to the march and bookfair, expecting c
hild care that the fdp website had said would be available. However, there ended
up being none, and she was told by the organizers that no childcare had been ar
anged since no one had replied saying they definitely would need childcare. That
?s like saying no vegan food options were arranged because no vegans had said th
ey?d be needing food there. It was assuming homogeneity. It wouldn?t have taken
much at all to have some people prepared to do childcare, just in case someone n
eeded it, instead of assuming that no one would - if no one did, those people wo
uld have been free to do something else. To the organizers? credit, good childca
re was made available the next day.


For example - Myself and some friends stayed with a fried of mine who is Puerto
Rican, is middle aged, has four children, lives in Mattapan, and works in Boston
and JP. He is also involved in various immigrant rights, political prisoners, a
nd anarchist groups. Yet when I called him about 3 weeks prior to the event tell
ing him I?d be in the area, he had never heard of Festival Del Pueblo (rather ir
onically named with the lack of spanish speaking people involved it seemed.) I l
ive in central Maine, and had known about the festival for months. Why? I went t
o the anarchist bookfair in Amherst, MA, that last fall, and also had read the m
any posts about it on the Indymedia sites. I was not involved with organizing it
, so I don?t know what else happened, but it seemed to me that the majority of o
utreach went on online, at anarchist bookfairs, and punk shows.


For example - At 3:30 pm on May 1st there was a large Immigrants Rights rally in
Boston Commons. While there was brief mention of this rally in the FDP handbook
, it did not list the time and place. Also, it was the same time as a number of
workshops at the bookfair (some, ironically, dealing with issues of race and pri
vilege). I found out, from a separate source, the time and place of the rally, a
nd ended up going. Most of the people I talked to who didn?t attend the rally ei
ther didn?t go because they didn?t want to miss a certain workshop, or because t
hey didn?t know it occured until afterward. The amount of people from FDP at the
rally was accordingly very small.


- This is really minor, and may just be my personal weirdness, but it just seeme
d a bit odd for a group of largely white kids to be marching through the streets
past construction workers, food service workers, and others, chanting a sing-so
ngy ?May Day, No Work.?


One problem it seemed was that this whole event somehow got marketed, as it were
, just to the anarchist punk ?scene? which, in new england at least, is largely,
young, white, and childless, and arrangements were made accordingly. I probably
wouldn?t have so much a problem with this if the festival hadn?t claimed to be
something more than it was. It claimed ?those of us who are sick and tired of be
ing cold all winter, of living on too little food, on too little money, of being
harassed for being the wrong color; those of us who are tired of struggling jus
t to survive will come together in Boston in a struggle to truly live...? and th
at the focus would be on ?Affordable Housing For All

* Universal Health Care For All

* Amnesty For All Immigrants

* the US Out of Latin America; Puerto Rican Independence; and an End to Plan Col
ombia

* An End to Police Brutality

* The Dismantlement of the Prison-Industrial Complex

* Women?s Reproductive Rights and An End to Sexism

* Sexual Liberation and An End to Homophobia and Transphobia

* A Sustainable Ecology; An End to the Poisoning Of Our Communities and the Eart
h

* Community Empowerment, Resistance, and Freedom?


Yet the people affected by and dealing with these issues, outside of the punk sc
ene, seemed largely non-involved with the festival. And no, you can?t force peop
le to attend, and we shouldn?t be trying only to get a more diverse group of peo
ple involved with ?our? events, for the sake of our events looking diverse. But
the preferable work of ?progress building ally relationships with community orga
nizations dominated by people of color? did not appear to have been done either.


You ask for people to be constructive and point out examples of what could be do
ne differently - so here goes:


- Make sure the events you are organizing are accessable. That means handicapped
accessable, childcare available, and outreach done in person and not focused ju
st online.


