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May 4, 2000

Demonstration and a carnival against capitalism

The day started with a demonstration "For Humanity, Against Capitalism". Over 500 people marched through Helsinki city centre, stopping at a market place, where the social-democrats, politicians from left-wing parties and big trade union bosses brainwashed their listeners in their traditional May 1st "party". One of the activists gave a speech to them.

Then the demo carried on walking, shouting slogans and dancing to the music coming out of the van in front of the march. The demonstration was very loud and colourful with lots of flags and banners. Main themes for the day were: work and income, freedom of movement and intermational solidarity, and resisting biocapitalism and genetic engineering.

Outside the railway station the march stopped for a bit to witness a bannerdrop by some environmentalists from the top of a clock tower. The huge banner read "Consumerism kills".

After two hours the march finally stopped outside the poshest hotel and restaurant in Helsinki, where only upper-class people stay and eat. Right next to the hotel there was an EU-comission representative's office. The street was only two blocks away from the President's castle. The street was blocked and the Street party started, with banging techno coming out of the big speakers.

The owners of the hotel weren't too happy about the party kicking off outside their precious hotel with about 2000 anarchists, environmentalists, antifascists, punks, ravers etc. enjoying themselves. They tried to get the police to do something about it, but after having a little discussion with some of the organisers the police decided they didn't want to do anything to stop the street party.

Lots of ordinary people joined the carnival and got introduced to literature and material about anti-capitalism, radical environmentalism and animal / human rights issues. Two EU-flags got taken down from outside the EU-Commission's office, one was burned and the other was torn to pieces.

At one point the chairman of National Coalition (big conservative party) Ben Zyskovicz appeared to the blocked street. One activist stole his white hat (a traditional hat that many secondary school graduates wear on May 1st ), but he had to drop it in the end. So our friend Ben started shouting abuse, and kicked an activist and hit him with his blue candystick (!), but the activist took hold of it and it snapped. Finally the police said: "Don't you think that's enough Ben, we think it's time you left" and escorted him out of the area. Police tried to arrest one of the protesters, but he was successfully de-arrested.

The party went on until 8pm. Throughout the day there was juggling, fire breathing and a breakdance group performed, too. Everyone felt really positive after the successful day, which gave people strenght to carry on fighting against capitalism and other forms of oppression.

For more information: http://go.to/mayday2000


From:  http://www.infoshop.org

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