Why This May Day Matters

From Yes Magazine:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/sarah-van-gelder/the-meaning-of-may-day

This year, the day is about occupying the space and the time to create a different world.

by Sarah van Gelder
posted Apr 27, 2012

If the mainstream media was confused about Occupy Wall Street in its early days in Zuccotti Park, they’re bound to be completely befuddled this May Day.

May Day already has a lot piled on it. In pre-Christian Europe, May Day was a time to dance, light bonfires, sing, and carry on in celebration of the changing seasons. May Day also marks the anniversary of the 1886 Haymarket massacre, which occurred during a Chicago strike for the eight-hour work day. Also called International Workers’ Day, it’s a holiday in more than 80 countries.

And most recently, the U.S. immigrants right movement has used May 1st for massive street demonstrations and strikes aimed at reforming laws and policies that result in imprisonment, deportation, and discrimination against undocumented people.

This May Day, the Occupy movement is getting involved, calling it “The day without the 99 percent.” What will May Day look like with so many traditions riding on it?

May Day Collaborations—from Bike Caravan to Free University

The way plans are shaping up, in at least some locations around the United States, it could be big, festive, and importantly, include elements of all the May Day traditions. And it could be profoundly different than the big days of action we’ve seen in the past. In the weeks leading up to May Day, various movements have been collaborating. And people will not only be protesting, they’ll be liberating spaces for education, the arts, general assemblies, and teach-ins.

There will be marches, of course. Some permitted, planned, and predictable. Others will be spontaneous, possibly disruptive. In spite of all the police planning (and collaboration with Wall Street private security forces) law enforcement will be kept guessing.

There will be fairs, free food, teach-ins, music, bicycling, marches, and fiestas.

Continue reading at:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/sarah-van-gelder/the-meaning-of-may-day

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why This May Day Matters
%d bloggers like this: