Instead of cross-posting ONYC’s Six Ways, we here at the VanMayday blog present our own version:
Six Ways to Prepare for May Day:
1. Decide to take action on May Day. You have the choice to act however you wish, despite the consequences — so evaluate your position, take stock of your personal power, and make a plan! This might include organizing a walkout at school or work, joining a demonstration, or making an individual statement either through subversive or overt mechanisms.
2. Spread the word. Use social media, posters, word of mouth, and other/more creative ways to encourage and embolden others to take action on May Day and beyond. Speak from your heart and get in it to win it!
3. Start or solidify your Affinity Group. Collect people you trust and share your plans for May Day with them. Work out whether you will do joint actions (flash mob? rally? picket? walkout?) or how you will support one another in individual ones (legal? medical? media?).
4. Prepare your Affinity group. Write handbills, make buttons, sew costumes, produce a video — whatever you need to do to pull off your intended action and to make sure people get the message. Got a callout for the general public? Email it to the blog at email@example.com.
5. Familiarize yourself with/Inoculate yourself against Media Spin. Watch videos of successful past May Day actions and review the classic authoritarian “spin” that is used to put down social movements. Here’s a very timely example.
6. Get a good night’s sleep, eat the healthiest food you can find, and drink lots of water.
See you in the streets!
Tensions are mounting with workers all over the province; teachers, posties, Air Canada baggage handlers, on-board attendants at the Rocky Mountaineer, Maple Ridge Extra Foods workers, taxi drivers, the list continues to grow. But we are not just victims, we can also act.
Grassroots solidarity on Dec 12th helped dock workers in Longview WA win what had been a long and bitter strike. Wildcat action at Air Canada last month gives us a small taste of what we need: A full scale general strike against the likes of Christy Clark and the other capitalists of this province!
May Day is the international holiday that commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, when Chicago police murdered workers participating in a general strike. It’s also a time to rejoice in rebellion.
Honor the Dead, Fight For the Living!
– May 1st 12 noon – Vancouver Art Gallery
Occupy May Day!
– May 1st 3:00pm – Vancouver Art Gallery
Big Labour Demo
– May 1st 7:00pm – China Creek Skate Park (Just west of Broadway and Clark)
Reclaim the streets party!!
Also don’t forget to read our statement on safer spaces: https://vanmayday2012.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/on-safer-spaces/
Capitalists profit from and control what we need to survive – Banks and landlords profit from our need for housing. Actually, all the things we need to survive—the water we drink, the food we eat, even the roofs over our heads—are turned into commodities that someone makes a profit from. This excludes many of us from the necessities of life.
Capitalists exploit us at work – We don’t work because we want to. We work because we have no other way to make money. We sell our time and energy to a boss in order to buy the things we need to survive. During our time at work we make things or provide services that our bosses sell. Our everyday working lives are sold hour after hour, week after week, generation after generation.
Capitalists create schools that produce obedient workers and unquestioning citizens – The primary task of education in a capitalistic society is to teach students to ‘respect authority.’ Authority is imposed through a system that punishes those who do not do what they are told and rewards conformity. Strict adherence to trivial rules teaches us to obey no matter how stupid the order is. This prepares us for the world of bosses, cops, politicians, and military officers ordering us around and treating us as inferior.
Capitalists terrorize immigrants – Hundreds of immigrants and refugees are forcibly deported every day for doing what humans have done for thousands of years—moving in search of a better life, escaping poverty, abuse, discrimination, disasters, persecution, or war. Those on the wrong side of borders, whose homelands are often torn apart by the same economic practices that define the so-called First World, are illegalized and criminalized and are forced to work for less than those with papers.
Capitalism is global and needs colonization to expand – Canada, like many other nations, was founded upon the genocide of it’s native populations. Capitalism requires the full assimilation of all communities who have a different relationship to the land and each other. While native people are forced to live on reservations, or in the city in poverty, to endure the legacies of genocide and residential schools, their traditional territories are occupied, and destroyed for the needs of capitalist resource extraction. The governments of BC and Canada continue to fool us into believing that we live in a “green” and peaceful location. We cannot have our own freedom, until we reject their nationalism and all that it stands for alongside a long tradition of native land defenders.
Capitalism affects everyone differently, but regardless of who we are, as working class people we are exploited by the system in one way or another. That pervasiveness can be threatening, but it is also a common link that we can use to struggle against it together. Simply standing up for our own interests in this struggle is the starting point for undermining capitalism.
Anti-Capitalists to the Streets!
With full recognition that we live in a white-supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society we cannot declare any event to be a completely safe space from racist or gendered violence and harassment, whether at the hand of the police or others. We do however assert our own abilities and support the initiatives of others to make all May Day events at least “safer” spaces. We are inspired by the example set by a group of individuals as a “circle of protection” to defend one individual from the harassment of a man named Ben Pearson and to demonstrate through words and actions that issues of gendered violence are structural, not interpersonal. They base the circle of protection on four goals:
1.Empowerment – To trust in our possibilities, in our concepts and our own definitions. We must build this power because we come from dis-empowered positions.
2.Autonomy – The refusal to rely on existing structures to act from our own positions of empowerment outside of institutions entrenched in oppressive power structures. Building our own methods and structures so that we are creating the world we want now.
3.Self-Defense – Our inherent right to defend ourselves from aggressors/abusers.
4.Safety/Safer Spaces – A space where emotional, physical and spiritual well-being are respected. When these are challenged, we are able to maintain our autonomy and right to self-defense so that we may act to make our spaces safer.
For those who want to support their goals the circle asks for Solidarity and defines Solidarity as:
“Acting from the understanding that your struggle is reflected in the struggles of others and strengthening each others positions without compromising each others goals.”
And should Ben Pearson show up, or any other situation which requires actions for safer-space we will act in solidarity with the goals of the circle, for we see their struggle connected inherently with our own.
Comrades at the Peak have published great edition of their zine for MayDay, check it out!
VANCOUVER – The Rocky Mountaineer tourist train launched its 2012 season today – complete with bagpipes, private security and a trainload of scabs.
Rocky Mountaineer workers have been locked out for 10 months. Talks broke off between management and the onboard attendants last July. The locked out workers and supporters were on hand this morning to picket the tourist train, although an injunction won by owner Peter Armstrong forces them to “refrain from anything that may appear as an effort to impede, or intimidate” and that includes “glaring” at scab replacement workers. Private security video-taped the workers as they lined up at the station fence and called to tourists boarding the train. The company lined buses up to try to hide the view of protesters from the paying customers.
Although scabs are illegal in B.C., the train falls under federal jursidiction.