Today I was at the May Day March in downtown Los Angeles. This was organized by Occupy LA people who had decided to join the Latino peoples marches. I had planned to join the South Wind contingent but I had a hard time with my machine last night and couldn’t get up until 10 am. Plus my girlfriend kept me up late, but that was fun. By the time I had finished my morning preparation it was noon. Then my other girlfriend wanted to come, so I had to drive to Torrance to get her, by then it was 1 pm. So we went to the convergence in Downtown Los Angeles. There we met hundreds of people from the West Wind and the East Wind. We were waiting for the South Wind to arrive and I assume the North Wind were there somewhere. All together there must have been at least a couple of thousand of us, mostly anarchists and fellow travelers, I didn’t see any obvious Marxists, there were a few Union people for SEIU. Lots of costumes, drummers and a punk band that played sort of psychedelic hardcore. We waited for an hour or so for the South Wind people, and then we marched from 5th and Main, down Main to 6th, to Broadway, north of Broadway to 4th, west on 4th to Hill Street, where we were turned back to to Broadway, north on Broadway to 3rd street then west on 3rd to Hill Street, south on Hill to 4th Street then west on 4th to Hope Street where we turned north and arrived in front of the Bank of America. We stood there for a few minutes chanting and then we headed down 3rd Street to Grand Street, headed South on Grand to 4th Street where we went East on 4th to Hope Street were we attempted to head south. There was a line of cops, but it was a weak one and we knew we could rush it. There were a dozen anarchists armed with shields made of signage and large plastic garbage cans cut in half. They rushed with us close behind. One short woman and a crazed looking guy cop tried to resist swinging batons at people, but we soon had them surrounded and would have attacked them for hitting people with their batons if some peacekeepers hadn’t intervened. It was our one militant victory, the Battle of 4th and Hope. We swarmed down Hope Street to Pershing Square and there we met up with the SEIU organized marchers of the main immigrant rights groups. Earlier we had passed the Democrat organized Legal LA march. After standing around and discussing with several comrades from the IWW about what to do.
We decided to leave. I had to get to class, although we got stuck in traffic and I never made it after all. We ate at Farm Boys, on Alameda. They have great breakfast burritos, huge, served all day. Back to the main story, the idea had been to hit the banks with groups of twenty or more protestors. I know in Oakland and Seattle there was trashing done and tires were slashed in San Francisco. I hope they were one percent tires.
From LA TImes Blog.
May Day protests marred by vandalism in San Francisco
May 1, 2012 | 3:06 pm
Protesters were converging on downtown Los Angeles for a march and rally this afternoon near City Hall. The march is expected to jam the afternoon commute, with numerous streets scheduled to be blocked off until at least 7 p.m.
Hundreds of demonstrators from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Party of Socialism and Liberation and the Latino health activist group Bienestar gathered at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Broadway about 1 p.m. to rally and begin marching to Pershing Square, where a larger rally was planned.
Thousands of protesters were expected to participate in May Day rallies across Los Angeles to register their views on a variety of issues, including fair labor practices, immigration and income inequality.
Police said the group at Olympic and Broadway had not caused any problems.
“It’s festive,” LAPD Officer Sara Faden said over salsa music blasting from a truck.
In a sign that the ideals of the Occupy movement still resonate, in Oakland about 400 people gathered at City Hall plaza at midday to reiterate their commitment to confronting social inequality and police aggression.
Some demonstrators wore face coverings and carried shields crafted from plastic garbage cans. Others identified themselves as medics, with crosses of red tape, in the event of clashes with police.
A small skirmish broke out between some protesters and riot-gear-clad officers. About 12:40 p.m., at least one protester threw bottles and at least one metal paint can at officers who formed a line to hold back the crowd.
One officer, who asked not to be named, was splashed with yellow paint and kicked in the ribs as he sought to arrest a protester who officers said had rushed the police line.
Separately, CBS reporter Doug Souvern tweeted that protesters attacked and dismantled one of his station’s news vans.
In San Francisco, May Day protests began early, as a demonstration that started peacefully in Dolores Park on Monday night ended with widespread vandalism.
