London Indymedia

Mayday Weekend 2006

imc features | 28.04.2006 17:28 | Mayday 2006 | Globalisation | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | London

Monday May the 1st saw the culmination of the MayDay weekend 2006. A series of demonstrations and protests took place all over the UK and beyond. In London up to 4000 people marched from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar square in the traditional TUC march. One of the largest blocs of the march was the Autonomous Bloc which consisted of up to 800 people, marching on the issues of precarity and migration. Meanwhile, the Space Hijackers were having a 'police victory party' outside the Bank of England [Pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]

The march went off peacefully until the Autonomous bloc tried to bring its soundsystem into Trafalgar Square to be used as an open microphone for speeches and discussion. At that point police snatched the pedal powered soundsystem from the crowd and prevented the Autonomous Bloc from assembling in the square. It was not until the march finished that the soundsystem was given back. Whilst this was taking place thousands of people listened to speeches at the rally in Trafalgar Square. After 4pm, people dispersed.

See: Timeline of Events | London Roundup | Eyewitness Account
Photos and Reports: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Audio: 1 | 2 | Videos: 1 | 2

Other May Day demonstrations and protests around Britain included:

A Workers Memorial Day demonstration in London to commemorate those people who have been killed at work. In Manchester, a Chaos Mass bike ride took place, as well as a May Day march, an anti-nuclear demonstration [Video] to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, and a picnic against capitalism. A march [more] also took place in Cambridge against the privatisation of public services, as well as an 'Extra tea for mayday' action where activists visited ASDA to give extra tea breaks to the workers forced to work on Mayday.

In Newcastle a contingent from Tyneside Community Action for Refugees marched demanding the right to work for refugees and asylum seekers, in Liverpool the Merseyside May Day celebrations included a march and a rally in Princes Park, and in Nottingham a march and rally [more] also took place. In Scotland there was the traditional May Day march and rally in Edinburgh, and a MayDay parade in Glasgow.

For reports of the massive demonstrations in the US and the several Euro MayDay Parades in Europe, as well as the full UK's Mayday 06 events listing click at the 'Full Article' link on top.

Worldwide May Day demonstrations and protests included:

A series of EuroMayday parades that took place in 22 different European cities. These saw 30,000 people in Paris, 120,000 in Milano, and several thousand in Napoli and Liege. In Barcelona thousands also demonstrated [Video] , the same as in Sevilla where a parade [Videos] marked the culmination of the Mayday Sur week of events, and which included a massive banner drop in one of the best known chainstores. In Germany, 5,000 people took the streets in Berlin, and 2,000 in Hamburg.

Further afield, in the United States, over 1.5 million people marched in pro-immigrant demonstrations, even though May 1st is not a public holiday in the US. This included 700,000 in Chicago, the birth place of May Day, where thousands of workers and school students walked out to take part in the pro-immigration march across the city. 500,000 people also marched in Los Angeles, 100,000 in New York, 100,000 in San Francisco, 100,000 in San Jose, and 75,000 in Denver.
See videos: Summaries of the demos | In-depth reporting on the demos | Solidarity statement from the EZLN to the immigrant demonstrators (Sub Marcos)

In Nicaragua, an anti-war demonstration was held at the British Consulate in Managua. The demonstrators denounced British participation in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. A global virtual strike also took place in solidarity with the May 1st and for the freedom of movement.

UK Mayday '06 Events Listing:

This year, Mayday and the weekend before sees a number of events ranging from conferences to protest parades, with some focussing on the issues of 'precarity' and 'immaterial labour'.

In Cambridge, Friday to Sunday sees the "Immaterial Labour, Multitudes, and New Social Subjects" Conference, with a live audio-stream available at and an IRC chat room at   Saturday 29th in Cambridge also sees a Critical Mass Bike Ride and a Defend Public Services Protest.

In London on Saturday and Sunday, the Square Social Centre is the venue for a series of events, including a two-day conference Anarchism 06: 21st Century ideas and Action - which includes films, discussions and sessions on union workplace organising, autonomous workers struggles, the recent anti-CPE uprisings in France, the Broadway Market occupation in Hackney, the future of social centres, and the significance of Mayday in political struggles (see full programme).

On May 1st, there's a morning critical mass bicycle ride, meeting at 11am under Waterloo Bridge. At 12 noon Anti-SOCPA campaigners will be 'beating the bounds' around the boundary of the parliament protest exclusion zone, while the SpaceHijackers are holding a tongue-in-cheek 'Police Victory' street party outside the Bank of England at 2pm.

The annual Trade Union march is combined with a national march for workplace justice, and is meeting at 12 noon at Clerkenwell Green before marching to Trafalgar Square for speeches. Earlier in the day, a mass and interfaith rally outside Westminster Cathedral will be held in support of migrant workers.

There's also an Autonomous Mayday Parade Bloc organised for the march, which is being held in solidarity with other EuroMayDay events happening around Europe. The EuroMayDay parades of the last few years have brought together casualised workers, temps and part-time workers, migrants and the unemployed, organising together around the theme of 'precarity', insecurity and workers rights. The autonomous parade is also calling for freedom of movement across borders for everyone, and the right for people to stay and work in the country of their choosing - see London NoBorders Mayday Statement.

