Posts Tagged ‘May Day’
 
 
 
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By Sylvie Chace The evening of May 1 brought with it broken glass and clashes with the police, a time-honored tradition in the Northwest. Nine were arrested after the march, which police dubbed ‘a riot’, snaked through downtown, blocking traffic and damaging some property. A little after 6 p.m. demonstrators, mostly wearing black and covering their faces, began to gather on Fourth and Capitol. They had a sound system playing pop music and passed out snacks, standing around and chatting, til the crowd began to get restless and around 7 p.m. with a gush of black smoke they took to the streets. The group marched down Fourth Avenue, carrying signs reading “Become Ungovernable,” “Fuck Nationalism,” and “Against the Port and its World” referring to the Port of Olympia which has recently come under fire for its shipment of fracking proppants to North Dakota. The crowd came to a stop at Fourth and Jefferson where the train tracks from...

 
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By Josh Wolf The Pacific Northwest has a strong history of protest, and on May 1, Olympia, Seattle, and Portland will continue the tradition of marching in the streets to celebrate May Day. While celebrating May Day in the region is anticipated and established, the manner of celebrating can vary wildly. In 2012, Seattle saw thousands of people take to the streets for May Day, while some protesters damaged corporate banks, businesses, and courthouses causing thousands of dollars in damage. Later that year, an FBI and grand jury investigation regarding a “conspiracy to destroy government property” and “interstate travel with intent to riot,” resulted in the imprisonment of four people, including three Evergreen students. The issue stirred controversy in the media and caution in activist communities, but May Day celebrations in the Pacific Northwest continue to take place every year While different cities have different levels of p...

 
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MAY DAY IN PARIS BY PATRICK STEWART [caption id="attachment_3359" align="alignleft" width="360"] Photo by Patrick Stewart[/caption] It was drizzling lightly in Paris when I woke up at the crack of 11:00 a.m. on May the first. A full three hours passed when I had planned on meeting the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo (National Confederation of Workers, or CNT), an anarchist group with ties to labor rights. Luckily for me, it appeared that anarchists weren’t morning people either, and there was still only a small contingent gathered when I arrived. The plan, from what I could gather, was to march down through the Republique and to the Bastille. This was no random march plan—the downtrodden working class descending into the center of Paris, just like the aristocracy had feared around the time of the revolution. When I arrived, one person was playing traditional worker’s songs on a hurdy-gurdy, and there was plenty of shouting ...

 
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BY JOSH WOLF AND RAY STILL [caption id="attachment_3339" align="alignleft" width="360"] A group of traditional Mexican dancers lead Seattle’s afternoon protest for workers’ rights. EMILY McHUGH[/caption] Some came to demonstrate for workers and immigrant rights. Some came to celebrate the coming of spring. Whatever the reason, May Day in Olympia turned Sylvester Park into a small hub of music, community discussion, and activism for anybody aiming to reform local and national policies. May Day (or International Workers’ Day) was established to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Massacre. At the time, labor unions across the United States demanded an eight-hour workday, and planned for a national general strike on May 1, 1886. In A People’s History of The United States, historian Howard Zinn puts the number of strikers in the U.S. at 350,000. In Chicago on May 3, with 40,000 workers on strike in the city and while “most of the indus...