- Make sure outreach is done outside of the anarchist ?scene.? Anarchism is an i
deal that should not be so scene-based as it seems to be. Too often I find, when
people are referring to the anarchist movement, they are really referring to th
e anarchist punk scene, as typified by crimethinc and such. (Note: I respect and
enjoy punk cultures, but I also respect and enjoy any number of other cultures,
and am confused as to why anarchism seems so isolated in the US to the punk sce
ne.) Make sure language is regular language, and not movement speak, or else we
fall in the same hole as the Trotskyists and their crowd.


- Actually make an effort to connect with groups in your community working on th
e issues you?re focusing on. Go to their meetings, tell them about the event you
?re organizing, ask if they want to be involved, what they think should be done
differently, support their organizing and their events. Connect as people. Focus
ing on tenants rights? Maybe talk to a tenants union, or tenants in your area, o
rganize an action with them. Focusing on immigrants rights? Maybe talk to immigr
ants in your area, organize an action with them. Focusing on sexual liberation,
queer rights? Maybe talk to people involved with queer struggles in your area, o
rganize an action with them. Learn what people who are directly affected by the
issues are currently dealing with, what they think might be the most effective a
ctions to take.


- Do a little research to find out what related events are going on during the g
athering you are organizing. Find out how you can support each other, don?t sche
dule major events at the same time if possible.


- Even if it is just a temporary, symbolic action like a temporary building take
over in a community, you are *still in a community.* Make connections with membe
rs of that community beforehand, collaborate, learn from them.


Maybe this work was done for FDP, and I?m not aware of it. As I said, I wasn?t i
nvolved with organizing this festival, I know it?s always much easier to critici
ze from the outside, rather than getting involved. I apologise for my ignorance
of what fully went on in the organizing of this gathering, and I do appreciate a
ll the hard work that people put into making this happen. At the same time, I th
ink these problems do need to be discussed and brought out in the open, so the p
roblems do not occur again and again, so that we can actually learn and get clos
er to the communities and worlds that we want. We can?t continue to have little
anarchist field trips where a ton of time and energy goes into feeling we?ve acc
omplished something major by marching and carrying some banners, taking symbolic
actions, going to workshops, tabling, and having shows. We are doing a wonderfu
l thing in reclaiming public space, freedom to play, freedom to teach ourselves,
making personal connections with eachother - but so have so many intentional co
mmunities, rainbow gatherings, and the like. These are only a part of what we ne
ed to be doing if we want to be building true connections, working toward puttin
g anarchist ideas into action, and creating any sort of real change.


be well,

sterrenadd your own comments<
/a>


 



Why not pink


by Molotif
2:29pm Mon May 6 '02








I agree... Some steps have been taken I think at this Festival, but we still ha
ve a long way to go.... I think some of the people who attended still are in th
e process of learning about the whole movement, which is not to say that they do
n?t have time...

The problem with the culture, when it comes from such a stong anti-everything su
b-culture image network, is it becomes really hard for the rest of the world to
connect to our struggles, and the struggles that we suppossedly support...

For instance, when we were on Newbury St. yesterday, I was paying close attentio
n to the shopper?s responses.. First of all, they had no idea what we were all
about, they kept on asking me... I heard one woman say .. "That?s what hap
pens when they listen to too much Marilyn Manson...."
That just blew it over the top for me.. Do we really want to be associated with
that juvenile shit... I wish we were more colorful and creative, less alienating
,and still fucking shit up in a more interesting way, like the housing occupatio
n, that was beautiful.....


As for the outreach into the ghetto, that was much more successful than I had th
ought it would be.... The general response seemed to be of support, rather than
"who the hell do those white kids think they are...."


They definitely connected to the idea of giving people places to live before loc
king them up, but they couldn?t get much more out of the whole thing...

I stayed behind to talk to these people, and they were impressed but confused...
. They asked me where the organization was, how they could help, and I was rushi
ngly trying to get words out.... "Just go to Lucy Parson?s....."


After talking to this immigrant in a wheelchair, he followed or actually lead th
e front of the march the whole way with his fist in the air!!!!!


We really need more outreach.... There wasn?t one person handing out flyers!!!


And the war against the cop thing.....

