Skip to content or view screen version

MayDay 2007

Sovereign | 02.05.2007 19:24 | Mayday 2007 | Analysis | Workers' Movements

Dire. Depressing. Dreary. Discouraging. Dismal. Just a few of the words that can be used to describe the total and utter failure that was Mayday 2007.

At this point I'm tempted to post a picture of the floor because out of shame it has to be the only place the organisers can really at the moment.
The first mistake was the decison to make an autonomous block on the TUC march the centre piece of the day. This block marched under the incredibly abstract banner of "the precariat" which no doubt sounds great in earnest conversations in continental Europe but sadly means bugger all on the streets of London. They could have at least called it "casualisation".

I have to say that the idea behind the block was so bad that when I first heard about it I honestly assumed it was an MI5 led exercise developed to subvert more genuine attempts because getting everyone to walk from point A to point B in an orderly fashion does not a fulid and dynamic protest make. This is especially true when the point B in question is a square that which has been specifically designed to act as London's "naughty step" in times of urban disorder.

That said the polices management of the square was actually quite poor because at the Cockspur street exit they failed to mount a solid boundry leaving instead a few officer from Surrey milling about backed up by only three vans on Whitcomb street. This meant that if the will had taken them the 2-300 hundred on the block could have easily forced their way out up towards Regents street. Sadly though the effort of a long walk with the police while masked up and waving heavy flags seemed to have sapped their ability for misbehaviour. That and the fact that they'd been forced to spend the morning with a bunch of Trots who, quite frankly, are the most comformist people on the planet.

Although I inadvertently got a little bit lost and missed the start of the Space Hijackers event I think that for what it was it actually went quite well although, sadly it was only ever meant to be a comedy aside to a much larger day. That said it suffered from two major flaws the first of which was to locate the event on what is essentially a private island. This meant that don't only did they have to deal with the police they had the added problems of private security guards and private "street wardens". They also had to deal with the whole host of seperate bylaws that come with private property. Also the area only had one real point of access in the form of a combined Underground and DLR station. This allowed the police to very carefull moniter the comings and goings of the event.

The second flaw was the decision to publish the location on the internet 24 hours in advance giving the police and the local businesses plently of time to form a containment plan. Even so the whole thing made me laugh (no mean feat) and every pack needs it's jokers.

Across the country there appear to have been a number of small, low key, local events which on the face of it seem to fit in with the "act local" part of the mantra. This does however substantially dillute and weaken the movement and raises the very serious question of whether or not the UK is still capable of mounting large scale demonstrations of the scale of J18, Gleneagles and the DSEI protest which have been so important to the movement and effective in terms of the "Think Global" aspect of the campaign.



Display the following 12 comments

  1. Come to Liverpool - Culture of Capital 2008! — Neon Black
  2. may fool
  3. oh dear — a.c.a.b.
  4. Come the Revolution... — Jubal Harshaw
  5. No offence intended! — Neon Black
  6. A Confirmation — Dave C
  7. Don't get it — fly Posters
  8. sorry, but... — alex
  9. It's all about stratergy? — Sovereign
  10. fool — to sovereign
  11. Nice to see the level of debates gone up. — Sovereign
  12. reply again