The Mayday action came in for special criticism: "When people state that they are purposely and illegally attempting to disrupt the government, as the Mayday Tribe has done, they isolate themselves from the masses of American people."8. To transport the mass of prisoners, the police had to commandeer city buses; when even that wasn't enough, they hired Hertz and Avis rent-a-trucks.48. They came to feel that authentic radicalism must grow out of involvement in local or small-group activity, that it cannot flourish within a national organization." 42. Anything that does that can help our people. Mary McGrory is quoted in Noam Chomsky, "Mayday: The Case for Civil Disobedience," The New York Review of Books (17 June 1971); Carl Bernstein, "Rennie Davis: Make Clear...We Failed," The Washington Post (4 May 1971). intervals . Do recall the demo "GLFers chose the rocky road of fluid cellular organization," explained activist Lois Hart, "rather than perpetuate older, oppressive structures of Follow the Leader and passive participation by voting."36. Explained one participant, "[T]he idea of 'we've tried everything, now there's nothing left but violence' was pretty much replaced with the notion that now that violence-trashing, bombing, off the pigging-had failed it was time for a really radical approach: nonviolent civil disobedience." hi. That still left thousands of prisoners, whom the police herded into an outdoor practice field next to RFK Stadium. Telephone interview with Jeff Jones, 20 June 2000. Front page of the Albuquerque Journal on June 14th 1971, Tags | albuquerque, research, roosevelt riots. The government had made a major misstep, which cost it public sympathy. Thank You! Some months later, one anonymous Weather sympathizer calling herself "a daughter of the Amerikan Revolution" published an essay on affinity groups in the spring 1970 issue of the radical Berkeley Tribe, endorsing their use for armed struggle. RED POWER MOVEMENT: Alvin M. Josephy Jr., Red Power: The American Indians' Fight for Freedom (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1971), and Adam Fortunate Eagle, Alcatraz! Gradually, these nomadic people adopted a more settled, agricultural lifestyle and began to build multi-story stone or adobe dwellings now known as pueblos by 750 CE. Never before or since have there been that many arrests in the United States on a single day. "A lot of [GLF activism] was sensitivity groups, tea groups: meeting in church basements and storefronts and people's homes to look at the ways we had been injured in a homophobic, racist, heterosexist, classist society," remembers Warren J. Blumenfeld, who was part of the Washington D.C. Also see George W. Hopkins, "'May Day' 1971: Civil Disobedience and the Vietnam Antiwar Movement," in Give Peace a Chance: Exploring the Vietnam Antiwar Movement, ed. 20. Mayday 1971 deserves rediscovery, for it occupies a pivotal place in American radical history. Riots and civil disorder in Washington, D.C. The philosophy of civil disobedience that he and King propounded, and most pacifists embraced, entailed a willingness to accept violence and a refusal to engage in it, even in self-defense.15, In the activist climate of the late 1960s and early 1970s, this kind of civil disobedience had acquired an aura of piety and passivity, distasteful to many radicals; as Jerry Coffin observes, "very few of [the Mayday protesters] would have identified themselves as being members of a nonviolent movement." The groups reflected both anarchist ideals of free association and military needs for security. Ben Morea, the founder of the Motherfuckers, had learned about affinity groups from conversations and debates with Murray Bookchin, who did extensive research on the Spanish Civil War during the 1960s. (Women's Health Action and Mobilization), would be inspired by the innovative tactics and techniques that GAA developed to pursue its goals. thanks. Radicals who aspired to create a mass movement-like the Socialist Workers Party with its 24 April NPAC march and rally-were reproducing the very structure they should be challenging. "There were about five of us who were gay, and we sort of ran the office. "Mayday in Atlanta," Space City! As one antiwar publication put it, for the previous seven years, "We have met, discussed, analyzed, lectured, published, lobbied, paraded, sat-in, burned draft cards, stopped troop trains, refused induction, marched, trashed, burned and bombed buildings, destroyed induction centers. The deaths sparked strikes at hundreds more campuses and inspired thousands who had never protested before to take to the streets. 