Membership Benefits

Access to Technology Infrastructure and Services

Our autonomous technology infrastructure is as a shared community resource for use by our members and is supported entirely by membership dues.

Click on any of the following sections to see more details:

List of Available Services

May First members who take advantage of our hosting plans receive access and support for the following list of online hosting services maintained by our technical staff.

  • Web Site Hosting:

    We provide automated installations of website content management systems like Wordpress, Drupal, and Backdrop. Other popular website software can be manually installed or migrated to our shared servers.

  • Databases:

    MySQL and Postgres database access.

  • E-mail:

    E-mail accounts for you own domain accessible through our webmail interface or by most e-mail software apps and devices using standard protocols (pop, imap, smtp).

  • File Sharing and Collaboration:

    Our Nextcloud instance facilitates file sharing, collaborative document editing, shared calendars, contacts, and tasks between groups as well as syncing data between your own devices.

  • Virtual Events and Meetings:

    Our Jitsi Meet, Mumble and Icecast servers provide solutions for virtual web meetings and live event streaming, All of our live meeting platforms include tools for live language interpretation.

  • Mailing Lists:

    We provide automatic setup of discussion or broadcast style mailing lists through the highly configurable Mailman listserv.

  • Secure Chat:

    Our XMPP/Jabber server can be used for provide real time encrypted chat with accounts at any compatible XMPP server and is compatible with multiple FOSS chat programs available for your computer and smartphone.

For a more complete description of these and additional services, please see our services wiki page.

Security and Privacy

Built entirely on free and open source software and maintained with the security concerns and features needed by activists groups and organizers, our services are designed to ensure that essential movement work and communications remain free of surveillance and censorship.

Usage Limits

Technology resources derived from the physical material of the earth should never be treated as unlimited and we prefer not use that word to describe our services. We place limits on total disk space usage but otherwise lean towards abundance and believe we have plenty of resources to go around. Members are allowed to create as many accounts, websites, databases, and lists as needed for their own projects. Reselling of May First infrastructure and services to third parties is prohibited.

Technical Details

For the technically curious - our shared hosting infrastructure supports all common programming languages (PHP, perl, python, ruby, etc), the most common databases (MySQL, Postgres, SQLite), un-restricted ssh and Secure FTP access, webmail via the Roundcube web mail server as well as full, encrypted access via IMAP or POP, the Mailman email list software, access to our bulk mail relay system (which sends hundreds of thousands of email messages daily), logins for our shared ownCloud server, accounts on our shared XMPP (Jabber) service, and many more services. Our members run Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Wikimedia, CiviCRM and many other content management systems and databases. All servers run the Debian stable operating system.

Hosting Plans and Membership Dues

Our cooperative has adopted a unique approach to calculating hosting “costs” compared to traditional hosting providers. We use a sliding scale system based on each members’ self reported income range and total resource usage to determine total membership dues. Try our online Membership Dues Calculator to explore interactively how much you would be expected to pay using different hosting plans and income range levels.

Click on any of the following sections to see more details:

Basic Membership

A $50 US dollar annual basic membership fee is the minimum contribution necessary to join our cooperative with full member voting rights. Basic membership includes the benefits of one email address, one Nextcloud account and XMPP/Jabber chat account with 10GB of storage between them all. Members can upgrade from basic membership to one of our full hosting plans at any time.

Full Hosting Benefits and Costs

Members who take advantage of our full hosting plans receive access to all of our services, multiple accounts, and larger amounts of storage space.

PlanTotal annual dues (US dollars)Storage limit
Plan 1$62.5040G
Plan 2$125.00100G
Plan 3$250.00232G
Plan 4$500.00500G

Access to the above plans is conditioned by an income based sliding scale criteria.
Click on any of the following questions to see more details:

How does the income based sliding scale work?

Under our system access to a hosting plan levels is dependent on each member’s self reported income range level. Individuals can use their personal annual income and organizations can use their annual operating budget to determine their income range level. Smaller hosting plans are available to members with lower income but members with higher income must choose a larger hosting plan.

In the graphic below, income range levels are represented by different color horizontal lines. The “entry points” indicate the first hosting plan available for that income range level.

membership dues map infographic

How do I calculate my Income Range Level?

The following table details our established member income range levels based on annual income or organizational budget in USD. Individuals should use their personal annual income and organizations will use their annual operating budget to determine their income range level.

