381-93; telephone interview with Murray Bookchin, 6 November 2000. That's how the Motherfuckers, the SDS chapter from Manhattan's Lower East Side, defined the affinity group in a broadside published around 1968. Elected officials were major targets of the GAA, which sought to influence policy and legislation by mobilizing gays as a political constituency whose interests could not be ignored. In this climate of grim frustration, the national antiwar movement split, as long-standing tensions about the political value of civil disobedience divided activists who were planning the antiwar mobilization for spring 1971.

But the criticism also extended to the national antiwar movement in its various organizational guises, which had "really well-known people who were on the letterhead and [acted as] spokespeople for the movement," as Ed Hedemann of War Resisters League put it.19, An anonymous pamphlet published not long before Mayday (and circulated among anarchists ever since) outlined an underlying critique of the very idea of a national or mass movement.

"Everything You Need to Know," Quicksilver Times (30 April-13 May 1971); Videofreex Mayday footage.

The officers were ultimately charged, but remained on the job and tensions soon flared. On Wednesday, May 5, 1,200 more people were arrested at a legal rally on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, bringing the total to 12,614 people, making this the largest mass arrest in U.S. history.

1. 42.

For, they promised, "an army of lovers would not fight. Robert Alden, "CORE Maps Tie-Up on Roads to Fair," The New York Times (10 April 1964); Joseph Lelyveld, "CORE Suspends Chapter for Urging Tie-Up at Fair," The New York Times (11 April 1964); Joseph Lelyveld, "CORE Split Grows over Plan to Jam Traffic at Fair," The New York Times (12 April 1964); and Homer Bigart, "Fair Opens, Rights Stall-in Fails; Protesters Drown Out Johnson; 300 Arrested in Demonstrations," The New York Times (23 April 1964). The D.C. office for the actions was largely staffed by a group of radicals who called themselves the Gay Mayday Tribe.

GAY LIBERATION MOVEMENT: Karla Jay and Alien Young, Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation (New York: Douglas Book Corporation, 1972).

", More than 40,000 protesters camped out in West Potomac Park near the Potomac River to listen to rock music and plan for the coming action.

We got badly gassed and a lovely upper class lady brought us into her elegant home to wash the gas off and gave us tea and finger sandwiches.

[8], On Tuesday, May 4, another 2,000 people were arrested at a sit-in outside the headquarters of the Justice Department.

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.

Others were demonstrators who were arrested preemptively, without having committed any illegal acts.

Spring Movement (8 April 1971). The Mayday organizers proposed that everyone who wanted to help shut down the federal government organize themselves into "affinity groups."

White House aide Jeb Magruder said that the protest had "shaken" Nixon and his staff, while CIA director Richard Helms called Mayday "a very damaging kind of event," noting that it was "one of the things that was putting increasing pressure on the administration to try and find some way to get out of the war."4.

The Motherfuckers viewed affinity groups in grander terms as well.

The breakaway group named itself the National Peace Action Coalition (NPAC), and called for a massive legal march and rally on 24 April. 33. In Davis's conception, the Mayday Tribe would bring the most politicized hippies of the time together with the hippest of the hardcore radicals.

Coffin interview; telephone interview with S.J.

Many of the arrestees were ordinary people with no connection to the protest; they just happened to be where sweeps were taking place. The history of this practice, though, is little known. I don't think there was any doubt about that.

Dept . It wouldn't be a conventional protest march, where demonstrators would trudge along a route that had been pre-arranged with the police, shepherded by movement marshals controlled by the protest leadership.13 With much antiwar protest having become dreary and routinized ("Should I take pictures, I kept questioning myself, or would photographs from past identical rallies suffice?" The term dates back to Spain in the late 1920s and 1930s, when small bands of militants from the Iberian Anarchist Federation (F.A.I.) Shits torn and dipped in toilet as weak anti-gas measure ... Found small stream of cool fresh air near floor and rotated brothers to take turn in 15 minute ( ? ) intervals . No food, water, or sanitary facilities were made available by authorities but sympathetic local residents brought supplies. Fred Halstead, Out Now! If you've seen one or two, you've seen them all....[G]ood, bad, or in between, they have not stopped the war, or put an end to poverty and racism, or freed all political prisoners."6. Free food! Like most of the vets I split to avoid arrest and regrouped later. 55.

NPAC aimed to build a mass mobilization against the war-organizer Fred Halstead called it "an authentic united front of the masses"7-bringing together the widest possible array offerees. "51, An acrimonious follow-up conference in August revealed the fissures within the Mayday Tribe. 44.

'-and it was just a hippie guy with long hair.

The escalation marked the largest law enforcement mobilization and use of force against New Mexico citizens since the police murder of George Floyd last Monday. Local residents, especially African-Americans, almost immediately began supporting the imprisoned protesters by bringing food, blankets, and notes of encouragement to the football field and throwing them over the fence.

Early in May 1971, after nearly two weeks of intense antiwar protest in Washington, D.C.-from a half-million-person march to large-scale sit-ins outside the Selective Service Agency, Justice Department, and other government agencies-upwards of 25,000 young radicals set out to do something brash and extraordinary: shut down the federal government through nonviolent direct action. The deaths sparked strikes at hundreds more campuses and inspired thousands who had never protested before to take to the streets. Anne Koedt, Ellen Levine, and Anita Rapone (New York: New York Times Books, 1973), pp. 12.

My emphasis on the continuity between the New Left and women's liberation owes much to Alice Echols, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place: Notes Toward a Remapping of the Sixties," Socialist Review 92/2 (April-June 1992). "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. "-expressing the desire to be part of the often homophobic New Left, a desire that partly motivated Gay Mayday. 32.

The now-defunct SDS certainly came in for special scorn, along with the "movement heavies"-influential or hardline radical men-who so often represented the group to the media. "People from the crowd got up to the microphone and said what was on their minds-sexism seemed to be on the minds of both women and gay men. But its activist innovations influenced the shape of American protest movements for decades to come. "For a number of us, gay and straight, the women's part of the conference was getting to know one another through dancing, swimming, making music together, singing, rapping in small groups, in twos and threes, digging on each other," one woman wrote in Atlanta's underground paper. Collective, The Organizer's Manual (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), pp. and the memorable "Up the ass of the ruling class!" But in May 1972, when Nixon announced the mining of seven Vietnamese harbors, the legacy of Mayday was dramatically on display. As Mary McGrory wrote in the Boston Globe, "It was universally panned as the worst planned, worst executed, most slovenly, strident and obnoxious peace action ever committed."


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. Everyone was responsible. These began on Monday morning, May 3rd, and ended on May 5th. hi. Lesbian activists may have had to take over the stage at Mayday to say their piece, but they would become primary transmitters of the direct-action tradition in the decades to come. The 1971 May Day Protests were a series of large-scale civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., in protest against the Vietnam War.

While the troops were in place and thousands held in reserve, the police clashed with members of the May Day tribe.

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