1. "Mayday," The Great Speckled Bird (23 August 1971); "Atlanta Mayday Conference," Berkeley Tribe (27 August 1971); Carl Davidson, "Gays Dominate Mayday Meeting in Atlanta," The Guardian (25 August 1971). As the camp grew, however, the open meetings ceased, and were replaced by announcements made over the loud-speaker system by a male voice." ▶ Start forum discussions, submit articles, and more... about | donate | help out | submitting content | other languages | a-z | contact us | site notes, Ending a war: Inventing a movement: Mayday 1971, Ending a war, inventing a movement Mayday 1971.pdf. And every major group that had a target had a radio and was in communication with our base. For, they promised, "an army of lovers would not fight. ("Gays dominate Mayday meeting in Atlanta," the left-wing paper The Guardian disapprovingly headlined its postconference report. You're not simply following a leadership up at the head of a march.... Rather than one conspiracy, it was thousands of conspiracies."32. The phrase "qualified martial law" was used by William H. Rehnquist, who was assistant attorney general at the time and later named to the Supreme Court. ▶ Bookmark articles to your own reading list Sanford J. Ungar and Maurine Beasley, "Justify Arrests, Judge Orders Police: Total Sets a U.S. Record," Washington Post (4 May 1971); "Mayday Tactics: Report from Washington, D.C.," Northwest Passage (24 May-6 June 1971). Thanks mates for your thoughts and for being there. ... Light on 24/7 . "Affinity Groups," Berkeley Tribe (29 May 1970); The O.M. Did we shut it down? [8], On Tuesday, May 4, another 2,000 people were arrested at a sit-in outside the headquarters of the Justice Department. Mayday wouldn't be a standard protest rally, where a series of speakers (usually chosen through an acrimonious behind-the-scenes struggle) would lecture to a passive crowd. The tactical manual explained that Mayday would be militant in a way "that conforms more with our new life style" and deploys "joy and life against bureaucracy and grim death." Collective, The Organizer's Manual (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), pp. The U.S. government had put into effect Operation Garden Plot, a plan it had developed during the 1960s to combat major civil disorders. Washington Monument. "41, That Saturday, the Mayday Collective threw a rock concert and festival (featuring "Free music! As Scagliotti puts it, "[Mayday was] the end of that sort of male radical leadership, the Rennie Davises, the Chicago 7, all those guys, the whole world of the counterculture mixed with radical street politics. The remaining protesters, estimated at 12,000, regrouped at various churches and college campuses in the area.[6]. 13. The 1971 May Day Protests were a series of large-scale civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., in protest against the Vietnam War. Quicksilver Times (30 April-13 May 1971). The black civil rights movement of Tread-well's generation had pioneered the use of nonviolent direct action in the United States, from the Montgomery bus boycott to the Southern lunch counter sit-ins to the abortive "stall-in" plan. 40. No food, water, or sanitary facilities were made available by authorities but sympathetic local residents brought supplies. Jeff Jones, one of the founders of Weatherman, explains that as early as 1967, militant members of SDS began debating whether to adopt more violent tactics during street protests. It's a history, moreover, that's steeped in irony, for these groups that have been so central to nonviolent activism in our time began as underground guerrilla cells, and entered American radical circles through the most violent segment of the New Left. '-and it was just a hippie guy with long hair. 9. 27. "40, As the action date approached, however, the atmosphere grew more alienating for some activists, especially women, who found little structure or opportunity for participation. "We blew each other's minds by our beauty, our strength. 7. Disrupted the capitol. [2], By the middle of 1970 many leaders of the anti war movement had come to believe that tactics of mass marches that had been used during the past six years would not end the war, and that more aggressive actions were needed. That was not part of the Mayday rhetoric. Washington," undated leaflet, Hedemann collection; also see Robin Reisig, "Gandhi with a Raised Fist," The Village Voice (13 May 1971).