More than 100 masked protesters — dressed in black and gray and wielding crowbars and paintball guns — descended on a busy restaurant and retail stretch in the city’s Mission district. Vandals smashed windows, defaced cars and attacked the neighborhood police station.
On Tuesday, a glass crew was parked outside of the Mission district police station, and Jeffrey Garcia was inside filing a police report about damage to his two vehicles. His Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet pickup had been parked on Valencia Street while he had dinner at a nearby restaurant.
“I heard the noise, and the next thing I know, I come out and bang!” said Garcia, who provides battery service for a towing company. Vandals had slashed all four tires on his Passat, keyed the shiny black car and sprayed it with red paint. His pickup was also keyed.
He was at a loss to explain the vandalism and the protesters.
“We work 20 hours a day, and they have nothing to do,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s just crazy.”
Brittney Nicolulis, manager at a home furnishing boutique on Valencia Street called Therapy Home, said she and her colleagues heard a rumbling about 9 p.m. Monday and looked out the window to investigate.
“Our first assumption was peace marchers,” said Nicolulis. “We get those all the time. We ran to the door and heard smashing and gunshots and sounds that were not about peace.”
Nicolulis, who was with her colleagues at Therapy’s clothing store next door, took shelter behind the cash register as vandals smashed windows at both stores.
“They came really fast and left really fast,” she said, “like a hurricane. It was really scary. It felt apocalyptic and primal. We keep hearing this was Occupy Wall Street and against the corporations. But this is a locally owned business. You’re not putting any corporation out. We’re the little guys. Everyone I talk to, nobody gets it.”
A police source said there was one arrest.
Tuesday saw wider disruption in San Francisco but far less damage.
In advance of a threatened strike by union workers, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District decided to shut down ferry service for the Tuesday morning commute. Service resumed as normal in the afternoon.
Hundreds of demonstrators snarled traffic on busy Market Street during a lunchtime demonstration, chanting union slogans and “We are the 99,” performing street theater and painting an outsized yellow and red “Rise up 99%” sign on Montgomery Street in the middle of the Financial district.
Ismael Lara, a Financial district janitor, joined the protest Tuesday because his contract is slated to expire in July and his company is asking for deep concessions from its workers.
“Hopefully we’ll get a little bit of money, and benefits will stay the same,” said Lara, who marched with his wife. “They want us to pay for some of our health insurance.”
By the time the demonstration began to dissipate and move west on Market Street just before 2 p.m., police said there had been no arrests.
From Seattle Times
Latest from Seattle May Day protests: Police keeping an eye on Westlake Park
Posted by Nick Provenza on May 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Some May Day protests today in Seattle erupted into violence. We’re updating events as they unfold here. Jim Brunner, Cathy McLain, Jennifer Sullivan will be following the story into the night.
UPDATE: 8:43 p.m. | Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said that officers are monitoring Westlake Park tonight, the only spot where protesters remain.
“The idea is that we’re going to keep tabs on things and make sure people get home safely,” Whitcomb said.
Whitcomb said police plan to investigate the people responsible for the earlier vandalism and other troubles downtown.
“The planned demonstrations were peaceful; we’re very sorry that a small number of infiltrators showed up early and set such a negative tone for the day,” he said.
“We promise to do a very thorough and complete investigation to identify the people responsible for the violence and bring them in to custody.”
UPDATE: 8:19 p.m. | The city of Seattle announced it has closed its Emergency Operations Center, citing the dwindling crowds of protesters.
UPDATE: 7:53 p.m. | Winding down? Only about 50 or so Occupy Seattle protesters remain at Westlake Park, according to Seattle Times reporter Emily Heffter.
UPDATE: 7:36 p.m. | Because of the protests, a small sandwich shop on Third Avenue had to throw away 160 sandwiches after a corporate customer canceled an event because of the traffic disruptions.
“They’re hurting the little guy,” said the shop’s manager.
UPDATE: 7:18 p.m. | The manager of an American Apparel store downtown recalled his staff being shaken up after anarchists smashed store windows. Asked about the motivation of the protesters, the manager said “I don’t know what to say. It sucks.” Read more of the manager’s account from Seattle Times reporter Erik Lacitis.
