Mayday 2004

The Dublin EU Mayday protests of 2004 - The Ghost of Mayday Past

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Compared to many other European countries May Day demonstrations have always been small in Ireland, even in the 1980's when the Stalinist left was much more influential and the unions were much more powerful. By the mid-1990's, with the old left in complete disarray and the union bureaucrats more focussed on partnership with the state and the bosses rather than workers' rights, May Day had become a fairly underwhelming event.

So, given this dismal tradition why were the explicitly libertarian May Day events in 2004, comparatively speaking, such a success? Of course there was the impetus of a major European Union summit but to understand why anarchists were in a position to organise big May Day events calls for a brief examination of the development of libertarian ideas and practices in Ireland over the past few years.

Anarchists Playing the Media Game

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The Dublin Grassroots Network put a number of structures in place to avoid some of the pitfalls of dealing with the media. Perhaps the two biggest problems in dealing with the media are firstly that the media can, through the questions they ask and the pressures they bring, begin to set the political agenda of the group. Secondly servicing the media machine can take up all a group's time and energy (to the detriment of the other activity).

Dublin Mayday 2018 - at a hectic time it's a small gathering of the faithful

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The Dublin May Day march last night took place in miserable weather conditions, the parade was led off the Trade Union Repeal the 8th banners - Repeal was one of the march themes and copies of a newspaper aimed at trade unionists called Yes Repeal were also distributed.

Another Dublin May Day theme was working rights for migrants following the farcical new rules that supposedly give asylum seekers a right to work but which in practice few qualify under and which require too much paper work for employers to bother with for a 6 month contract.

Mayday 2004 and why we still need to resist the EU project

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With the European Central Bank in partnership with the IMF taking over the running of Ireland's economic policy and hence social policy for the next few years we thought it timely to revisit the weekend of Mayday 2004 when Dublin saw major protests against the EU summit and the neo-liberal policies that were being adopted. This is not an article about how “right” anarchist were about the EU, but we thought it timely to remind people of the biggest, openly organised weekend of protest against hierarchy, power and capitalism Ireland has so far seen.  It includes a 30 minute documentary that shows the highlights of the weekend that we think has not yet been put online.

Learning from May Day: Organisational Problems

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A look at some of the problems faced and mistakes made in the organisation of the Dublin EU Mayday summit protests in 2004.

Learning from May Day: Anti-Capitalist Strategy direct action, militancy and building the movement

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The experience of May Day brings up us back to some of the perennial questions thrown up by counter-summits protests: how do we broaden our movement and what role do direct action and confrontational tactics have in that process. These are, of course, the issues that have been mainstay of Red and Black Revolution debates over the past few years but have been usually viewed through the prism of events outside of Ireland. The following article is a personal account of the Dublin Grassroots Network's approach to such issues in relation to May Day and goes on to argue for increased tactical flexibility from anarchists within the anti-capitalist movement.

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