To the streets for May Day 2013

Update: Facebook Event

This year Bristol Trades Council is pulling out all the stops and attempting to throw their biggest May Day March in years.  Whilst they may not have said it themselves, we’d like to think the effort of everyone who got involved with the 1st of May Group last year and the success of our demos, actions, and saturday march is what inspired them!

We have a lot of respect for trade unions, their members have been at the forefront of many working class struggles for almost as long as their has been a working class.  Despite the repression of the 1970s unions still hold a lot of potential for helping to organise mass action.

However far too often they are held back by the bureaucrats at the top who have lost touch with the rank and file militants pushing for more action. Mainstream unions can find themselves caught up in red tape they are unwilling to risk pushing through, and are often unable to move their focus beyond their narrow memberships.  If we are to make a difference and show our collective strength on May Day (and beyond) we need more than just our unions on the streets, so we’re putting out the following call to join them on May the Fourth:

To the Streets for May Day !
May Day  has been celebrated as international workers day since 1890, it is a time to remember our collective history, and those that fought and died of to win us the 8 hour day, safety at work, and much else that it’s all to easy to take for granted. It is also a time to reignite and unite the present struggles for a better world.

For May Day 2013, Unions in Bristol are calling for a March Against Austerity. We are calling for a Radical Block to march with them, so come and join us on the streets if you are;

Mad – at the government which continues to attack societies most vulnerable for the benefit of no one other than themselves (and their rich mates).
Angry – that the costs of living are going up and your boss won’t pay you more.
Frustrated – that your working conditions are being destroyed and the bureaucrats at the top of your union don’t seem up for the fight your fellow workers are ready for.
Worried – that if we don’t do something soon there will be no NHS or decent education left for your children.
Bored – with the latest lies from the politicians and press you’re expected to believe.
Inspired – by the courage of those that have gone before us, who have fought against exploitation, and won us all victories which last to his day.
Optimisticabout creating a society that can meet all our needs and seek an end to; sexism, racism, transphobia, ableism, ageism, homophobia, and the many other oppressive and destructive ways in which we are divided.

So grab your red flag, your black flag, your pirate flag or no flag at all and get together at 11am, Saturday the 4th of May on College Green to take to the streets of Bristol, and rekindle the spirit of resistance!

Some of Bristol First of May Group

Leave a comment if you want to know more or get involved!

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Noise Demo Hits Hinkly Supplier Hydrock

For the fifth day of the week of action for May Day, South West Against Nuclear (SWAN), Bristol Stop Hinkley C along with members of the Bristol First of May Group, held a noise demo against Hydrock due to their involvement with Hinkley Point, Somerset’s nuclear power station.

From 12:30pm, once everyone had been shuttled from the nearby bus stop in Almondsbury, 8 miles from Bristol, to Over Court Barns, Over Lane, people began protesting with megaphones, pans, instruments, cymbols and other objects to make noise with. Within a few minutes a police van pulled up as workers nervously peeked through blinds while neighbours said they supported the disruption due to Hydrock’s land destruction in the local area. No doubt to the disappointment of Hydrcok and the cops!

While using the sirens to good use along with a generally loud atmosphere, police with cameras attempted to takes photo’s, but continually failed as our banner was routinely used to block their vision. This resulted in them using Hydrock’s car park to take pictures from, but still to no avail due to some quick blocking.

After 2 hours, with delivery vehicles being turned away, reception finally disconnecting their intercom and their signs written on (naughty!) we called it a day, making sure to remind them of the consequences of dealing with a new nuclear industry and why we’d be back.

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New Events for May Day

New events for may day have been added!

Bristol Radical History Group are giving a talk on the story behind May Day; anarchists, executions and the international struggle for the eight hour day.  It will take place from 6pm at Hydra Books, Old Market,  with cakes and zapatistsa coffee on sale.  See the Facebook Event and invite your friends along.

Also since the week of events in Bristol rounds up on the saturday, why not head out to the antinuclear picnic on sunday? Possibly the last chance you (or anyone) will have to enjoy the countryside and public footpaths before french energy giant EDF turns the area into europes biggest building site – for a reactor they don’t have planning permission for. See the facebook page for details.

