Organise the good life!

‚Too much shit, not enough money!‘ (Mrs. Weber – Bathroom Cleaner, Berlinale
Film Festival)

Train strikes, underground strikes, strikes in the supermarket… strikes mess with the daily grind.

We think this I‘m-not-playing-your-game-anymore is great, in the same way as a clear ‚No!‘ at the right moment can deliver a bit of freedom from the stress of day-to-day life. After years of defensive struggles and surrender, demands are finally being made. Within these struggles, the old question arises again: How do we want to live and work? And how is wealth distributed in society?

We aren‘t interested in discussing what wage percentage increase is justified or not. Something is clearly not right here: Too much shit, for too little money! Not enough cake for everyone… But who can actually strike?

Don‘t just ‚be berlin‘, Be Mayday

You‘re only just able to manage a balancing act between your internship, job, hassle from the job centre, your studies, kids and friends. You‘re neither entitled to strike pay from your kids nor your boss; but at the end of the day, you need money to survive. And when you eventually have a spare minute and want to relax on the Spree, its banks is ever more filled with office blocks. Culture is reduced to a commercial spectacle.

On the issue of money and spectacle: Since Berlin privatised its public facilities – to finance the glamour of the capital city and the debts incurred through the ‚bank scandal‘ a few years back – the price of rent, public transport, electricity, gas, water, nurseries, swimming pools and so
on have all risen. How can you strike against that? Take cold showers and turn out the light? Shoplifting? Fair dodging? Reappropriation?

‚‘be berlin‘? Are they crazy? How can you spend tens of millions on a campaign while the youth clubs are left to rot with nobody repairing broken windows.‘(Henning, ‚Victim‘ of Berlin’s new image campaign)

We all have to deal with these and other problems on a daily basis. Through Mayday, we want to make these everyday matters, the conflicts within them and our commonalities visible. Together, we‘re looking for ways of resisting the affronts of capitalism which confront us everywhere. Festively, colourful, and full of rage – on 1 May, we will celebrate our everyday resistances, contradictions, and the ways we work together.

‚Sometimes, friends of mine accuse me of placing more importance on my career than my friendships or partner. But they don‘t understand. I don‘t have a career. I just have jobs, and I need to earn money – and that’s hard for me.‘ (Stage Builder)

Let the poetry of the streets sound!

Like in May ’68: Back then, the desire for a different life led the way. 14 million workers went on strike and occupied their factories in France. The Prague Spring demanded a communism without self-appointed leaders, without grey workers‘ cities, and without callous bureaucracies. Students took to the barricades. For a moment, the utopia of another world seemed possible. Around the world, opposition to the old drudgery and discipline rose up. The powerful were nervous.

‚This mix is effective, this mix is gonna blow!‘ (Slime, ’80s German punk band)

The forcing open of authoritarian structures, undermining patriarchy, combating racism, creating space for realising new ideas, the self-determination of life and work – these processes have continued into the present. The individualisation of life-styles, flexibilisation, and responsibility for oneself, has, however, also become the basis of a neoliberal, competition-oriented society.

The Power of Precarisation?

The internalisation of the notion that everyone creates their own destiny, today, has led to us all becoming our own entrepreneurs, marketing our selves. We work all the time, and everywhere.

In countless small businesses, precarious workers – washing dishes, or designing graphics – hope for redemption through the promise of salvation offered by the ’social market economy‘. For some, redemption would be a secure residency permit status; for others: a permanent job with social insurance. On top of this, the threat of precariousness and impoverishment is a motor for arduous subordination to the ‚requirements of the market‘: unpaid internships, wage sacrifices during rounds of collective bargaining, competition, separation…

Even if the lived realities of illegalised, low-waged workers and the so-called ‚digital bohemians‘ are very different, everyone is caught in the same rat race for recognition and the promise of self-realisation. The zone in which this promise of happiness exists, is restricted by internal and external barriers.

The Precarisation of Power!

With Mayday, we‘re looking for forms of resistance which enable us to live our commonalities. We want to set a process of organisation in motion which can shatter this shitty rat race.

Out on the streets for EuroMayday! Come with us to the Mayday Parade 2008: Move, dance, demonstrate – for the precarisation of power, the zest for solidarity, a city for everyone, and the organisation of the iStrike against the market in our heads. Let’s work together! Our exchange is in the streets and at the kitchen table! The batteries are charged, but the iPod is fucked.
Who cares? We‘ll see you there! In this sense: Don‘t just ‚be berlin‘, be.A STRIKER! Be Mayday!

Mayday Parade // 1 May ’08 // 2pm // Boxhagener Platz // Friedrichshain //