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News ::
Boston Celebrates May Day
08 May 2002
Modified: 12 May 2002
A compliation of newswire stories relating to May Day events.

Boston May Day honors Immigrant Labor

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

weaver (at)

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

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Wake Up the Earth
08 May 2002
I'm an "invisible" anarchist: that is, I'm an anarchist (a middle-class, white one at that) but I don't dress punk, don't wave a flag, and don't play the drums, so nobody recognizes me as one. I sometimes come to FDP-like events, but unless I know somebody else who's going, it's very hard to feel comfortable. Everybody I meet is very pleasant, but the collective message of 50 nose rings and 35 "Vegan" patches is "You're not one of us." I know that's not the intention, but that's definitely what I take from it.

But I was really impressed at the FDP presence at the Wake up the Earth festival. It was nice to see all the punk anarchists having fun with the kids. The pinata was absolutely wonderful: fifteen punks banging out a rhythym for a nine-year-old girl to take whiffle bat swings at a police brutality pig while parents watched. What more pleasant way to spend an afternoon? I think Wake up the Earth showed a lot of people from JP that anarchists are real human beings who smile when they play with children, and that's something.

I wasn't at any other FDP events, but I'm disappointed to hear an organizer say it won't be repeated. Perhaps you could repeat the parts that worked and drop or change the ones that didn't?
problems at FDP indicative of larger problems
08 May 2002
hows it goin yall

so I was at FDP all 5 days, and I agree with a lot of the critiques Ive seen; it was about 90% disenfranchised white kids mostly with some kind of punk background, lack of female performers/artists, not really any connection with other communities (Wake up the Earth being the truly awesome exception), etc.
A lot of those arent bad in and of themselves, but in the larger context. I don't have a problem with white punk rockers showing up, those are my roots too. However it does show how heavily big parts of the US anarchist scene have become more cultural than political. I mean, hardcore shows, lookin kinda weird, dumpster diving etc. is great but when we were marching through Roxbury on Sunday nearly all the truly oppressed poor black folks basically looked like "what the fuck?"
I talked to a lot of FDP organizers, yall worked damned hard, but the problems were kind of indicative of much more general ones. Community organizing can't just be pushed off on a festival. It should be every day, all the time. The most refreshing political experiences Ive had recently have almost all been outside of the whole anarcho-punk scene.
I guess its a good starting point, but a lot of people I know fear leaving the social safety net that punk etc. provides for them. What the fuck is the point of marching when no one knows why youre there? Im not talking about tactics at all. There weren't really that many tangible goals I saw at FDP.
There was a general attempt to promote diversity (which failed horribly). Once again, on flak no the organizers' effort, but what the hell do you expect with 4 punk shows in 5 days? Of course youre gonna get the same crowd as always. The other cultures, ie minorities immigrants non-anarchists in general, and the other musical forms ie hip hop jazz folk were all marginalized.
I don't know, maybe people should skip the next Assuck show and go to a tenants meeting (this is just a very general example). After all, is the point to resist and build a better society or to rock out? I apologize for the redundancy of my comments, but its' almost impossible to be original when talking about the same problems that have been around for many years.
re: been there
12 May 2002
I think "Been there" makes a very valid point that the building has been previously occuppied. he or she is not critizing that the building was occuppied, but point out that its been done before and certain segments of the social justice movements (a large marjority of whom are younger and call themselves anarchists) seem to be stuck in this cycle of trying to relive earlier events. most notably, this usually refers to seattle and the WTO. Ive attended several of these type convergences and they all basically try to recreate seattle. so a few windows get smashed and people wear all black. the point of the black bloc in seattle was not to look cool or call attention to themselves. it was to stay low and to stay effective and target the pocketbooks of the powers that be. american activists and especially american activists have a lot to learn from our brothers and sisters in Europe and elsewhere who aren't out there for glory and a front page picture in the newspaper, but are out there to fight the system and to take it down.

as for the recent comment of noting being punk and not feeling included, I would be interested to see tons of kids at an event such as this that are wearing vegan patches. the animal liberation movement was all but excluded form this event. while one group had initially had a table for the bookfair and had proposed two workshops that had been accepted, these were all eventually cut by the bookfair/ free school committee. first, an interent security workshop (how to stay safe while using the internet) was cut b/c individuals in the boston anarchist community (dare I say 'scene') attempted to start a fight at the world economic forum with the individual from the animal liberation movement who was to come up for this event. ther reasoning for the fight: the animal rights activist was to be giving up talk on ACT UP san francisco, the controversial AIDS dissident group (funny who a group like ACT UP SF who fights federal funding for AIDS drugs and AIDS drugs research and breaks the law by its mere existence of acting as a medical marijuna dispensory gets critized for being right wing while ACT UP NY, ACT UP philly, and the rest of their cohorts are fully embrased by the left wing and anarchist communities and movements while supporting federal money being used to kill animals in the home of finding some cure for AIDS (read: fattening the wallets of multi-national pharmecutical companies).

the second talk and the table from a local animal liberation group were cut for some bullshit reasoning of one member of that local group made "questionable comments" at an FDP general assembly (Read: was not liked and disagreed by some FDP organizers). the talk was on the WINNING campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences.

for those who want to know about what it looks like to take on the capitalist system and to use it against itself and to beat it, look at and