The Dublin Mayday march took place this year in appaling weather conditions which meant many of the 1000 or so who started out never made the final rally at Liberty Hall. As you'll see from the pictures on the Quays machers were literally being wrapped up in their own banners by the wind and rain. The WSM called an anti-authoritiarian bloc in which around 60 people took part and about 40 went to the social afterwards.
As usual I was taking photographs but this time with the added twist of wearing a Go Pro Hero video camera on my head. This is something of an experiment that allows me to shoot video while taking still images. As I don't really have time to edit all I'm doing is relacing the soundtrack with a WSM talk, in this case one on Class by Paul Bowman. You can view the video below, let me know what you think in the comments.
In terms of the photos I particularly like the one I've used as the thumbnail for this piece which is the WSM banner behind which you can see the Larkin statue (Larkin was the revolutionary syndicalist leader of the ITGWU during the 1913 lockout) and then the GPO, HQ of the rebels duing the 1916 insurrection under James Connolly, another revolutionary syndicalist of that period.
A selection of my preferred photos are in the slideshow below. As always there is a more complete set in the Facebook WSM Photo album for the event.
WSM call out for the anti-authoritarian bloc
Calling on all libertarians, anti-authoritarians, anarchists and individuals who believe in class struggle and a world devoid of elected representatives! Join us on the Anti-authoritarian bloc on the Dublin Mayday March, Tuesday, 1 May 2012, 18.30 at Parnell Square! There will be a banner making session on Sunday the 29th of April @ 2pm in Seomra Spraoi (Belvidere Dourt, off Mpumtjoy Square), open to anyone interested in making thematic banners!
Bring your red and black flag on the march if you have one!
There will be a social gathering in Cassidy's Pub on Westmoreland Street afte the demo. We have a floor booked and there will be tunes for you to bop away to.
International Workers Day is celebrated globally as symbolic of class struggle and working class solidarity, but it is especially significant for libertarians, anti-authoritarians and anarchists.
Back in 1886, when unions were fighting for the establishment of the 8-hour working day, the American Federation of Labor called a national strike on May the 1st.
In Chicago, a centre of anarchist involvement in the labour movement at the time, 400,000 workers came out to protest and form picket lines, and no smoke billowed from the factory chimneys that day.
Some days later a crowd gathered to listen to speeches in Haymarket Square. As a big police line moved in on the attendees, attempting to drive them out and scatter them with force, a bomb was thrown at the police line, killing 7 people and wounding several others.
8 anarchists and trade unionists were arrested in the following days and put on trial in front of a rigged jury. At the time of sentencing, the judge said "Law is on trial. Anarchy is on trial. These men have been selected, picked out by the Grand Jury, and indicted because they were leaders. They are no more guilty than the thousands who follow them. Gentlemen of the jury; convict these men, make examples of them, hang them and you save our institutions, our society".
On November 11th 1887 4 of the anarchists, Parsons, Engel, Spies and Fischer were hanged. 1 committed suicide in his cell before the hanging. A momentous 600,000 people attended their funerals. 5 years later, the remaining men were freed and pardoned.
Mayday is about fighting for a better world, for fairer working conditions, for putting an end to being governed by bosses and politicians. In our hearts we hold close the projection of a free society. One in which the workplace is owned and run collectively by workers. One in which wage-slavery is abolished and we benefit in full from the work we do.
We can't expect to move closer to this desired world by voting people into government, we must fight these battles ourselves. This is why Mayday is special for us. It embodies bottom up class struggle, and commemorates those who fought hard to advance it.