* ** Europe`s Funkiest Conspiracy ...** * English version
** Europe`s Funkiest Conspiracy ...**
In the beginning, MayDay was conceived as an open format for social activists, media subvertisers
and the radical sections of unionism to come together creatively and horizontally in order to
give voice and empower the weak and invisible strata of workers in the service city: cashiers,
cleaners, call-center operators, programmers, knowledge and culture workers with temporary,
part-time and freelance contracts, overexploited men and women from all contintents.
It was also a way of recombining radical practices and political traditions around a
proactive project, rather than simple resistance, in order to transcend the various fissures and
obsolescences in autonomist and anarchist squatting cultures, not to speak of the
inabiltity of traditional leftism of reaching the ever-wider dissenting and mobilizing crowds in
Europe and America: we wanted to bring the spirit of Seattle-Genoa to postindustrial workplaces and
supermarkets and escalate the fight against precarity in order to assert new labor and
welfare rights for an increasingly disadvantaged generation.
Although it started as a city-wide phenomenon, it had higher aspirations from the start. Fast-food
strikers from Paris (who later went on to establish stop précarité) and radical student
collectives from Rome inaugurated a cross-network of exchanges and mutual projects. By 2002, the
mayday had become a regional event. By 2003, it had become a national event with 50,000 people
participating. In 2004, the european projection was successfully implemented in Barcelona. Each
year, it was a process that supported new conflicts and gave room for self-representation
of the most radical labor struggles agitating Milano and the rest of Italy in the previous
In 2004-2005 a veritable europe-wide movement of activists against continental precarity and
exclusion has taken shape. Four years after its birth in Milano on May 1st 2001, the MayDay in
Milano has grown and become a fully european event. 20 metropolises and towns all over Europe
have built from below the first continental mayday of flexible workers against precarity.
In Milano, the mayday has transcended the boundaries of a movement event and has become an
urban tradition belonging to the people of the city, rather than to the San Precario
(http://www.chainworkers.org/dev/node/view/136) and Serpica Naro (http://www.serpicanaro.com) activists that have made it grow in
countless actions, pickets, hoaxes. It has seen the participation of an incredible multitude of the many, many people.
Notwithstanding despicable intra-movement tensions before and after the parade, it was a
great and significant occasion that saw almost 120.000 people filling the streets in the center
of the city. Everybody not rich enough to leave the city was there - the Piccolo and Scala theatre
workers, activists all kinds and stripes, moms, kids, vegans (delivering free food in giant
quantities), gender and post-gender warriors, flexers, temps, "migrants" , neglected precarious
laborers, bookshop workers, social angels, dancers, researchers, musicians, from all over Italy.
Starting with the migrant action day of the second of April, to the morning of the first of
may, when a "Mayday, Mayday" banner appeared on the top of the of Scala theatre (http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2005/04/783048.php), Mayday
was the city and the city was Mayday, through the radiowaves and brainwaves (there were various trasmissions and actions and
comunications going on), across Europe.
Since its first year Mayday has not being about its organizers, but about (self)organization. Not only about activism, but about (cre)activism.
Mayday is a "social media" and for this represents a way to put and put oneself in relation, cooperate and conspire. It's a
communication tool that enables social subjects to represent and participate relations, unwilling to be victim of the reproduction of the goods.
Its result goes beyond any definition and constantly exceeds itself. And really it's a network of individualities more than political
organisations that has created the parade, each with his own story, with his own load of desires, passions and demands.
The foremost expression of the Parade this year has been the birth of a new network of radical
entities "Gli Imbattibili" (The Unbeatables) (http://www.chainworkers.org/IMBATTIBILI), each portrayed on an album collecting 21 stickers,
each representing "superheroic" resistance to precarity (and not superheroes), small gems of conflict experience, talents and relations, that
have found their expression in the weeks before the Mayday in a series of radio programs, broadcasted by a well-known community radio.
During the parade, a frenetic hunt for the stickers ensued. Stickers had been dispersed among the over thirty soundtrucks composing the
demo and precarious people of all types and generations exchanged and bargained in order to complete their collection, so unintentionally
getting to know the many aspects and faces behind labor precarization in Northern Italy.
These stickers do not represent the unicity and the unreachability of the heroes but they're heroic because each one reflects a way to oppose
to that annihilation of our existence of which the demands of the profit businesses have the need. In them there are the thousands of tricks,
the different escamotages by which everyone attempts to free her/his own dignity, her/his own desires from the yoke of work and social
constraints that demand the greatest availability, versatility, patience and return the least in terms of income, security and
success of our capabilities and of our desires.
They are not only about precarity as a working condition, but they also represent its social dimensions.
Each sticker represents in fact, what the various groups, crews and collectives have brought to the parade: the sharing in common of a project to
agitate and communicate a MayDay, among them Chainworkers, since 2001 promoters of the parade.
Mayday, San Precario, Serpica Naro, the Imbattibili are complex operations but not necessarily complicated, since they easily
develop mechanisms for the reproduction of relations, of conspiration that are prevented from emerging in neoliberal production and its
forms of personal domination. In a sense they don't make use of mainstream media to amplify their message, but they create a medium
temporarily stronger than the commercial alternative, they infiltrate each semantic fold and strike people as messages neither homogenized
nor reproducible to profit.
The forms of conflict change and so do relations and interactions among people who have to interprete them: new scenarios, complicities and
reticolarities serve as bridge-heads connecting conflicts across various forms of social agitation. MayDay is about aggregating
capabilities and making subversive memes circulate across and pervade the social with unassailable alterity; it is about a need for the
common that cannot be renounced by the precarious generation and cannot be domesticated by neoliberal power.
Chainworkers.org CreW and Radiohacktive