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Grand Rapids Celebrates May Day 2011

May 1, 2011

Yesterday, hundreds of people from the community came out to celebrate in the 2nd annual May Day event organized by the Grand Rapids Chapter of the IWW.

While the day started out windy and cool, the sun finally broke through and it was a beautiful day for a celebration. Some 15 bands played throughout the day, including folks music, hip hop, Latin rock, punk, blues, rap and Indie music. The IWW also had a DJ there throughout the day spinning tunes between bands keeping the energy high.

These mix of music genres was reflected in the turnout with a racial diverse audience of people, some of which came from the immediate neighborhood surrounding Martin Luther King Park.

In addition, members of Stop Targeting Our Kids (STOK) provided some activities for children such as face painting and other artistic expression projects. The Really, Really Free Market was also open for several hours allowing people to exchange goods without having to spend any money. There was also free food provided by a new chapter of Food Not Bombs and garden plants from Our Kitchen Table. The new worker-run restaurant BarterTown also brought food for people to sample and to see how a worker-run restaurant differs from a management run business.

There were also several organizations there with information and resources. The Sprout Anarchist Collective had a table with zines and other resources, along with the IWW and the Bloom Collective.

Between bands groups had an opportunity to let people know about the grassroots and anti-capitalist work being done in Grand Rapids. There was also some poetry read, a speech by Rev. Pinckney from Benton Harbor and the IWW kept reminding people about the history of May Day and their call for a general strike. GRIID had a chance to speak with IWW member Cole Dorsey about some of these issues.

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