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Photos: Celebrating May Day in Middletown

As promised, Middletowners of all stripes delivered a “roving festival of resistance” to the streets of our fine city today. Joined by thousands in countless mass mobilizations across the globe, the local agitators reclaimed a community garden, organized a teach-in, and held a People’s Assembly on Main Street’s Spear Park where a meal was shared amidst a festive atmosphere. The holiday celebrates a storied history of struggle both around the world and amongst Wesleyan students.

This year, the action began around 10:30 a.m. when roughly one dozen celebrants armed with shovels, rakes, mulch, and wheelbarrows took to a vacant lot on Washington Street in a bid to transform it into a People’s Garden.

The lot — which at the start of the morning was an overgrown mess of fallen branches, weeds, garbage, empty bottles, and other debris — was once the site of a small but vibrant community garden established by residents of the local neighborhood. It had since been bought by a speculative landlord who intends to sell the lot to Centerplan Developers as part of their bid to build a strip mall along Washington Street, a plan that has faced stiff resistance from the local community. The goal of today’s action was to “retake the commons,” as one sign read, by reclaiming this land from private interests in order to serve the community.

“Joyously Take to the Streets”: May Day in Middletown

May day flag

The Middletown May Day Committee writes in with your daily dose of revolutionary direct action:

The long chill of winter has lifted and spring is stirring in our hearts. Join us this May Day (Wednesday, May 1st), as we joyously take to the streets in a roving festival of resistance!

In a world where vacant land stands idle while countless go without food or shelter, we will reclaim space from private interests and cultivate it in service of our community. Come together at 10:30 AM on Washington and Pearl to help revitalize a community garden that is under threat from the proposed strip mall construction.

In a world where learning and knowledge is greedily hoarded behind the high walls of the ivory-tower academy, we will gather to learn democratically and accessibly. Join us at 2:30 at Middlesex Community College for a May Day Teach-in featuring speakers from the War Resisters League and the Middle East Crisis Committee. A group bike ride will be meeting outside 190 High St, the UOC, at 1:45 to bike to the Community College.  A van from the Wesleyan Office of Community Service will be available at Parking Lot C on Church St, leaving at 2:15 and returning at 3:50.