Whether you know it as International Workers Day or as spring-inflected May Day, this year’s May 1 falls on a weekend, which means two days packed to the brim with events ranging from the revolutionary to the ridiculous. With a hat tip to Conor Tomás Reed from the Free University of NYC, here’s a roundup of events taking place in lower Manhattan and North Brooklyn.
Get educated at the Liberation Lab in Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park, April 30, 11:30am – 6:30pm, check full schedule online.
Get yourself a dose of social justice awareness by joining The Free University – NYC‘s fifth annual Liberation Lab, where you can brush up on topics such as “Addressing and Intervening Sexism In/Through Language,” “Visions of Dissent: The Role of Photojournalists and Media in #BlackLivesMatter and Other Movements,” and “How Hedge Funds are Bankrupting Our Universities + Unions and Labor History” (that one’s for us, NYU!). With the aim of providing free, thought-provoking, and timely lectures on race, gender, class, sexuality, and more, the Liberation Lab brings in a host of qualified speakers and lecturers sure to have the park up in arms in no time.
Celebrate with a Bushwick block party
May Day Celebration at MayDay Space, 176 Saint Nicholas Ave between Himrod and Stanhope Street, Bushwick. May 1, 2pm – 8:30pm, check Facebook page for exact schedule
The community space and activist hub Mayday Space in Bushwick will be hosting an all-day shindig that looks like it will be equal parts street fest, dance party, film screening, and social justice rally. With events like “Liberation Cuisine” (a free cooking class), a screening of the documentary film The Take, and a block party with food, music, “justice-themed art-making” (we’re guessing you make collages of Che Guevara?), and face painting, there’s bound to be an activity suitable for any New Yorker with a social conscience.
Slam-dance in Tompkins Square Park
Tompkins Square Park, May 1, 1pm – 8pm
Relive the East Village’s scruffier days (before it got taken over by gourmet green-juice shops) and get yourself to Tompkins Square Park on May Day. This Sunday, proper old-school zines (remember those?) Time Warp and The Shadow will be hosting a free May Day punk show with a number of outrageously loud punk bands, such as Night Rite, The Wurst, and Skitzopolis. Safety-pin nose piercings not included.
Royally piss off Donald Trump and join the Immigrant Worker Justice Tour
Washington Square Park, May 1, 3pm
The fifth annual Immigrant Worker Justice Tour will kick off in Washington Square Park at 3pm, after being joined by the 2016 May Day Rally in Union Square, which starts at noon and will be making its way down to the park. There will be a rally, speakers, and a general revolutionary atmosphere, all free of charge.
Challenge heteronormativity and support the residents of Flint
Silent Barn, 603 Bushwick Ave between Melrose and Jefferson Street, Bushwick. May 1, $10, doors at 8pm
Drag performances! Live music and DJ sets! Art! Raffles! Prizes! What sounds like a fabulously good time actually has a serious purpose: supporting the residents of Flint, Michigan, as they struggle through their ongoing water crisis. Queers For Flint: A May Day After Party will be hosting this evening filled with politicized debauchery. The proceeds go toward delivering water to the elderly and disabled living in Flint public housing as well as to detainees of the Genesee County Jail in Flint, who are suffering through water rationing. With all of this taking place at Bushwick event space Silent Barn, which reopened last year after almost being destroyed by a fire, the goodwill is sure to be abundant.