Radical media, politics and culture.

London "Mayday in Mayfair" Festival of Alternatives Announced

London "Mayday in Mayfair" Festival of Alternatives Announced

This Mayday, as well as the mass action (more info
below) we are holding a Mayday Festival of
Alternatives -- a week or so of events which celebrate
and demonstrate autonmous, anti-capitalist,
co-operative culture. This will be shown through many
useful hands-on workshops, plus lots of fun film
showings, art exhibitions, parties/picnics, and

The idea stemmed from a collective need to respond to
the often asked question -- 'What Are You For? What do
you actually Want?' The festival aims to answer this
by actively showing the resourcefullness of DIY
culture as an alternative to consumer, market and
profit-driven culture. This includes squatting,
creating grassroots social centres, sharing (instead
of selling)practical skills (clothes making, plumbing,
electronics, gardening - tips on growing your own food
supply, alternative health and mental health, media
production basics etc etc), and showing independent
political art exhibitions, films, gigs and
performances. This is our attempt to show solidarity,
mutual aid, free association, and radical history and
politics, in practice, in particular to non-activists
and people curious about anti-capitalist politics.

For the festival so far, we have organised: film
showings of independent films from Germany and
Belgium, a documentary about the Spanish Civil War
(plus talk by director), the feature-length
documentary Injustice -- dealing with police custody
killings (plus talk by director); a radical bookfair;
a mass-picnic including a 'loony-left' football
tournament; a No Borders Roma music and dance night;
a 'Queeruption' cabaret night; a week-long free shop
(free second hand goods exchange); a tree-climbing
workshop and exhibition on the history of tree
dwellings and protest; a wombles picninc on Wimbledon
Common (TBC); And the following workshops:
Biodiversity and food security (TBC); Shiatsu;
alternative therapy; Children's book writing;
Plumbing; Nuke issues; Clothes making; sweatshop
labour, third world industrialisation/out-sourcing;
Asylum - law, history, detention, migrant uprisings,
migrant deaths (TBC); electronics; Outlaw women;
Jounalism and researching; Desktop publishing;
Flamenco; Allotments and wildlife garden projects
(TBC); and DIY documnetary, film production and radio
programme making (TBC). Two talks on the same subject
are not a problem -- not everyone will be able to make
everything, so don't be put off from doing a similar
workshop to any that have already been mentioned.

We are asking you or your group to take on a
workshop/film showing/event as part of the festie.
Locations are in the process of being confirmed (and
if you have any availible spaces then they would also
be invaluable) but the main thing is to get some
commitment and conformation of events which people
want to do so that we can put them up onto our (very
gorgeous!!) website and begin networking. Just imagine
how much impact and effect this festival could have if
we all contribute something.


Info: alternafest

Mass mayday action info: London Mayday

Tel No for both: 07786 716 335

Website: Our Mayday

All the best

The Mayday Collective

MEETING - lug yer diaries out

United South and North London Festival Meeting,
Thursday 14th March at The Union Tavern Camberwell
New Rd, nearest tube Oval or BR Vauxhall, buses 36 or
185, in the Latin Palace room, 8pm

Hopefully see y'all there!


Mayday in Mayfair!

Wednesday May 1st 1pm - Multiple Independent Meet-up

This year sees us return to the traditional place of
Mayday celebrations -- Mayfair in London. Mayfair is
the area bounded on the north by Oxford Street, on the
east by Regent Street, on the south by Piccadilly & on
the west by Park Lane. Now one of the most opulent
and cloistered areas in the capital, full of luxury
pads, exclusive shops, fancy hotels and national
embassies, it takes its name from the fair which was
held every year from 1 May for 15 days until its
suppression in the mid-18th century. Mayfair was once
a teeming hotbed of fun, frolics and freedom for the
working masses, in what is now Shepherds Market.
Circus performers, magicians, pagan priestesses,
vagabonds, alchemists, nomads, witches and outlaws
made merry in the mossy lanes and shacks to celebrate
the over-turning of the elitist and prohibitive class
system they were increasingly subject to - if only for
a short time.