UPDATE: 6:55 p.m. | Seattle police say they have made two more arrests, making a total of eight for the day so far. This evening, officers arrested a 20-year-old man for investigation of vandalism and a 30-year-old man for investigation of pedestrian interference, according to a Police Department spokesman.
At Westlake Park this evening, the spot where hundreds of protesters had gathered just hours earlier, there was little to report said Seattle police Capt. Joe Kessler, who heads the department’s West Precinct. Kessler said things are peaceful at the moment.
UPDATE: 5:52 p.m. | The annual May Day immigration rights march is underway from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle. Even before the march started, organizers had to resolve the matter of the lead vehicle – a horse-drawn wagon in Wells Fargo red and yellow colors, on a flat bed drawn by a pick up truck. Police told organizers the were worried about marchers being hit or run over bt the truck. But Wells Fargo’s main downtown branch is the terminus for this march and organizers worked out a compromise where participants will march behind the truck only.
This years march — which took up less than one city block — appears to have attracted far fewer people than in years past. There also appears to be fewer immigrants, as folks from other movements — labor, Occupy, and a host of social justice organizations also joined in. The protesters are calling on Wells Fargo to withdraw investments in private companies that run immigration detention centers. (Information from Seattle Times reporter Lornet Turnbull, who is following the march.)
UPDATE: 5:05 p.m. | Police and some protesters skirmished near Pike Place Market this afternoon after a man was arrested for struggling when officers confiscated a pole he was carrying.
UPDATE: 3:45 p.m. | Here’s the Seattle police timeline of this afternoon’s events:
At 11:50 a.m., a group marches from Seattle Central Community College to Westlake Park, arriving at 12:07 p.m.
At 12:21 p.m., approximately 300 people — including approximately 75 “Black Bloc” protesters armed with sticks, wooden riot batons and other weapons — marched from the park west on Pike Street then south on Third Avenue.
As they marched along Third, people began jumping on cars and causing property damage, much of which was captured live by TV cameras.
At 12:35 p.m., officers reported paint and rocks flying, along with hammers and tire irons being used to damage property. There also were reports of “sound bombs” and fireworks.
The crowd walked past Benaroya Hall and turned onto Seneca, causing various damage along the way.
They stopped at the Well Fargo Bank branch in the 1200 block of Fourth Avenue where they caused “significant property damage.”
The crowd then continued up to Fifth Avenue and Spring Street, eventually arriving at the 9th District Court of Appeals at Sixth Avenue and Madison Street, where the “Black Bloc” group did extensive damage to the courthouse, including destruction of glass doors.
At 12:43 p.m., we have reports of local “superheroes” engaging with “Black Bloc” to defend courthouse.
The crowd then headed north, causing property damage along the way.
At Sixth Avenue and University Street, the “Black Bloc” blocked traffic.
When they arrived at Pike Street, they caused extensive damage to retail businesses (Niketown).
At this point officers were able to get into the crowd.
The group dispersed, the “Black Bloc” members ran, and an unknown number of arrests were made.
At 12:59, p.m., the core group of “Black Bloc” members returned to Westlake, where we saw them live on video changing back into street clothes and blending into the crowd
We have reports that at that point, the leaders of the “Black Bloc” dispersed and left the area
UPDATE: 3:35 p.m. | Nike issues statement on protest: “Nike supports free and peaceful protests. We do not condone violence. Fortunately, no one was injured at Niketown Seattle. We will re-open the store as quickly as possible.”
UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. | Citing student safety, Seattle Schools officials say their buses will be running up to 90 minutes late due to the May Day protest.
UPDATE: 3:05 p.m. | All five downtown Wells Fargo Bank branches, including one at Fourth Avenue and Seneca Street where windows were broken, have been closed for the rest of the day, said Lara Underhill, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman.
“We didn’t know what to expect and wanted to ensure the safety of our team members and customers,” Underhill said. The main downtown branch at Third Avenue and Marion Street typically closes at 5 p.m., and the other four branches normally close at 6 p.m.
