4/29/21: Virtual Talks With Video Activists: “MAYDAY 1971 RAW”

Full event replay available below. 

The full replay of the April 29th event.

Feel the true fervor of 1970s utopian activism! Action-packed and emotionally-charged. 25 young indy filmmakers, with the earliest video cameras, cover the country’s largest civil disobedience peace protests from inside. Featuring Rennie Davis, Dr Benj Spock, Mayday Video pioneer camera journalists, and thousands of brave antiwar protesters, including and especially Vietnam Vets Against the War. Authentic counter-program from the counter-culture. Rated R: Radical politics, Violence, Language.

The event included a screening of selections from the MAYDAY 1971 RAW video, as well as a discussion with videomakers Eddie Becker, Skip Blumberg, Parry Teasdale, and Joan Yoshiwara, moderated by Sara Chapman.

MAYDAY 1971 RAW depicts one of the most significant nonviolent protests in the history of the United States. The event featured excerpts from the 66-minute video, but if you would like to watch the full MAYDAY 1971 RAW video you can do so here.


In the few days before and after May Day in 1971, 50,000+ protesters from all over the country flooded into Washington DC for massive non-violent actions. The Mayday slogan: If the government won’t stop the war, we’ll STOP THE GOVERNMENT.

By Friday May 7, after 2 weeks of CD actions, there were 12,614 arrests (with some protesters arrested multiple times), including a record-setting 7000 arrests in one day on Monday May 3.

The Mayday Video crew, who joined together in DC at this mass event, with the radical politics and alternative culture of the early seventies, embody the free-living, consensus based, collective spirit, but not without off-screen incidents, including the raw videotapes confiscated by one crew-member protesting the group’s consensus editorial decisions. The video doc is credited to Mayday Video, which includes the infamous Videofreex from NYC, and many other early Indy media pioneers from NYC, Washington DC, Boston, Amherst MA, Yellow Springs OH, and Baltimore.

The 21st Century edit was completed by Mayday Video / Videofreex member, award-winning filmmaker Skip Blumberg, with Eddie Becker and Joan Yoshiwara, to restore the original 1971 Mayday Video compilation, adding additional edited footage from restored original raw tapes, and informational titles for contemporary audiences.



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