March on International Workers Day May 1 (and caravan there by bike!)

Chances are high that any south Minneapolis radical can find many of their friends in Powderhorn Park on the first Sunday of every May.  The annual Heart of the Beast parade and festival is a much-loved Twin Cities tradition.

This year, May Day presents another special opportunity.  Since this May 1 falls on Sunday, the annual International Workers Day demonstration will be held the same afternoon.  It will begin after the conclusion of the Heart of the Beast parade, starting at 4pm at the St. Paul Cathedral at Selby Avenue and John Ireland Boulevard in Saint Paul, followed by a march to the Capitol.

We encourage everyone, and in particular anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and radicals of all stripes to join in the May 1 march in St. Paul after the May Day parade in Minneapolis.  To get there, take the 21 bus line straight to the Cathedral from Lake Street; carpool; or caravan by bike!  A bike caravan to St. Paul will meet by the playground northeast of the Powderhorn Park building at 3pm, rain or shine.  Map:  http://bit.ly/dVgwPY

You can also participate in the International Workers Day contingent of the Powderhorn Mayday Puppet Parade. It will meet starting at 11:00 am at 25th & Cedar Avenue. Info: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=211522098860807

The theme for the Heart of the Beast parade this year is “Caws for Unite” – and indeed, escalating attacks on immigrants and workers represent a very big “Caws for Alarm” in our cities.  This year is the 125th anniversary of International Workers Day, a day of struggle that began during the fight for the 8-hour work day in 1886.  With the resurgence of May Day in the United States as a day calling for immigrant and worker rights; this year’s historic  protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere; and a steady stream of anti-immigrant, anti-worker legislation in the Minnesota statehouse, there is no better time to demonstrate than now.

Read on for more about why we support International Workers Day.

Several guiding principles for our collective lead us to emphasize the importance of collective action on May 1:

We refuse to get stuck in isolated subcultures.  
One way radical social change happens is through mass organizing and action across communities, across race and class lines, and across government-imposed categories like immigration status.  By visibly supporting immigrant and worker-led struggles, anarchists and anti-authoritarians can position ourselves in the construction zone of a new world from the ashes of the old, and can build the broad connections necessary to effectively agitate for liberation.

We oppose all forms of oppression.
This is not simply a “politically correct” statement for radicals to make, nor does it simply mean speaking up against an act of racism, sexism or homophobia at a show or on the street.  Opposing oppression means showing up and building relationships in solidarity.  All of us who oppose oppression have the opportunity to literally “walk the talk” on May 1.

We aim to govern ourselves in our everyday lives, building power from the bottom up.
We not only believe in legalization for all and striking down racist laws, we also believe in a world without borders where freedom of movement and freedom to organize horizontally are universal.  By joining together in the streets, we make a statement in favor of bypassing stale, state-sanctioned methods of begging for change, choosing instead to build power for ourselves.  We can use the opportunity of May 1 to further a radical vision of self-governance, one that goes beyond assimilation into capitalist society and imagines true freedom.

See you in the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul on May 1!

For more information and to help build the International Workers’ Day march, visit http://may1minnesota.wordpress.com

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