Reflections on May 1st and May 2nd: Revolt and Routine


Before there are any calls made, blocs planned, or meetings held, let’s all sit back and breathe.

Before we collectively resign ourselves to going downtown just like every other year to join a fuckton of media, cops, photographers, video cameras, snitches, instigators, and sketchy folks in costumes. Before we sign on for the media circus that has become May Day in Seattle, maybe we should reflect on the spectacle that this day has become and why it’s time to reject it.

We don’t reject the celebratory nature of taking action, fucking shit up, taking streets and holding them, occupying space and destroying capital, having parties at night in the streets and parks with our friends, and being wild and uncontrollable. What we reject is putting ourselves, our lovers, and our loved ones directly in the hands of the police and media every year for no damn good reason.

We have become predictable.

We have told the police and the state exactly where we will be at exactly what time. We have told them who will be there and how to contain us.

The police and the people who manage them have spent months and years planning how to outmaneuver us. They know who we are and they know what they can expect from us.

I know you’re thinking that this sounds defeatist.

But it’s the truth. No matter how well-written the reportback is, we are getting our asses kicked every year and every year it’s worse. Smashing a few windows or tripping a couple of cops is not enough. We deserve a real cause for celebration.

We need the streets to be on fire. We need to be wild. We need to be bloc’d up with purpose and determination, not just for business as usual.

It’s time for us to be unpredictable--to stop using all social media, including Instagram.

It’s time for us to get together and to talk with each other, face to face and on street corners. At General Assemblies and bake sales.

Just because we’re not peaceful doesn’t mean that we aren’t playing the roles they’ve assigned us.

We need to think about this before we set traps for ourselves like we do every year on May 1.

Someone’s already posted the call: Westlake at 6, wear black, anti-capitalist march and street party. Before we walk into this trap because we feel required to, maybe we can talk amongst ourselves. Maybe we can prove that we’re capable of making better plans and more original schemes, new ways to be ungovernable and run wild, anywhere and anytime we want.

Everyone hates a surprise party!

Wouldn’t it be funny this year if all the media, all the cops, and all the tanks were waiting downtown and no one showed up to get beaten live on King 5 or Fox News?

What if no one was there to talk to the media and be on the TV show because we were everywhere?

We should be everywhere--except where they expect us.

May 1 is a trap, but we don’t have to fall for it again. May 2nd anyone?