Yes, the cops were strangely too nice, suspicious, but I think they just had nev
er dealt with these kind of tactics before, and saw people with video cameras et
c and didn?t want to make themselves look bad...


One bloc-er dropped his walky talky when he was jumping over a car, immediately
after the window cracking.... A cop picked it up and the kid yelled to get it
back, and the cop quickly handed it back over.... The kid then thanked the cop.
. "Thanks big guy.."

It was so hilarious and great to see everyone working together.....

Some kids tipped over a fancy motor bike by accident and they rushed to pick it
back up....


The Wake the Earth march was somewhat of a success too. If more of the kids who
were too punk to march with a bunch of community groups had actually participate
d it would have been amazing...


We were communicating with the little tykes at the festival, getting them pumped
, but most of the rest of the public were just bewildered by our squat-like pres
ence....


I hope there?s more great community collaborative efforts to come.. It is moving
....


We have to smash down ALL WALLS !!!!

 



del pueblo etc.

by graham
4:42pm Mon May 6 '02



phone: 617-267-2961 alwysfornever (at) aol.com




i agree with most of the above statements. for the most part i was very pleased with theoutcomes of the day. but, the
public who witnessed what was going on, either in roxbury or on newbury etc. were left with nothing to hold onto etc. t
here definately should have been people running alongside, behind, and infront passing out flyers. this easily could ha
ve been done by 5 or so kids. that way these peopple would have been able to read about the issues which we all felt so
strongly about.


as far as the cop issue goes i think they were generally surprised that there were 100-150 kids. they obviously knew it
was going to happen, but at the beginning of the march there were only 2 officers in sight, right outside the roxbury t
-stop. throughout the majority of the march i dont think there was more then one car or 2 motorbikes trailing us. it w
asn?t until newbury st. that they really started to gain numbers, which is exactly when we started to lose numbers. the
re should have been more chants going on down newbury st. because that was when there was more of a public to hear what
we were marching for.


i was one of the kids who helped to pick up the motorbike, even though i didn?t knock it over. i think what a lot of pe
ople need to realize is we weren?t there to destory public property. corporate property is another issue. but, the rec
laiming of the building in newbury was beautiul, but the fact that in doing so we blocked off an independentely owned bu
siness was discouraging. although i did see the owner and he didn?t seem to upset or worried about anything. i believe
there was someone there talking to him and letting him know what was going on etc., and we weren?t protesting his busin
ess etc.


overall it was a great march, but there could and should have been A LOT more public outreach etc.

 



Problems of Sectarianism

by Ben Grosscup
8:30pm Mon May 6 '02



stokingtehfires (at) riseup.net



I was glad to read these thoughtful and comradely criticisms. I was very dissapointed with the organizing behind the eve
nt myself, though I must say I had a wonderful time while in Boston meeting many of the wonderful people there.


I do have sympathy for the situation of the organizers in terms of securing space. This was a difficulty througout the w
eek. Its damn hard to do that in many urban environments and it is totally forgivable. We just need to be more creative
and resourceful in securing space for events.


Another problem not brought up so far on this message board is what seams to me to be sectarianism. The Barricada Colelc
tive, one of the main organizing groups of the Festival Del Pueblo, in its self-description calls itself "non-parti
san" (see: http://barricada.org/index2.html) What I am reffering to is an unwillingness to share power with other o
rganizers. The goals of a "stateless classless society," or dare we say in the positive, a "free society&
quot; are goals that revolutionary social anarchists embrace. In this process, it is important that groups initiating ne
w projects work hard to find other groups with whom to share power. For an anti-capitalsit focus for a week festival, it
should not mean picking up any liberal group on a coalition and watering down the politics to a reformist program for s
ustaining capitalism in a less harmful form. It should mean being plain about our politics and more public about our pol
itics. For this we must also be very clear about our politics.


