On Mayday (May 1), there were two marches in DC. One was the annual march from Malcolm X Park to the White House, which included demands that ICE be expelled from DC, that the TPP trade deal never be ratifed, and that area stores respect the Driscolls Berries boycott. The other march began at Marbury Plaza where Alonzo Smith was murdered by “special police” in Anacostia and ended at the 7D police station.
The march from Malcolm X Park included an antifascist contingent due in part to prior counterprotests at the White House by neo-Nazi groups against the Mayday march, This time around, the fascists were a no-show. The antifascist contingent did meet up with a group of protesters at the White House opposed to Turkish president Erogden’s imprisonment of members of the Alevi religious minority there. As the antifascists explicitly support the PKK and YPJ/YPG against both ISIS/Daesh and Erogden’s Islamist government there was an initial misunderstanding that was quickly reversed after the words “fascist Erogden” were heard spoken by the Mayday marchers. Many of the Alevi protesters had been cheering for the incoming march, having already heard similar things from others in the march. At this point the two groups seemed to merge together. One of the speakers at the Mayday rally focussed on the Kurdish fight against both Daesh and the Turkish government.
In multiple cities around the world Mayday protests ended in street battles against police, somewhat like what happened here in DC back in 2013 when protesters stormed the Gap and police tried to counterattack but lost the fight. In Montreal marchers attacked a police station itself with rocks, fireworks, and smoke flares.In Berlin protestrs and riot cops duked it out. In Manili, the Phillipines protesters took on riot cops in front of the US Embassy. In Istanbul, Turkey youth took on riot cops defending Erogden’s far-right theocratic presidency. There was ugly news from Baltimore, where police shot yet another person, the 5th police shooting in Baltimore in the last 32 days. A year ago on Mayday Baltimore saw one of the largest of the Freddie Gray marches and the beginning of the nightly protests and civil disobedience that killed the curfew. Now the Baltimore Police are back to killing people.
Marching down 14th st
The Mayday rally at the White House
Marchers in Anacostia remember Alonzo Smith, murdered by so-called “special police” at Marbury Plaza. Still image from Empower DC video
Protesters in Montreal took direct action against a police station