Friday, 1 May 2015

Reasons to be MayDay - Part 1

As we approach the main weekend of MayDay it is maybe a good time to pick out some highlights in the programme. Particularly as many activists of whatever political flavour will be somewhat exercised on things other than cultural events.

Friday 1 May is a very busy day. As might be expected, the coincidence of May 1 and the end of the week has thrown up a range of events. Earliest on the timetable is an interesting project run jointly by Glasgow University and Glasgow Museums.  Banner Tales aims to put banners from museum storage back into the communities they came from. And match them with local people with connections, either direct or historical, to them. The first of a series of events along these lines is today at 11.45am at Castlemilk Community Centre, the banners will be those of Castlemilk Anti-Poll
Tax Campaign, the Tailors and Garment workers union, and one of many cooperative women's Guild banners. It is planned to continue until 3.15pm. There will be further events later in the month in Barmulloch(16) and Govan(30).

Later in the day the newly-formed Clarion Cycle Club takes to the roads of Glasgow City centre for a Critical Mass ride out. Wearing red and giving it up to make some noise, they meet at Glasgow Green at 4.30pm. In the evening, there are a few events to choose from. 

In the Calton Heritage Centre at 7.30pm the first rehearsed reading of From the Calton to Catalonia, takes place. Starring Maureen Carr, Davie McKay and Bruce Morton and directed by Martin McCardie, this is a revival of Willy and John Maley's play about their father's experiences in the International Brigade. First performed by a young Gary Lewis at 1990's MayFest, this showing has had the support of Gary in its development. It is apparently pretty much sold out, so it might be better to try its other Glasgow performance on Sunday 3 May in Oran Mor. If you're near Irvine, the play is at the Celtic Club on Saturday, and also plays the Barony, Bo'ness(8) and the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock on the 10. Tickets, various prices, from the venues via

Also tonight, there is a Love Music, Hate Racism MayDay gig in Stereo. This is at 8.00pm starring
Young People's Army and Big Taj, Cutty's Gym, Pronto Mama and Quyeen (NrthrnXposure) and supported by the MU and Unite. Tickets are £5 from Ticketscotland. And afterwards across the lane in the Old Hairdressers, there will be a Mayday Social!

Or if your particular preferences are for music and performance poetry, you might want to try a new evening in the Steamie, the venue at Govanhill Baths. There at 7.00pm you'll be entertained by Viv Gee, Lorna McKinnon, "The Matchgirls", Colin Poole, Tickle, and The Unite! Fight! Sing! Choir including a special guest performance by Leyla Josephine. Your host will be Jim Monaghan. Entrance by donation - pay what you can.

If film is your bag, there are an intriguing couple of screenings tonight and on Saturday afternoon. Tonight at 6.30pm in the Gilmorehill Centre at Glasgow University, the award-winning documentary about the killing of 34 striking miners at the South African, Marikana pit gets a premiere in Glasgow. Entry is free, but it is first come, first served.

Tomorrow at the GFT, at 3.00pm Maria Fyfe, Chair of the Remember Mary Barbour Association, introduces the 1984 documentary by the Sheffield Film Co-op about the Rent Strikes in Furst World War Glasgow - Red Skirts on Clydeside. Widely credited with re-opening the history of women in the Red Clyde struggles,cut will be interesting to see how far we have come - or not! Tickets, £5 from the GFT.

Outside Glasgow, Saturday is dominated by MayDay Marches and Rallies. In Irvine, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee the afternoon is dominated by the sounds of bands and rallies. Details from the STUC here. Glasgow's will be held on Sunday at 11.00 from George Sq. more details in our second part, tomorrow!

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