Protesters shattered a door window at Nordstrom’s corporate offices on Sixth Avenue, said spokeswoman Tara Darrow. She disputed some posts on Twitter that said Nordstrom’s flagship store had gone on lockdown, though it did temporarily close one entrance at a time based on the protesters’ movements.
No injuries were reported at Nordstrom’s headquarters or either of its downtown stores, including the Nordstrom Rack at Westlake Center, she said.
Starbucks closed about a half-dozen stores downtown after protesters broke windows at several of them, said spokesman Zack Hutson. He said it’s unclear if they’ll reopen today.
UPDATE: 2:53 p.m. | Mayor McGinn has authorized the seizure of potential weapons. After vandals used handheld flag poles to break window, the mayor says he will sign an emergency order authorizing police to confiscate items that can be used as weapons. He also said police have been using tactics developed in response to the 1999 WTO riots.
UPDATE: 2:44 p.m. | Mayor McGinn says two arrests confirmed. May be others.
UPDATE: 2:35 p.m. | Police say they are preparing for more violence.
UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. | Details on the damage to the U.S. Court of Appeals: A group of protesters marched up Madison Street and as they turned onto the Sixth Avenue side, “all hell broke loose,” said David Madden, public information officer for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who’s based in San Francisco. Glass doors at the entrance were shattered and lower-level windows broken. Multi-colored stains were left on the ceramic tiles on the exterior of the building.
Someone tried to ignite an incendiary device, but it apparently it didn’t go off, Madden said.
The courthouse is used by Court of Appeals judges and at least one judge, Richard Tallman, was in the building at the time, Madden said. The FBI and other agencies also have offices in the building, he said.
Guards locked the doors and no one got inside, Madden said. No one was injured.
Demonstrators broke out windows at the William Kenzo Nakamura U.S. Court of Appeals in downtown Seattle early Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)
UPDATE: 2:08 p.m. | Seattle police say they have made arrests, but they aren’t giving up any numbers yet.
UPDATE: 2:05 p.m. | Seattle Times photographers on the scene have sent many photos from the streets.
UPDATE: 1:50 p.m. | More about damage: At the Washington Athletic Club building at 6th and Union, protesters smashed a large plate-glass window that was part of the HSBC branch.
Across the street at the 2 Union Square building, in vacant office space, there was a 6-inch hole in a window. A security guard pointed to a rock inside that had been thrown through it.
Half a block away, the owner of a silver Porche Cayenne would be greeted with a spray-painted green anarchy symbol on the hood when they returned.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. | Cops say damage to stores and vehicles downtown amounts to “thousands and thousands ” of dollars as vandals struck store windows, cars, just about everything in their path. Officers followed them to Westlake Park where many of the vandals were reportedly changing out of the black clothes they wore while smashing windows.
UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. | The group dressed in black appears to have dispersed for the most part by now, some folks saying they have mingled with the now 500 or so protesters gathered at Westlake Park. People there are listening to a rap concert.
UPDATE: 1:10 p.m. | Those bent on doing damage, who call themselves Black Bloc, broke out the front windows of Niketown and several windows of American Apparel next door. Graffiti was put on Fidelity Investments at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Pike Street. Police have blocked Pine Street and were moving along Sixth toward Westlake Park.
UPDATE: 1: p.m. | Protesters have broken windows in several places downtown and police were using tear gas and force to stop them. Police had chased the group dressed in black — the ones who vandalized the federal courthouse — down Sixth Avenue, then on Olive, then back up Fifth.
Meanwhile, many protesters returned to Westlake Park and are giving speeches and rallying.
UPDATE: 12:40 p.m. | Protesters are starting to do damage. They stopped briefly at the U.S. Court of Appeals, broke a window and set a small fire in front of the door. They also shot paintballs at the building. A large swarm of people dressed in black and carrying poles with flags on them were moving through the streets.
UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. | A group of about 50 demonstrators, several carrying small red and black flags, just before noon from Seattle Central Community College on their way to Westlake Park, to meet what they expect to be a larger crowd of May Day protesters.
