Anna Key has compiled this pamphlet to present many anarchist responses to the First of May - from the defiant Haymarket anarchists themselves, to Latin American anarchists during the 1970s, to the British Bash Street Kids in 2000. As a mistake I read this pamphlet before trying to go to bed and I was left awake until the wee hours of the morning, restlessly pondering many questions that has continuously plagued the anarchist movement since the days of Haymarket. For example, the role of revolutionary violence, the significance (or insignificance) of scheduled anti-capitalist days of resistance (WTO, IMF, etc.), and reform politics. Although frustrating, it is also comforting to know that anarchists have always wrestled with these ideas. The ability to raise these questions, make this pamphlet extremely relative to the world around us. Does debates over pacifist methods of protest, described By Luigi Bertoni during World War II as "paci-fascism, designed to leave absolutism in peace to exercise its influence and prevail", sound familiar to those who protested the war in Iraq?
One thing is certain, May Day should be remembered as an event important to the class struggle. As Anna Key states in her introduction, "Mayday shows us that if we want to win meaningful reforms - let alone a free society - we must fight the power of both state and capital; we cannot expect them to fight fair, and we cannot trust leaders to win our freedom for us." I agree.
From: The Dawn: A Monthly Advocate for Constructive Anarchism (Oakland) Vol. 1, no. 1. July 2004.