Mayday also marks Six years of Indymedia UK, which started by covering the london Reclaim Mayday protests of 2000.

Other Mayday Events:
Manchester Mayday Weekend Events + Protests | Fri 29 Critical Mass | Sat 29 Anti-Nuclear Demo | Sun 30 Anti-Capitalist Carnival + Picnic | Mon 1 TU March
Glasgow Mayday Parade - May 1st [1 | 2], Edinburgh, Merseyside: May Day March and Festival | Nottingham: Rally Sat 29th + Party 30th April | Bradford: 1in12 Club's 25th Anniversary - a week of events including Mayday March and Anarchist Football tournament in Leeds | Medway Trades Union Council Event | Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Worcestor & Chesterfield events 30th April Kafe & Films@kebele + 1st May Save Packers Filed Funday

imc features


Two sound systems.

02.05.2006 07:06

Confiscated sound system.
Confiscated sound system.

Critical Mass sound system.
Critical Mass sound system.

The sound system from the Autonomous Block was confiscated by the police but the Critical Mass sound system was later allowed to play in the Square with people dancing to it.



Hide the following 8 comments


30.04.2006 11:58



= SchizoXenik FreeX

Baliffs aNd Police
No Future = Becomes No Past
Big Brother Cult
Maybe 1 In 5 - Maybe 1 In 6
Anglian = Alien
British = Brittany
Queen ER = German
St George = Arab
Olympic = Zeus
Every Universe
Uneasy Smash Atlantis
Undivided Nearly
West Essex = East London

7PM - 4TH MAY 2006

As the European Union grows in power, Pan-European internationalism will create more problems than it solves. Whereas some may see “European-wide” links as being a healthy way of breaking out of the limits of the nation, for us the real key to internationalism lies in its universalism. We suggest that the abandonment of “Europe-wide” organising is necessary to allow a more egalitarian way of organising which does not privilege the “European”, whether understood in terms of culture, race or region.
It is precisely this three-fold ambiguity in the sense of the word “European” that gives it such a volatile ideological value. It can be understood by different people in different ways. Those that understand it terms of region, perforce must adopt the sort of territorialism which is characteristic of the state, in this case the emerging European Union. Another conception is racial, which originated in the consolidation of a White social elite in European colonies outside Europe. The third associates the highest level of human achievement with the history of Europe from the days of ancient Greece to today.
Europe-wide organising has a reactionary effect by:
• Encouraging a European identity as something separate from humanity in general by privileging European connectedness.
• Discouraging the participation of people from non-European diasporas living in Europe by discriminating against their social, cultural and political connections with places outside Europe
• Obstructing a critical appraisal of Eurocentrism, institutional racism and White Supremacy by adopting a structure which facilitates all three.
"Globalisation" has highlighted our increasing need to develop counter-strategies at a global level. For this to succeed we need to ensure that an organisational practice that embraces the whole of humanity, rather than allowing a method of organisation which asserts the autonomy of one of the richest parts of the world which has a track record of spreading destruction, exploitation and brutality across the world since the inception of capitalism in the sixteenth century C.E.
17th May 2005 West Essex Zapatista
Retrieved from ""



01.05.2006 05:24

How can we report in if you don't release a phone number?

Alf Narkist.

answering alf

01.05.2006 21:58

Hi Alf, the answer is simple: nobody wanted to sit at a computer taking phonecalls all day! Most of the indymedia crew were out in the streets, taking pics, filming or just enjoying the sunny day. Some set up a media center in London in the Square social center, some reports from there have already been posted.
But: a live phone number would be great for the next occasion - come and get in touch through your local imc list/meeting and help sorting it out! Oh yeah - and bring a few friends as well, its more fun that way.

one of imc london

if you're precarious, don't sit on the fence or

02.05.2006 11:17

posse of precarious people - oh dear oh dear, someone who's not an academic or eurointellectual will be sure to understand that...sigh.

you'll fall off...

if you're precarious, don't sit on the fence or

02.05.2006 11:18

posse of precarious people - oh dear oh dear, someone who's not an academic or eurointellectual will be sure to understand that...sigh.

But as long as we're marching behind a flag, we belong - isn't it nice.

you'll fall off...

doing the 'mayday scuffle'

02.05.2006 16:40

There are a few jokes and some halfway decent pictures (considering they were taken on a mobile) of mayday in london, which you may like, plus a short critique of the current state of 'anarchism' in Britain which you probally won't, but it's from the heart, at, all the best, schmoo

- Homepage:

schmoo utter rubbish

02.05.2006 19:06

The schmoo blog is talking utter crap n bile - eg: "There were less than 200 joining this years Mayday march, mostly 'Brew Crew', Ketamine Victims and Police Informers - or agitators, possibly working for the 'News of The World' desperate for a good photo of 'crazy anarchists'." The link has no place here - there's criticism, and then there's misinformation and open pisstaking.


Schmoo fuck off

02.05.2006 21:13

Schmoo blog is a load of anti-anarchist bollocks, IMC I thought there was a policy about publicising blogs (especially shit blogs)


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