An advertised “bike swarm” hardly materialized, as only 10 cyclists participated here.
The walkers passed through the college’s main building twice, then headed north on Broadway, in the northbound road lane.
Liam Wright, a student leader of the march, led a chant: “When the people of the world are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Earlier, he called the event an “anti-capitalist” march.
While this and larger rallies throughout the world are meant to raise awareness of plutocracy, demonstrators have their own diverse causes.
Lisa Marcus, carrying a bucket of tulips and lilacs on her bicycle, handed out leaflets opposing oil extraction from the Alberta tar sands. A woman named Alex, in the bike escort group, said she simply enjoys being on a ride with other people — and opposes a new juvenile detention center on 12th Avenue.
Before the march, Wright said basic classes at the college are too crowded, and he perceives a shift toward making it merely of a “trade school” for job training. He said the college has a tradition of including progressive, even radical activism.
Michael Pham, vice president for administrative services, said the rally didn’t disrupt any classes. The marchers were a mix of students and others.
At the last big Occupy rally in Seattle, some people in a breakaway group threw wood and metal at police, as officers and horses advanced toward a small crowd on Harbor Island. Traffic disruptions are expected this afternoon downtown, and Mayor Mike McGinn has warned of potential violence.
10:45 a.m. | Concerned that anarchists and possible violence may disrupt of May Day protests converging on downtown Seattle today, the Young Composer Workshop concert at Benaroya Hall has been canceled.
Traffic congestion also was an issue, according to the letter sent to participants of the event Monday.
According to the letter from Thomasina Adams, school programs manager with the Seattle Symphony:
All evening our Executive Director and senior managers have been discussing whether or not we should continue with the scheduled concert. In the end our executive team felt that the safety and well being of the students and families should be the number priority and so they made the decision to postpone the Young Composers Workshop concert.
Authorities say the protests and marches are likely to cause traffic disruptions and warn that there’s a possibility peaceful demonstrations will be disrupted by people wanting to incite mayhem.
Protesters hit streets for May Day rallies; violence flares in Oakland, Seattle
As the Occupy Wall Street movement comes out of hibernation, a day of protests are planned around the nation. MSNBC’s Richard Lui reports.
By Miranda Leitsinger, msnbc.com
Updated at 10:20 P.M. ET: Protesters across the world marched through the streets Tuesday toting signs, playing instruments and wearing costumes to rally against austerity measures, call for more jobs and seek greater immigrants’ rights on May Day.
Marches turned violent in Oakland, where protesters pounded on bank windows and went face-to-face with a police line, and in Seattle, where protesters dressed in black smashed windows and police pepper-sprayed some in the crowds.
In the United States, the protests are seen as the biggest test for the Occupy movement since many of its camps were shuttered late last year. Occupiers in more than 100 cities across the country were expected to protest on the day that traditionally celebrates workers’ rights.
In New York, demonstrators held a “free university,” and a “guitarmy” led a march.
“It was a long, energetic day with scores and scores of events and protests that is another step in building a movement for economic justice,” said Bill Dobbs of the Occupy Wall Street public relations team. “We’re not so fragile that a day is going to make or break things but this was, you know, a great … step.
“Occupy has re-blossomed in over 100 cities,” he added.
Occupy Cleveland cancels protest, distances itself from alleged bomb plot
Earlier Tuesday, about 1,000 Occupy protesters gathered in New York’s Bryant Park, home to the main city library, with hundreds assembling the “guitarmy” and making posters before they left to march downtown. Chanting “Out of the stores, into the streets” and “Banks got bailed out; we got sold out,” they filed down Manhattan’s iconic Fifth Avenue.
“There’s too much fear for the general public to actually want to strike. They don’t want to lose their job. … We haven’t reached that tipping point where people are more frightened for some place to live,” said Robby McGeddon, 47, a tech worker carrying a maypole for May Day. “It will get to the tipping point but right now we’re just practicing.”
Miranda Leitsinger / msnbc.com
A protester representing the Musicians Union in New York’s Union Square calls for eliminating “sour notes.”