My hope for Anarchists, particularly in North America is that they continue to clarify their ideas and work to bring the
ir ideas to the public sphere. This does not mean abandoning one?s ?sub-culture.? It does mean the creation of a politic
s that goes beyond that given subculture, that can be a positive force in society generally. In the most recent edition
of Onward (http://www.onwardnewspaper.org/), my comrade Soliman Lawrance pointed out that for example, Marxists don?t ha
ve a particular style of dress or a particular style of music that is inseparable from their ideas. Social Anarchism or
anarcho-communism (two ways of saying it that I like) needs to become a coherant, clearly articulated set of ideas that
respect sub-cultures of extensive variety, transcend the limitations of Marxism, and develops revolutionary praxis for a
free society.


I live in Vermont so I am unable to talk about the anarchist movement in Boston with great familiarity. I am hoping that
anarchists in Boston and in other places can present their politics publically and as a dialogue with people in their c
ommunities that anti-authoritarian politics can become more widely accepted. As we develop new ideas about how society s
hould work we can begin to create concrete institutions that express our politics. (I?m currently workign on an article
about this topic, which I?ll post once completed)


It disturbs me that there was no widely publicized general meeting before the demonstration on May 5. To me simply getti
ng a flyer with a location and time is not enough of a basis to go to a demopnstration. Days before the action I picked
up a flyer that said there would be two marches. One militant march and one march that would not be militant. I decided
not to go, partly because it seemed like a dangerous situation in which I would have little if any support. Later I fou
nd out that only one march actually occurred and that no arrests were made. This is a pattern of events that is becoming
common place:


For the information leading up to an event, make it sound like it will be a very militant intense action, but organize p
rimarily within the sub-culture of other young white anarchists. Tell everybody to organize autonoumously. Don?t put muc
h care into organizational meetings leading up to the event. Tell people that they should come prepared for a militant a
ction. People haven?t made concrete agreements with each other for the action, each person or in better cases, affinity
groups is isolated from others participating. Then the action happens, and no substantial militant action occurs.


I am particularly reffering to the anti-WEF protests organized by the NYC anti-capitalist convergence last January. In t
hat instance however, police made a pre-emptive strike against a large block of militant looking black-clad people. Perh
aps this type of organizing is not directly hurting anyone but the anarchist movement itself.


We are living in mind-bogglingly counter-revolutionary times. Capitalist ideologues are saying we?ve reached the end of
history and there?s no possibility to transcend the basic foundations of capitalist and state structures. Anyone organiz
ing for revolutionary change in this situation is going to have a hard time. My solidarity to all who attended the march
. I wish that I had been able to be with you. It would be wrong to expect that Festival Del Pueblo could have possibly d
one all the wonderful things we could imagine, but if we hope for such transformative community based initiative to occu
r in the future we need to change the direction of our organizing. I hope this can continue to be an open and frank dial
ougue without becoming a mean-spirited succession of tirades.


Solidarity and Revolution,


Ben Grosscup

 




some thoughts

by dent
11:20pm Mon May 6 '02







the FDP organizers undoubtedly put forth much time, effort, and money to make things run as smoothly as possible. we sho
uld all appreciate their work.


unfortunately, the FDP mobilization, with its fiery tone and complete commitment to building community empowerment led m
e, and probably others, to believe that immigrants, workers, and people beyond the white punk subculture would form the
core of the FDP festival. this obviously didn?t happen.


the majority of musical performances seemed to be punk rock bands, and this may have led to a strong showing of punks/an
archists. but the music cannot explain the absence of those beyond punk subculture because the festival billed itself as
more than an anarcho-punk political event. the question we need to ask is: why is anarchism inaccessible beyond subcult
ures, and what more can we do to to make it accessible? as chuck0 has pointed out, we should not resort to vanguard tact
ics of recruiting and converting people. we should let our actions and efforts speak for themselves and demand participa
nts, not followers; we just need to reconsider what those actions and efforts should be.


anarchists, for most apolitical people, appear to be mysterious, angry, and intimidating. the appearance of the particip
ants during the may 5th march did not do much to change this. as some have already pointed out, we should?ve prepared fl
yers to pass out to people as we marched (or utilized spray paint). i heard one guy in boston commons comment, "the
se are ?down with america? people, can you imagine that? and damn, you smell them when they walked by?"


