The Spirit of May Day

Direct Action against Capital. That is the spirit of May Day. Born from the mass strikes for the eight hour day in America in 1886, May Day is about celebrating the efforts of working class people to change their lives by their own efforts. It is about standing up for yourself and your fellow workers and demanding liberty and justice. It is about fighting capitalism and dreaming of a better future, a better society. It is about reminding ourselves another world is possible and that we are creating it today in our struggles against oppression and exploitation.

May Day should be more than a march through the streets, listening to politicians and union officials. It should be the rallying point for a mass movement which combats low pay, long working hours, unemployment, poverty, restrictions on liberty outside and inside work, inequality, ecological destruction and the other evils we face. We should not be scared of media attacks on such a real labour movement. The public who see them are just as bossed about, overworked and under paid producing the wealth a minority monopolises.

We are a long way from such a movement and will remain so as long as we forget the spirit of May Day. Only by expressing our economic and social power can we change things for the better. That means direct action against capital: strikes, boycotts, occupations, blockades, solidarity. Relying on politicians to do it for us has failed and will always fail. We have to do it ourselves, by our own efforts and organisations. That is how May Day started and that is still its message.

Spirit of Mayday

Reclaiming Mayday

4 page leaflet produced form Mayday 2004 in Britain. Three articles making up a general introduction to the anarchist origins of May Day and why we need to reclaim its anarchist spirit.

The Spirit of May Day
The Origins of May Day
Reclaiming the Labour Movement

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