This year May Day Atlanta hosted another successful free festival in Coan Park located adjacent to the Edgewood neighborhood on Hosea Williams Drive. The festival ran from 4pm to 10pm and roughly 200 people made it out to enjoy the festivities on the chilly May afternoon. While the grill team kept folks warm with veggie burgers and hamburgers throughout the event, several people brought yummy homemade dishes to add to the table. Oh how we love a good potluck!
While the turnout was about half of last year’s, the event itself was in many ways more of a success. The project of making the festival a reality was carried out by many more people this year, from those who met to nail down the details of getting the park set up to everyone who showed up the day of and brought their own touch to the festival made this event what it was. It was a joy to watch it unfold as such and it seems we may be getting better at what we do.
Several groups came with tables and literature for attendees to browse and take home. There was a lending library, an On Our Own Authority! Publishing book table, a display from the Open Door Community, and a table packed to its edges with zines. Kelli’s Childcare Collective brought a table for the younger crowd complete with coloring books and bubbles, and SWARM had a freshly painted newspaper box on display.
Early in the evening there was a puppet show on resisting grand juries and how to practice good security culture. Nearly everyone at the park packed the seating in front of the stage (crafted just for the show by a local anarchist) to watch the homemade puppets tell their story. The crowd laughed along with the puppets’ jokes while one of the smallest audience members played a game of hide and seek with the puppeteers behind the curtains.
Following the puppet show a workshop on Eviction Blockades was given by a member of the local group Occupy Our Homes Atlanta. After that the crowd grooved into the night to tunes from We Few, Indigo Violence and Georgia Slim and Danny Red from I Want Whiskey. There was a tiny hiccup in our celebration with a visit from the local police, but in good fashion, they were surrounded, phones and cameras were put into action and Cop Watch did their thing. Needless to say, we finished the night strong with good music and good friends.
While we had a great time at the festival, it is important to remember that this fun, light-hearted event is a small part of May Day. Anti-capitalists across the globe celebrate May Day, in their own and varied ways, and it is crucial that we remember that this wide range of actions build capacity to resist the oppressive evils of capitalism. Luckily, it is getting easier every day to plug into ongoing anarchist projects in the city for anyone who is interested. We hope you are.