After having been transferred from Haymarket in 1686-8
the May Fayre soon became notorious for riotous and
disorderly behaviour and in 1708 it was abolished,
only to be revived again with similar results.
Building on the site was probably the most effective
way of permanently suppressing the fair and by the
mid-18th century almost the whole of modern Mayfair
was covered with houses.

Mayday falls slap-bang in the middle of the week, so
make sure you have the day off work, school, college
or university. Call a strike (you know it makes
sense), phone in sick (or well!), bunk off, but do
whatever it takes to be on the streets of Mayfair on
Wednesday 1st May.

Mayday in Mayfair

Mayday in Mayfair will be a fluid, spontaneous and
exciting return to the Mayfayre, happening everywhere
at once, without a fixed starting point or finish.
Four separate but intertwined elements of Ye Olde May
Day will take place. Theres no advertised starting
point to the celebrations due to police tactics of
containing movement by violently imposing cordons for
hours on end which resulted in the entrapment of
thousands in Oxford Circus last year. We cant allow
this to happen again! We all need to take the
initiative in Mayfair. So create your own fun events,
play your own games, come with friends, join with
others, generate your own street
party/performance/pavement picnic,
everyday-reality-subverting-situation above all keep
moving and don't let the cops trap and surround you!
This way our festivities will not be crushed.

The 4 Elements:

1. The Travelling Circus

A mobile, spontaneous, and collective performance full
of jesters, jugglers, minstrels, show girls, gypsies,
pagan sorcerers, ring masters, ring mistresses and
clowns - reclaiming the roots and culture of mayday!
Fancy dress, a sense of humour and the guts to shake
lose and inhabit new characters and roles the true
spirit of circus culture -- is the order of the day

2. The Wake for Capitalism

A vibrant and luminous celebration of the imminent
death of capitalism; a celebration of the new world
waiting to be born; a resistance in remembrance of
those incarcerated and murdered by capitalism; and a
manifestation of our defiance as a movement to be
labelled 'dead' by the state, media and politicians
the world over post September 11.

Following the tragedy in New York and continuing daily
tragedies inflicted by the war on terrorism the world
over, many people, resident citizens and aliens have
been terrorised and attacked -- the state whipping up a
climate of fear to justify its new racist and
authoritarian legislation and actions. We say: DO NOT
BE INTIMIDATED. Bring your fear, bring your terror and
exorcise it on the streets of Mayfair. Dress all in
black or white. Don the mantle of death with skeleton
or ghost masks. Coffins, tombstones -- fluorescent a la
the Mexican day of the Dead or blacker than black
props and garb -- you chose.

3. Carniball!

A rambling, co-operative gigantic game with balls that
reclaims the UK's precursor to football gameball --
in a carnivalesque way. Gameball was a mass
multi-sided festival of play, enjoyed in villages
throughout the country in the 15th and 16th century.
The objective of gameball was to keep the ball (or
pigs bladder as it was then) moving from one end of
town to the other. In the 17th and 18th centuries,
people often called gameball get-togethers with the
aim of pulling down the fences around enclosed land
common land privatised by the gentry, the state and
private landlords. This years version of gameball has
many balls and inflatables (bring them with you), with
the main goal being to keep co-operating, moving and
having a jolly good time. Handballs and bounces
allowed. Anything goes! Our goal is a new world!

4. Critical Mass

Mass bicycle (or wheel barrow/horse and cart) rides
are a traditional part of mayday celebrations today as
much as they were in the past. Villagers and townsfolk
often took to the streets and lanes, together, in a
show of leisurely strength and solidarity. Got a pair
of wheels? -- be it a bicycle, rollerskates, a
wheelchair, a shopping trolley, or a skateboard -- join

Get Prepared!

For Mayday in Mayfair to be a huge success we all need
to prepare. Make costumes, banners, flags, placards,
whistles, claxons and musical instruments. Get hold of
inflatables, balls, nets and other props. Make food
and bring it to share. Look at a map of Mayfair and
consider the possibilities. Contact us for leaflets
and stickers or produce your own. Spread the word. Get
together with your friends and form an affinity group
a group of people you know and trust who will look
out for each other on the day. Above all get planning
as Mayday is fast approaching!