Click over to our events page to see all the other things happening this week, see you in the streets, and since its just clicked over to midnight  happy international workers day everyone!



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Number for Workfare Flashmob & Updated Flyer

The anti-workfare flash mob will be taking place at 12.30pm on Thursday 3rd of May.  You will need to be in the centre (near the galleries) at 12.15pm and call this number  07930311065 to find out the details of the target!

If possible get hold of a prison outfit (black&white stripes, arrows, orange jump suit etc) or bring banners/placards/flags/just yourself!

We’ve also uploaded an updated flyer for the Reclaim the Beach view/download it here.

Last but not least, our final meeting before may day is this friday 7pm at the Stag&Hounds on old market, come on down if you can!

Remember to check the facebook event, twitter, and this blog for regular updates.

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Final Details for May Day Action!

Plans have changed, decisions have been made, more folks have got involved and we’re now going to have a whole week of actions and protests in Bristol to celebrate May Day, leading up to a large march and action on Saturday the 5th.
The following is a diverse range of events representing many struggles, or as we see it many facets of the same struggle; against oppression for a free and just society.

Also the next meeting of Bristol May First Group is this Friday 27th of April, 7pm upstairs at the stag & hounds on Old Market. Likely to be our last before May Day!

#BristolMayDay & Facebook

Monday April 30th
Anti Vivisection(animal testing) Noise Demo, meet 12pm at the Bear Pit in the centre (to move on to a target). Bring things to make some NOISE.

Tuesday May 1st
Mass call in sick or otherwise skip work/school day Since the state refuses to give us may 1st off, we should take it ourselves.

Possible morning action against the criminalisation of squatting TBC/stay tuned!

Spreading May Day Meet 3pm by the fountains in the centre to raise peoples concsiousness about May Day! Stalls, leaflets, chats, and some fun & food as well.

Wednesday May 2nd
Picket ATOS Help fight back against the governments attacks on people with disabilities. ATOS is the company paid to take away disabled peoples benefits! We shall be handing out advice leaflets to those attending interviews, and protesting against ATS. 2pm at Flowers Hill in Brislington.

Thursday May 3rd
Anti-Workfare Flash Mob! Be around the Centre of town at 12.30 then call our hotline or drop us a text in advance to find the target (number will be released nearer the time). Bring Prison clothes (or warden outfits) and prepare for some theatric direct action!

Friday May 4th
South West Against Nuclear Demonstration against a local supplier to the proposed new nuclear power station at hinkley.  It will take place at midday at over court barns, Almondsbury(BS32 4DF), which can be reached by Bus (309 from bristol centre), train (patchway station), bike (8 miles from Bristol),  or contact SWAN for lift shares from Bristol swanactive[at]

Saturday May 5th – the big one!
May Day March against the destruction of the NHS!  Organised with the Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance with union support (aswell as with us crazy mayday folks). Gather from 11am on college green.

Reclaim the beach  Our bosses steal our time, the corporations steal our spaces and the state steals our holiday and hides our histroy! Its time for the workers to take it all back, beneath on top of the streets lies the beach.  Meet at the end of the anticuts march (12:30ish college green) and reclaim the streets of bristol. Bring hawaiian shirts, bermududa shorts, deck chairs, palm trees, BBQs and prepare for some anti-capitalist fun.

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Get onboard with Bristol May Day

Less than two weeks to go untill the mayday week of action begins!

There are local meetings in southmead and bedminster coming up (and one took place tonight in fishponds) focusing on the NHS and the larger demo on the saturday. See the events page for details.

We’re also having our fifth may first group meeting tomorrow come on down to get invovled as we finalise our plans for the big day, and add your own thoughts into the mix (details).

Theres lots more going on so get invovled, and we’ll see you down the pub, at the library and in the streets soon!

ps cheers to co-mutiny who’s picture we have lovingly ripped off =)

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Reclaim The Beach Flyer

First draft for our exciting afternoon May day action is here: Continue reading

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