MayDay 1971 and other epic tales

Jim Shiley (
Sun, 21 Jun 1998 20:38:04 -0400

About the post from Bill Davis regarding the MayDay National Conference
held in Atlanta in August 1971. I did participate in the entire week.
This included the first three days of the conference, which was the Women's
and Gay Conference, as well as the final three days of general meetings and
activities. As I was one of two or three "straight" men there during the
first few days I mostly did registration and other support work as well as
some day care responsibilities.
It was interesting how the very communal and family feel of the
conference changed when the second half began, with all the other "later"
arrivals. I would be happy to discuss this at length if Bill wants more
input about this event. I remember the entire gathering singing the
Internationale in the main assembly right after Nixon announced the
wage/price freeze and the suspension in trading of gold ( I think it was).
Actually, I too would be
interested in talking with anyone who was at that event. More so, I was a
member of the Mayday Interim Collective that gathered in Washington D.C.
about a week after the conference. We spent a week or so there, before
finding the influence of the "old guard" to be too stultifying and moved
to New York City. We were representatives of the various regions of the
country and were charged with planning a Fall Action for 1971, a spring
offensive and to begin trying to figure out a (yet another) national
organizational structure. There were about twelve of us, and i would love
to here from anyone connected to either the Atlanta Conference, the MayDay
Interim Collective, or people who were at the MayDay events in the spring
of 1971. We spent most of the two weeks in the main Info Tent/tool shed/HQ
in Potomac Park.
My own current work is an ethnohistory of the community that emerged from
a melding of the New Left Movement and the CounterCulture. There are a
number of problems of interpretation, theory, and historiography that i am
trying to explore through a historical account looking at more the endings,
Anyway.... before I get into a REALLY long rant.... been watching
the list from a distance and thought it was high time i jumped in...write
me direct if you so choose