It is not murder, however, of which you have convicted me… but for anarchy, so the condemnation is—that I am an anarchist! … I say to you: I despise you. I despise your order, your laws, your force-propped authority. Hang me for it!Yesterday over 100 demonstrators attended an anti-capitalist May Day march that wound it's way through the Central Business District and the French Quarter. Bank windows and an ATM were damaged during the march, which had no visible police presence for most of it's route. The word "REVOLT!" was also scrawled across the walls of several corporate businesses and banks. Graffiti reading "This Robs the 99%" was written on a red light camera, as well. No one was arrested and no one was hurt.
- Louis Lingg, Haymarket Martyr, 1886
|New Orleans May Day Anti-Capitalist march parades down Canal St. on May 1, 2012. (h/t n.krebill)|
The anti-capitalist march followed another May Day march by the stalwart Congress of Day Laborers, an organization that self-organizes and fights for the immigrant worker community. Routinely robbed of their paychecks and paid below minimum wage, these workers' labor is regularly stolen from them, despite that they've been performing much of the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans for the past seven years.
Yesterday saw inspiring new dynamics emerge within New Orleans' class struggle. Not only was an increased level of solidarity shown among the different groups celebrating May Day, but an unusual occurrence took place between the police and the Anti-Capitalist March as NOPD lost control of the march.
Normally NOPD tries to make crowds police themselves. Training for Mardi Gras teaches police to hang back and remain friendly during marches and parades, the idea being that they will only intervene when situations become too unruly. As people in the crowd get away with minor infractions such as smoking weed, dancing on rooftops or taking the streets unpermitted, they perceive the cops as being okay with certain behaviors, and will check themselves so as to not jeopardize the dynamic.
The Anti-Capitalist March acted outside the framework of NOPD's crowd-control psychology by acting collectively to experiment with ways of expressing its frustrations against the ruling class. In doing so the march caught the police off-guard. Furthermore it seems to have left the media dumb-founded. A full 24-hours later the Times Picayune has said nothing about the Anti-Capitalist March, only making mention of the permitted march that happened earlier in the day.
The marches in New Orleans yesterday coincided with actions and marches all across the world to mark the traditional workers' holiday that began when anarchists were targeted by the U.S. government for bombings that occurred in 1886 in Chicago against police during the movement to demand an 8-hour working day after police killed protesting workers.
|New York City!|
|Oakland! (and this)|
|New York City!|