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From: "Loombreaker" (
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 14:48:49 +0100
Subject: Loombreaker No.11

Mayday Mayhem in Manchester

Mayday this year surpassed previous international days of action. Around the world people celebrated in carnival fashion, occupying streets of major cities, gardening, dancing and partying. At the latest count Mayday festivities, demonstrations and actions happened in over 69 cities and 40 countries.

Life's a beach

In the morning, the seaside came to the city. Sticks of red, black and green rock, with "Resistance is Sweet" running through the middle were given out to passers-by, a direct action planetary tarot reader told fortunes, a coconut shy encouraged people to 'knock politicians' blocks off', a revolutionary seaside band entertained the masses, saucy seaside political postcards were delivered, and a cut-out copper to stick your head through for a seaside photo. The SWP came to visit, shouting out their latest campaign slogans about asylum seekers, having moved swiftly from their own May Day plans, and were swiftly penned in by the police.

Let the games begin

At 2pm, crowds began to gather at Piccadilly Gardens, with banners, music and colour, plus the usual police helicopter, mounted police, evidence gathers etc.

By 3pm, up to 20 small autonomous groups had slipped away from the 500-strong crowd for Challenge Anarchy, a 'treasure hunt' each facilitated by an Anarchy Rice, targeting many places with their action pack of leaflets, flyposters, paste, chalk and spray cans. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go forth into our city, and create, change, act, make people think, and spread an atmosphere of resistance." A huge number of actions happened, see below.

This left the main crowd for a roving RTS through the city centre, followed by the cops and free food. Crowds divided up and rushed through police lines, defending themselves with wheelie-bin obstacles from horse charges, finding ways out, dividing and recombining, reoccupying briefly the Mancunian (motor)Way, closing down other city centre roads, until they were penned in near the Oxford Road McDonalds. 40 people entered the adjacent AMEC construction site, to climb up scaffolding above the police and crowd, as the Inspector announces "You'll be allowed to leave in dribs and drabs after giving your details, whe.., HOLD THAT LINE!" as people surged through the lines of riot cops.

Out-foxed pigs caught in spider's web

People dispersed to rest up before the night's entertainment.. A couple of dozen police in vans staked out the free party meeting point, but didn't notice the dribs and drabs (see above) of people being led off. A little later, a mass of over 200 set off by the classiest route ever, silently snaking over land where their vans couldn't follow, in the darkness, together, to Mayday's secret free party celebration. Somehow the 200-300 party people arrived at the Hacienda, unnoticed by police, despite the CCTV just outside the world famous ex-club, to party the night away. While the cops were probably still sat at the meeting point (he he he). Graffiti inside from the first time we squatted it was updated to "People - 2, Police - 0". Some people were arrested when they left, they unfortunately hadn't had a legal briefing (oops) others left en masse walked free.

On Thursday 4th the Hacienda was still occupied. After another night's party, the police left the site well alone. Before the building was vacated, huge banners covered the front of the building proclaiming "Anarchy", "Hac the System", "Resist", "We are Everywhere -", and "Police Mutiny Now", "Don't vote, just do it", and "Bollox to the Ballot".

For more information about where other Mayday actions took place both in the UK and around the world, go to this website:

* a few Shell blockades * many McDonalds occupied, leafletted or shut down * supermarkets targetted for genetics (food and GM cotton) and general nastiness * fake £20 note flyers dished out * cash machines 'melted' * a 'slave auction' * Disney (sweat & child labour), Starbucks (sponsoring globalisation) * Reed & other employment agencies (casualisation & resultant insecurity & deaths) and NatWest (investment in animal abuse & general banking) visited * seeds and saplings guerilla gardened * spoof TV show making people spend exactly their £10 asylum-seeker voucher * anti-mass media 'The Lies' newspaper mock-up and actions * Fidelity Investments (investing in Occidental's attack on the Columbian U'Wa people) 'muralised' * Stagecoach buses stopped, leafletted and rolled under by disabled activists & others (Clause 28- support, few buses accessible, & anti-worker, rural routes, high fares etc Stagecoach monopolisation) * general anti-consumerist - advertising and CCTV propaganda & shops closed down * plus "Unite, Resist, Celebrate" Mayday leaflets, and much chalking, stickering, subvertising and painting.

Scores on the doors so far:

All told, there were 35 arrests on the day. 20 of these were at the Hacienda and so far as we are aware, all these charges have been dropped. If you or someone you know was arrested, or you witnessed an arrest, please get in touch with Manchester Legal Support Group on 0161 226 6814.

Police impounded a van and imposed a Section 60 (CJA extra stop & search powers) on the whole city centre (Salford police had known nothing till actions started there!).

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