London's Anarchists Celebrated May Day By Holding a Riot-Party

The proletarians of London celebrated International Workers' Day – or May Day – by running around with flares and listening to gabber while the police chased them.

by Chris Bethell, Words: Simon Childs
05 May 2015, 8:30am

On Friday, the proletarians of London celebrated International Workers' Day – or May Day – by running around with flares listening to gabber as the police chased them.

Before the riot-partying, the day started in a more traditional fashion, with trade unionists, socialists, Castro-lovers, Hugo-Chavistas and various Turkish communists in quasi-paramilitary garb holding a May Day march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square. Banners about the housing crisis and education vied for attention with those bearing the heroic visage of Joseph Stalin.

Later on, a bunch of anarchists descended on Tower Bridge and held their own march, stopping in the middle of the bridge to let off flares, chant anti-capitalist slogans and block traffic for a little while, to the chagrin of at least one white van man.

The anarchists regrouped later on outside One Commercial Street – the scene of many "poor door" protests – where crusties gathered with sound systems to take part in Class War's "fuck parade", which involved people drinking, setting off more flares and skanking to gabber. It was, essentially, dancing around the maypole for people who live in squats.

One of the sound systems was housed in a wheelie bin that was painted to look like a house, with the words "affordable housing" written on it. That wheelie bin became an acid techno Pied Piper, leading the crowd on a tour – although nobody could really decide where to go at first. They ended up playing cat-and-mouse with police through the streets, heading back towards Tower Bridge to block traffic for a second time, before continuing on the mystery tour until the police got heavy-handed.

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