why did we visit newbury street?

there were virtually no attempts at property destruction on newbury street; if pd was not the purpose of our visit to ne
wbury, then what were we doing there? we certainly could not have expected that the people shopping, or dining on the si
dewalks would find our message appealing. in roxbury, our issues with capitalism related more directly with the people w
ho witnessed the march. on newbury, we basically turned ourselves into an angry spectacle, intent on taunting the rich a
nd making as many people feel uncomfortable and confused as possible.

sabatoging private property of the multinational corporate dimension, particularly fast food chains and clothing stores,
may have lost its efficacy if one considers that its efficacy rested in its novelty and symbolism. that symbolism has n
early been exhausted; perhaps we should learn from the rioters this mayday in germany (or the people of argentina) who l
ooted a supermarket. this action not only attacks a symbolic target, but it also, quite practically, challenges capitali
st food distribution. when we smash a mcdonalds window, we don?t run in demanding happy meals.

our numbers on sunday, which clearly diminished as the march continued, probably limited our options for action.

even if we didn?t shatter newbury street (the only justifiable reason for visiting it), i must admit that it was an inte
resting social experiment to see the reactions on the faces of all those straight-looking boutiquers.


the date of the main march, may 5, did not bear any historical relevance that could have clarified our purpose for obser
vers. may 1, on the other hand, would?ve coincided with marches taking place around the world, and would?ve carried more
potential for worker participation. i understand that many people did also march on may 1, but the FDP mobilization see
med to make it clear that may 5 would be the day of the big march.


overall, i think we all had a good time this weekend, and we all learned more about what must be done to advance our str
uggle. nobody was arrested. many people from many places met and discussed things. an anarchist march (presumably unperm
itted?) began in a downtrodden neighborhood instead of a downtown core and generally- when received- responses were posi
tive. local issues were addressed in a direct, non-abstract way. considering all of this, FDP should be considered, with
necessary criticism, as a worthwhile success.

 



Ready for the Second Annual

by mainmind
8:24am Tue May 7 '02








I noticed alot of the same things pointed out above. I especially felt we should have had something to hand out to the c
rowds as we passed to explain what it all was about. This critical analysis of the event is great, and ensures that next
year the second annual festival del pueblo will be even better (heh, well, here?s to hoping.)lunaticfringe.gomakross.org

 



Bostonian view

by Brad
10:47am Tue May 7 '02








In defense of the FDP organizers: I?m an activist in Boston who watched the FDP being planned and the outreach being do
ne for 6 months beforehand. I was very impressed by the amount of outreach done by FDP organizers. They acted extremely
diplomatic in their outreach to the local non-activist community, housing advocacy groups, labor groups, etc... I think
it was a great beginning to building long-term relationships that will build a more inclusive leftist political movement
. A lot of the community and coalition groups that have formed in Boston to confront the housing crisis, immigrant right
s, workers? rights, etc. have taken years to build and for members to gain the trust and political awareness necessary t
o grow and to get people into the streets. Part of the reason the majority of participants were young white anarchists w
as because it is going to take time to do the relationship building necessary to grow past this stage.


Another, more important thing we have to do if we want to grow and be more inclusive is to ditch the prerequisite of par
ticipation in the "counter-cultural" aspect of the current North American anarchist movement. Politics should
not dictate your clothing or hairstyle or vice-versa (or diet... ehmm vegans). I like punk music, I think the FDP partic
ipants and punk-rock scenesters are really hip dressers, but it may not be the best way to present a serious ideological
movement for revolutionary change.


To take this even further maybe people should reevaluate the effectiveness of "blocking up" for small actions
like this. It creates an "us" and "them" situation where everyday working people on the sidewalks d
on?t see us as for what we are, but are rather terrified at the sight of masked people marching with giant circle A?s. I
t can serve to negate the message on the banners, no matter how populist the message is. This tactic is obviously more c
ool on Newbury St, but way less cool for the beginning of the march.


