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Video of May Fayre in Mayfair, London.

Doug | 02.05.2008 12:53 | History | Repression | Social Struggles | London

Mayday celebrations have a very long history of social disobedience countered by State repression.


Attempts to revive a more traditional Mayday in London, allied with 'Reclaiming the Streets', began in 1999 and got off to a good start. Following police clampdowns in London from 2001 onwards, however, numbers celebrating Mayday in the streets have dwindled from several thousand to less than a hundred, not counting the quite separate State authorised workers' march to Trafalgar Square. Another fact which reduces numbers is whether the 1st May falls on a working day or not.

So, the May Fayre in Mayfair event did not hold out a lot of promise, especially as many police also attended, with the usual stop and searches, surveillance cameras and sheep pen. Surprise though, people were allowed in and out of the pen, a break from normal police tactics and there seemed to be no arrests. Unauthorised celebrants were actually allowed to dance in the streets, have a Maypole, juggle, act, drink in public and generally live it up. No attempt was made either to silence or confiscate the sound systems, another break with recent police enforcement.

All in all a very fun day and thanks to the sound system guys for chancing your equipment and giving the dancers and kids a good time and to the Space Hijackers for making it possible.

History of Mayday:

Mayday 2000:

Mayday 2008 photos:



Display the following 2 comments

  1. No Cordon — reveller
  2. Sort of cordon. — Doug