May Day

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Jimmy Rustler 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #65436

    Cate
    Participant

    When I grew up in Seattle May Day was all about dropping off little nosegays of flowers on your neighbors porch. I even get that the custom go flowers on May 01 (and jumping bonfires) goes all the way back to the celebration of Beltane.

    I get the labor movement co-opted May Day into a celebration of the worker and the worker’s right a century or so ago. With Seattle’s history with the Wobblies, we have a long history of protests for worker’s rights in our city.

    But where/when the heck did anarchists get involved in May Day celebrations? It seems to be uniquely Seattle, this annual semi-organized march of the anarchists. It seems a little too organized for something celebrating anarchy. And doesn’t it seem like the strong police presence just encourages the marchers?

    And one final thing: As someone who has participated in a number of marches and protests in my life – what is this hiding your face nonsense? If you are truly out there fighting for worker’s rights or human rights or the common good, you want your face to be seen and counted.

    #65455

    briarrose
    Participant

    Protest marches do nothing. Anarchy accomplishes things.

    #65528

    Cate
    Participant

    Anarchy accomplishes things? What? The lack of structure and organizations acts against anarchy accomplishing real change.
    However, consider
    India in the 1940’s
    U.S. in the 1960-70’s
    The former East Germany in the 1980’s
    Thoughtful civil disobedience including protest marches have changed history.

    #65577

    briarrose
    Participant

    Consider the US in 1776.

    #65583

    Cate
    Participant

    US 1776 was/is not an example of anarchy. The colonies were using civil disobedience to replace one form of govt with another. There was never an intention to eliminate rule by law. It was the antithesis of anarchy.

    #65599

    briarrose
    Participant

    LOL I love history according to US high school texts.

    #65612

    Ernie
    Participant

    BR +1, the winners get to write the history books…

    It was hardly “civil disobedience”, it was a war, an extremely bloody one, that the colonies barely won.

    I would bet that if you went back in time and talked to rank and file “patriots” you would probably hear a lot of opinions about the British system that are pretty similar to those that modern “anarchists” hold about our current capitalist system. After all they resisted the need for a federal government and any taxation until more than a decade after independence.

    The revolutionary war was basically what today we would call an insurrection, and part of a global power play complete with secret support from other world powers like France and Spain. History really does repeat itself.

    #65620

    Cate
    Participant

    A group of wealthy white men acted to replace a ruling monarchy with an oligarchy, to be precise, a plutocracy. That is not anarchy by any stretch of the definition of anarchy. Anarchists, believing in the ultimate freedom of the individual man would replace it with nothing. As they acted against an existing government it was certainly civil disobedience – bloody violent civil disobedience. Civil disobedience often has the support of other nations and powers.

    Do the so-called anarchists that come out once a year on the Seattle streets give a rip about theories of government – I doubt it. The shame is that it takes away from the legitimate protests for immigration and worker’s rights that took place earlier in the day.

    #65634

    Edog
    Participant

    Re the Revolutionary War, I think it’s awesome that a French fleet helped beat the British army. I like a good inversion!

    #65640

    Oly
    Participant

    Cate, anarchists bombed the police when they were dispersing a crowd during a labor rally in Chicago on May 4th 1886, it became known as the Haymarket affair. The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers.

    #65641

    Cate
    Participant

    Floyd – Thanks. Interesting read on Wicki.

    #65642

    Jimmy Rustler
    Participant

    @cate: It’s not “uniquely Seattle,” Cate. The anarchist protests happen all over the world on mayday. I think the biggest one is usually in Spain.

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