Income RangeAnnual Income or Organizational Budget in (US dollars)
Income Range 1less than $25,000
Income Range 2between $25,000 and $150,000
Income Range 3between $150,000 and $500,000
Income Range 4over $500,000
What if I need more storage space?

Your hosting plan level begins at your equivalent income range level but is not limited to it. All members can incrementally add additional storage space or select a higher hosting plan level and contribute more dues accordingly but members cannot scale down to a hosting plan level below their income range level.

Dedicated Virtual Private Servers

For members who wish to administrate their own virtual private servers and software we can provide two options:

  • Semi-managed VPS - we can provide some basic monitoring and help with system upgrades
  • Unmanaged VPS - completely private

A VPS can only be added in combination with a hosting plan.

Each virtual private server includes:

  • 25 GB system disk
  • 1 CPU core
  • 1 GB of RAM

The base monthly price for each virtual private server is also dependent on member income range level.

Base Income RangeBase Monthly dues for VPS
Income Range 1$45.00
Income Range 2$70.00
Income Range 3$120.00
Income Range 4$220.00

Members can add additional CPU cores, RAM and/or SSD storage at additional cost.

  • CPUs: $10/per month/per CPU (Max per VPS: 4)
  • RAM: $10/per month/per 1GB (Max per VPS: 8)
  • Virtual Solid State Drives: $20/per month/per 10GB (Max per VPS: 20GB)

Extra data storage space can be provisioned for your VPS from your selected hosting plan’s total disk space allotment at no extra cost. Please indicate how much of that storage you would like dedicated to your vps in your instructions.

If you have more then one virtual private server, you can mix and match your allocation of all of the above resources as you wish.

Payment Methods

All membership dues are calculated in US dollars and can be paid via PayPal or Credit Card. Members based in Mexico who require a Mexican fiscal receipt can choose to pay in Mexican pesos via bank deposit. An exchange rate of Mexican pesos to the dollar will be calculated based on current market rates.

Benefits of Our Movement Engagement Work

We affirm that our political work engaging global movements in conversation about the role of technology in our fight for a more just world is of significant benefit to our members and the broader left movement.

The Basis of our Movement Work

We believe that movements for fundamental change must prioritize the use, protection and democratization of technology. We want our movements’ leadership to think about those goals and develop a unified plan to make them happen. That’s the basis of our work and it makes May First one of the most active and prominent technology organizations in the Left of this country.

Coalition Work and Gatherings

As active supporters of the social forum and free and open media and technology coalitions, May First Movement Technology contributes our political thinking and technology skills to these important areas.

We are a leading organization of the Media Justice Network; a founder and of the Radical Connections Network; a long-time member of the Association for Progressive Communications; a member of several new economy coalitions and networks and we have been involved in many coalitions and networks set up to deal with specific issues and struggles. We participate in many conferences and major convergences in the course of the year in the U.S., in Mexico and internationally. Our representatives will participate in over 20 such events during any year.

Our unique and unprecedented Technology and Revolution series has brought together over 1500 movement leaders and activists in the U.S. and Mexico in 24 convergences since 2017 to think and talk about the intersection of technology and revolution and to forge a program of work we can do around technology.

Defending Our Members and their Data

That commitment to movement work is also seen in our commitment to the protection of our member’s data. Our members are frequently hit with demands for data from governments, take-down notices from corporations or Denial of Service attacks from political enemies. We resist them all. We have successfully resisted denial of service attacks on members working on reproductive justice, Palestinian rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement. We refused to give the FBI details when it demanded payment information that would have identified the members of an Independent Media Center site in Greece. We have consistently refused to take down satire websites by members such as the Yes Men, which corporations consider trademark violations.

But those are only the most dramatic instances because, day to day, we fiercely protect data through encryption, back-up and monitoring. Our members’ data is our movements’ tool and our movements are our priority.

Giving Back to the Free Technology Movement

We also contribute to the development of new technologies that are consistent with our political vision of a free and open Internet, including support for free and open source software and open network and data standards.

Our Purpose

The purpose of this work is to help our movements build a new relationship with technology. We want our movements to think about technology, develop a program to protect and expand it and actually work on that program. We want to be a platform for that kind of collaboration: the democratic control and expansion of technology as a tool for human survival and the struggle to make that happen. We want to build that and we want to model it.