Interestingly, we’ve only marked the May Day Bank Holiday since 1978, when it was introduced by Michael Foot under the last Labour Government but one. This archive BBC footage is fascinating, not only for the opposition to the public holiday on grounds that it was too ‘Eastern European’, but also because it shows how places like the Tower of London and Hampton Court were shut leaving Londoners with nothing to do.
Since then May Day has been a political hot potato, with the Conservative government of 1979 proposing to replace it with a ‘Trafalgar Day’ in October. This proposal was abandoned in 1993, but has recently been resurrected in the DCMS Tourism Policy paper. The battle for May Day therefore continues.
How do you know if you were affected? Well, start by checking your search referral traffic between April 28th and May 3rd; do you see a drop? If so, is the change in the number of referrals, or the number of pages getting traffic? A drop in traffic to your big terms isn't likely May Day, but a drop in pages getting search referrals (long tail traffic) could be. If you monitor rankings for a handful of obscure tail terms (which you should do specifically for this reason), did your rankings suddenly plummet? Did your indexation or crawl stats change suddenly (you can use Webmaster Tools, site: searches, etc. to check)? These could indicate you were hit by the update.
What to do? Run! Hide! Grab your anti-zombie defensive shotgun that you keep on-hand at all times in case of a Zombie Apocalypse! Just kidding; that would be bad. First, look at your links and give yourself a quality check: have you been a little shady lately? If so, maybe you should spend some effort getting a few high-quality links to spruce up the place (Spring cleaning, natch). Can you spare a bit of link juice from a strong page to give those weaker, but targeted long tail pages a little boost? It might help. Again, most importantly of all, don't panic...the engines make little changes to the algos all the time. Google made more than 500 changes last year--more than one per day--and 99% of the time you won't even notice. Even if May Day did impact your site, it could change back next week, so take a deep breath and try to relax. Keep practicing high-quality, fundamental SEO and you'll be okay.
move forward together before, during, and after May Day. Si se puede!The Portland Liberation Organizing Council (PLOC) would like to invite all members of the community join us on May 1st, 2012 in the Liberate.MayDay project where a neighborhood will be liberating a currently unused building in the City of Portland and transforming it into a vibrant people-powered community center.
Liberate.MayDay intends to demonstrate and begin to address the vast contradictions that we face each day – that buildings sit empty while our neighborhoods lack free, accessible indoor spaces, that banks continue tearing people out of their homes while 1 in 7 houses in the country sit vacant, that basic healthcare is unaffordable for many while corporations reap incredible profits from the industry.We have seen that the systems creating these problems are not capable of providing real solutions. We are done waiting! Solutions come from our minds, our hands, our relationships, and our irrepressible creative capacity to build a community (and a society) that works for us. On May Day PLOC will enact one solution – to reclaim property and put it to use with the community.
Portland needs a space where communities can grow together and nurture a healthy political system — where gardens grow food and sow the seeds of resistance; where classrooms are based on popular education; where there is free space to celebrate and organize. We will no longer stand for developers holding land and buildings hostage for maximum profit. Community control and self-determination are more important than profit and endless growth.
We are inspired by those that took over a church-owned abandoned building in San Francisco in March, by foreclosure defenders in Minneapolis, by the Landless Peasant Movement in Brazil [MST], by the Space Liberated community in Madrid, and many more. We follow in the footsteps of those that have reclaimed buildings from greedy developers in order to keep community control of our neighborhoods. We stand on the shoulders of those that take direct action to elevate the rights of people above the right to keep property vacant. These social movements show us that liberation of land is not only possible, it is happening!The broad anger against the banks that the Occupy movement has revealed demonstrates a profound willingness among ordinary people to act for our collective well-being regardless of the formalities of the law. The whirlwind of movement in the past year has renewed our belief that when we act together – we are powerful.
The community center PLOC will be founding is rooted in a collaborative community effort, building relationships and partnerships that we hope live far beyond May 1st. Supporters are encouraged to come join the reclamation effort with a mind toward the collective rather than the autonomous individual. Alerts will be blasted out over email and social media on the morning of May 1st with a meetup location.
Gather round! Liberate.MayDay!
PLOC is a collaboration of radical organizations who believe that the current economic system and its systems of oppression are fundamental problems that create the disparity of wealth and resources that we see in our neighborhoods today. We work to organize and mobilize to dismantle these exploitative systems while creating alternatives with our communities. Capitalism is not broken, it is built for someone else.