Of the protest, Daphne Carr, 33, co-organizer of the Occupy Music Working Group, said: “We’re trying to find new, positive community-building ways to engage and protest and be a part of the burgeoning civil dialogue about what this country should be doing.”
She also noted that music making “has been eroded from our public sphere so we’re taking and re-claiming the right to play music publicly together in the streets, in the parks, without permits.”
The crowd swelled to a few thousand later in the day in Union Square as immigrant rights groups and unions representing teachers, transport workers, nurses, musicians as wells as others joined in a lively afternoon of art and music.
But the day was not without its detractors: at least one man heckled protesters and another yelled “Get a job!” as he elbowed his way through the crowd.
That didn’t get the protesters’ spirits down.
“This is like the resurgence of the Occupy Wall Street movement,” said photographer Joel Simpson, 65, of Union, N.J., as the “guitarmy” sang “This land is your land” nearby. Though most of New York City didn’t know the May Day protest was going on, he said, the movement “touches public consciousness in a very broad way and politicians have to at least pay lip service to it.”
The New York protesters then streamed downtown, in an early evening march heading past the former Occupy Wall Street home, Zuccotti Park, to Bowling Green park near the southern tip of Manhattan. Occupy sent out a text message saying 30,000 people were in the streets, though it was not possible to determine how many were and police do not give crowd estimates. At one point, the protest appeared to stretch about 15 city blocks.
“We’re not so fragile that a day is going to make or break things but this was you know, a great … step,” Dobbs said, noting that the “organizing that goes on day-to-day and week-to-week is just as important in building a long-term sustainable movement.”
New York police reported 15 arrests by late afternoon for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, the New York Daily News reported. Several demonstrators were caught carrying hammers but there was little vandalism, police said. Later Tuesday, Occupy said more arrests had been made.
Oakland police and May Day protesters face off. Watch video courtesy of KNTV.
Oakland, Calif.: Protesters playing cat-and-mouse with police pounded on windows of banks and other businesses, SFGate.com reported. After surrounding a downtown Bank of America branch, protesters chanted, “Oakland is the people’s town; strike, occupy, shut it down.” they also gathered at a Wells Fargo bank branch. Police later confronted demonstrators marching through downtown. Video by NBCBayArea.com showed at least one protester being dragged away by police. Protesters hurled items including a paint bomb at police and windows out of a police van, NBCBayArea.com reported. Police fired tear gas and flash-bang grenades before the skirmishing crowd dispersed. Police arrested at least four people.
Jim Seida / msnbc.com
Police tape off a Wells Fargo Bank in Seattle Tuesday after protesters broke the banks windows during a May Day march.
Seattle: Windows were broken and police arrested a handful of protesters as about 100 marched in downtown, NBC station KING reported. Many marchers were dressed in dark clothes, wearing face makeup and carrying sticks, live TV video showed. Police pepper-sprayed several protesters as problems developed. KING reported numerous tires slashed and large amounts of glass on the ground from vehicles and buildings, including the federal courthouse, smashed by protesters. Peaceful protesters remained at the downtown Westlake Plaza, where speeches and concerts continued, KING reported.
John Brecher / msnbc.com
Trumpeter Opaulo Mekkelsen marched with the Movitas Marching Band in Seattle. He said he was motivated by immigrants’ rights.
“Part of me, I want to understand where they’re coming from and then they pull something like this,” said Sam, who would not give his last name, as he saw the back window of his car smashed out by protesters. Sam was on holiday from his home in British Columbia. “I’m from Canada,” he said, “imagine the impression this gives me of the United States.”
At an afternoon press conference, Mayor Mike McGinn said a group known as the “Black Block” did extensive damage to the Federal Courthouse, then moved on to block traffic. The mayor signed a proclamation authorizing police to seize from protesters any items that could be used as weapons, KING reported. Evening marches and protests were planned.
A group of May Day protesters dressed in black clothes and wearing face makeup smashed windows in downtown Seattle. Video courtesy KING.