We don?t have to water-down our politics to deal with certain political and SOCIAL realities that confront us, but we sh
ould rethink our appearance and continue to do the hard long-term work ahead of us.


Anyway, thanks to the FDP organizers and all the cool kids I met last week.


-Brad

 



Handing Stuff Out.

by Occupant
11:05am Tue May 7 '02








While it was possible that someone *could* have handed things out to people, nobody did. That is not the fault of the F
DP organizers, rather, it is our collective fault. On a side note, I made several attempts to walk on the sidewalk, whi
ch were halted by the police. "GET INTO THE STREET" was said many times (first time I ever hear that by the
way). So, even if we were prepared to hand flyers to people we would not have been permitted to do so (particularly aft
er the window incident).


Regardless, I believe the community fest was the most successful part of the weekend. One can always say that we could
have done more, however I think FDP was a huge success, and comparitivly to many other festivals or marches, or events v
ery much community involved. It is the first time I have ever seen anarchists seen with the community playing games, an
d breaking down the "anarchy is chaos" stigma.

 



we tried... and, in many respects, failed

by fdp organizer
12:09pm Tue May 7 '02








Many FDP organizers would agree with many of these criticisms, and probably have even more of their own. It is unlikely
that there will be a follow-up event next year.


Many of us are interested in focussing on more long-term campaigns and forms of activism that is rooted in the everday e
xperience of the working class, and are finding ourselves increasingly less interested in giving a fuck about most of th
e "anarchist" scene... especially those who fucked us over, stole money from us, picked fights at shows, accus
ed us of being capitalists, hypocrites and authoritarians, and criticized our efforts from the sidelines when they did a
bsolutely nothing to contribute to the organizing or outreach process.


Although the bookfair, carnival and some of the workshops were great, and I met a number of inspiring people during the
week, overall I think the FDP failed in everything we set out to accomplish and I feel a whole lot worse about anarchism
in North America (especially the punk rock fuckheads attracted to it) than I did before this past week.


Whatever, the struggle continues...

 



shit happens

by FDP participant
12:42pm Tue May 7 '02








From my view, the FDP organizers tried to make many of the links that people wanted them too. In alot of ways, it?s alo
t easier for anarchists to participate in the local tennant?s union, labor union, or community group as a member, than i
t is to get that same group to participate in what is (probably rightly) percieved as an anarchist event.


The march from Roxbury actually went down the same path that the FDP organizers originally started flyering for the FDP,
6 months before hand.


From what I hear, the cops did alot to try and get the Wake Up the Earth Festival to disassociate with the FDP, and... t
he FDP gave a bit in getting rid of a couple of the more "violent" carnival games (Bash the Fash, and Pin the
Tail on the Pig). Still, the FDP was there and it was the most diverse event of the week.


Two seperate marches were originally planned. The red march didn?t think it had the numbers, so it joined the yellow ma
rch instead. After the yellow march did the housing liberation action, the reds asked the march to switch to red, which
it did (and some folks got out of the march). As there was a clandestine occupation team involved in the action for th
e yellow (purple) march, the route wasn?t publicized; though further details were given out at the march itself.


Pity there couldn?t have been more of a link up with the immigrant march. It?s a shame lots of speakers flaked out and
that venues were lost. All the fucked up shit that went down is really bad. And, ofcourse there were alot of ways thin
gs could have been better done (more flyering, outreach, etc...). But, as far as Anarchist May Day festivals go... this
one atleast tried to bridge many of the divides. If it was just to be judged as a standard anarchist festival, then it
was fairly well attendend considering the length and competition (other May Days).

It?s failure was in that it tried to be more than that--but that?s exactly what we need to be trying to do. We aren?t g
oing to succeed overwhelmingly at everything and now we have more difficult standards to judge actions (not just in the
# of arrests, # of windows broken, # of sensational sound bites--but rather also the participation of the diversity of t
he working class, the i