Photoblog: May Day protests turn violent in Seattle
San Francisco: Golden Gate ferry workers picketed ferry terminals in the North Bay, but union organizers canceled a protest on the Golden Gate Bridge to give support to the ferry workers, the Oakland Tribune reported. However, scores of California Highway Patrol officers with helmets and batons lined the bridge and gathered around the toll plaza just in case. Bridge traffic was not disrupted.
Albany, N.Y.: State police arrested two men who set up a table without a permit in Lafayette Park, where Occupy protesters assembled Tuesday, the Times Union newspaper reported.
Jim Seida / msnbc.com
Sam (who declined to give his last name), left, speaks to local media after protesters in a May Day march in downtown Seattle smashed out the rear window of his car on 6th Avenue. “Part of me, I want to understand where they’re coming from and then they pull something like this,” he said. Sam was on holiday from his home in British Columbia, Canada. “I’m from Canada,” he said, “Imagine the impression this gives me of the United States.”
Chicago: Protesters and union supporters held rallies and marches with little disruption to the business district, the Chicago Tribune reported. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told the newspaper there were no arrests among the crowd of 1,000 as rallies wrapped up at Federal Plaza.
Denver: Nearly 200 people marched downtown before turning onto the 16th Street pedestrian mall, blocking mall buses and traffic as they walked. The marchers also stopped in front of the Federal Reserve Bank. Police did not interfere, and only one person reportedly was arrested.
Los Angeles: Several demonstrators were taken into custody during a protest on Century Boulevard near the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport as union members, workers, immigrant-rights activists and others demonstrated for better-paying jobs to changes in immigration laws, NBCLosAngeles.com reported. However, about 2,000 police officers prepared to deploy early at a staging area in Elysian Park before a ralliers were to converge downtown Tuesday evening. Los Angeles County activated its Emergency Operations Center.
Advertise | AdChoices
Dorian Warren, an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University, said he thought Tuesday would be the “biggest test since the fall of where Occupy is.”
Occupy activists fear becoming Democrats’ ‘pet’
“I think it’s still alive and thriving. I don’t think it’s going anywhere soon,” he said. “But I think after [Tuesday] we’ll know whether or not they were hibernating all winter and now they’ve re-emerged, or if they’ve died out.”
Occupy held protests during the spring on student debt and worker rights. They also have been working on a rollout of new versions of outreach web sites to facilitate coordination among different Occupy outfits. But a lot of effort has been focused on holding a May Day that will make a splash.
“Many activists have been working toward May Day for months and so they’ve decided to make it a test of strength,” said Todd Gitlin, a former leader of the 1960s-era group Students for a Democratic Society who has just published a book on Occupy. He added: “A lot of people in the larger society don’t think the movement still exists, so there’s some need to prove to them that it does exist.”
Occupy Wall Street has struggled during the last months without a camp, with some members starting their own groups while keeping a loose affiliation to the movement.
“It’s become fractured over time and I think people point a lot to that to the breakup of Zuccotti Park, and the natural disagreements that people had came more to the fore when people were separated and people formed their own circles upon which they continued. But it wasn’t the circle of great diversity that was right there at Zuccotti Park and people could grow from,” said William Johnsen, a 63-year-old veteran activist from Staten Island, N.Y. “It’s obviously a long-term process right now which will ultimately change into something else.”
Slideshow: May Day brings out ‘Occupy’ protests and other rallies around the world
Lefteris Pitarakis / AP
Workers and activists rally on May Day.
But Konrad Cukla, a 23-year-old graduate student who has been helping with Occupy May Day planning, said that since the park shut, occupiers have been engaging in key coalition building work, such as with immigrant rights groups in the city.
“All the labor unions have come together and for the first time are going to have a unified march with immigrant rights groups and Occupy,” he said as he walked with a musical band of occupiers — the Rude Mechanical Orchestra — dressed in green and black on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue. “I think the movement is evolving, it’s taking on more concrete allies and issues, engaging more with labor struggles — also just expanding its horizons and bringing more people into the movement.”
The Associated Press and msnbc.com’s Jim Gold contributed to this report. Follow Jim Gold at msnbc.com on Facebook here.
Tags: May Day Protests