May Day demonstrations disrupt downtown Seattle
Did May Day Save Occupy Wall Street?
Thousands marched through Manhattan with OWS to celebrate May Day. Union marchers and arrests made headlines, but will the movement be able to capitalize on its momentum? Matt DeLuca reports.
Hundreds of Occupy marchers peacefully convened Tuesday evening in Pershing Square, an hour after the May Day protest in downtown Los Angeles took a tense turn. The mood was jovial as about 200 protesters listened to live music and watched performers. Earlier, police clashed with protesters at 4th and Hill streets, causing officers clad in riot gear to swarm the area.
A police official said a female officer was struck in the head with a skateboard and taken to a hospital. The impact of the blow dented her helmet, the official said, but her injury appeared not to be life-threatening. PHOTOS: May Day protest Angry protesters chanted with their fists in the air after officers refused to let them through a street that leads to the Civic Center.
Almost 1,000 protesters marched uphill through the Financial District, looped through Bank of America Plaza and were trying to push their way back downhill when officers turned them away. Officers issued a call for help at 4th and Hill about 4:20 p.m. when protesters, many from the Occupy movement, began circling officers and chanting, "We are the 99%." The crowd swelled as officers arrived by bicycle, motorcycle and on foot to quell the brewing confrontation. The crowd quickly calmed down, and officials said most of the thousands of protesters throughout downtown were nonviolent.
READ MORE AT: LA TIMES
Activists join May Day protests across US, stinging gas in Oakland sends demonstrators fleeing
OAKLAND, Calif. — Thousands of protesters in New York demanded an end to income inequality and housing foreclosures. Police fired tear gas to disperse marchers in Oakland, Calif. And black-clad demonstrators smashed windows in Seattle and occupied a building owned by the Catholic archdiocese in San Francisco.
Activists across the U.S. joined in worldwide May Day protests Tuesday, with anti-Wall Street demonstrators leading the way in some cities as they tried to recapture the enthusiasm that propelled their movement last fall.
READ MORE AT: WASHINGTON POST
May 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm
Metro Detroit demonstrators make noise with May Day protests
Detroit— A couple hundred protesters marched Tuesday afternoon through Detroit, clamoring for reform for immigration, and other issues as part of a May Day celebration.
The group of about 250 people walked from Clark Park to Maybury Elementary , one of two public schools in southwest Detroit in danger of closing.
Protesters also walked past Western International High School, shouting, "Save our schools," and, "Education not deportation." Last week, the school suspended some students who walked out of class in protest of school conditions there.
"We have to be the change we want to see in this city," said 15-year-old Katinah Milligan, a ninth grader at Detroit School of Arts.
The group also walked through Mexicantown to the abandoned Michigan Central Station. The final destination is Grand Circus Park, where protesters planned to camp out Tuesday night.
Among the protesters are members of Occupy Detroit and the United Auto Workers.
Retired Ford worker Ron Lare, 64, of Detroit said it's important for generations to rally together to protect workers' rights and wages.
"Retirees have seen a steady decline in co-pays, but I think it's the next generation that's really getting hit," said Lare, a member of UAW Local 600.
From The Detroit News: CLICK HERE
WSWS speaks to May Day demonstrators in France
By our reporters
2 May 2012
Supporters of the International Committee of the Fourth International and theWorld Socialist Web Site intervened in the Paris May Day march yesterday, distributing thousands of leaflets of “Political issues in the French presidential election.” The Paris march was largely under the control of union officials and PS supporters, with relatively little spontaneous participation by workers.
The event reflected both the impact of the propaganda by petty-bourgeois “left” forces in favor of Socialist Party (PS) candidate François Hollande, and popular distrust of Hollande, even among his voter base, due to his pro-business statements. Should Hollande be elected, he will turn against the working class and inevitably disappoint the expectations for social policies aroused among his voters by the petty-bourgeois “left” parties.
Merlin, a 31-year-old unemployed worker from Paris, commented: “A lot of people work for companies and are suffering to try to make ends meet. The people I know get by through helping each other out. I voted left, but not for the Socialist Party—Hollande is insipid and close to the money people, the ‘caviar left’. Between the left [i.e., the PS] and the right I see no difference—I will vote Hollande so that Sarkozy is ousted.”
Merlin said that Hollande “doesn’t represent the interests of workers,” though he thought that Hollande might “understand” conditions facing the youth. Nonetheless, he said that he would feel “relieved” if incumbent conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy were defeated.
Audiovisual worker Mathieu, 21, lives in Paris and is working with theindignados, last year’s “indignant” protesters in Spain. He said, “Hollande has not made many promises but he will respect them. He won’t break up social security.”
Nonetheless, Mathieu recognized that Hollande “will do the work of international finance”. The solution to the crisis, he said, was “to reinvent politics like the indignados”.
READ MORE: WSWS
Demonstrators march for International Workers Day
Posted at: 05/01/2012 10:26 PM
By: Marissa Torres, KOB Eyewitness NEWS
By: Marissa Torres, KOB Eyewitness NEWS
Hundreds of May Day demonstrators hit the streets in Albuquerque Tuesday. Marchers said they are speaking up for workers' rights, higher wages and more jobs.
May 1 marks International Workers Day. It actually started more than a hundred years ago in Chicago as workerse fought for eight-hour work days. And even today, it has the same powerful resonance.
"I think it's probably more important in 2012 that its been in many years because of this huge divide between the rich and the poor in our country," said demonstrator Seamus O'Sullivan.
The crowd was not just labor union activists. There was a resurgence of Occupy Albuquerque and people from throughout the city who said they just want to make a difference.
"It's kind of a time for me to publicly reestablish my priorities and what I would like out of an American system of government," O'Sullivan said.
Demonstrators said more people need to get vocal and more involved in the effort to get recognition for the workers they say made America the wealthy country it is today.
READ MORE: KOB
On May Day, Europeans Vent Over Austerity
Spain Sees Mass Protests, as Ralliers in France, Greece Show Pre-Election Anger
By DARCY CROWE and ART PATNAUDE in Madrid and ALKMAN GRANITSAS in Athens
Demonstrators turned out in large numbers for May Day rallies in hard-hit European countries on Tuesday, protesting their governments' push for austerity and flexing populist muscle ahead of key Greek and French elections.
Protesters used this year's labor-day celebration, which came amid new signs of economic contraction across much of Europe, as a platform against a German-led view that spending cuts and tax increases are the best medicine for the region's sovereign-debt woes.
The rallies come on the eve of national elections scheduled for Sunday in France and Greece, both of which are expected to pose stiff challenges to leaders who have carried out Europe's austerity prescription.
Marchers in Paris held up signs reading "Down With Merkozy," referring to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who steered the currency area through the sovereign-debt crisis. Mr. Sarkozy's Socialist rival, François Hollande, has the lead heading into the runoff election.
READ MORE HERE: WSJ
Flashpoints on Occupy May Day
By Pueng Vongs | The Lookout – 17 hrs ago
The Occupy movement targeted May Day as the day "the people of the planet will take to the streets." Crowds formed in many major cities, joining protesters worldwide on International Workers Day to demand economic equality. But the day remained mostly peaceful. Promised stoppages of mass transportation and commerce by the Occupy movement largely fizzled across the country.
Overall, there were a modest number of arrests and clashes in a handful of cities. Many of the demonstrators reported splinter groups dressed mostly in black who turned demonstrations violent.
Here's a roundup of flashpoints in the United States:
Mayor Mike McGinn authorized a seizure of potential weapons after crowds of vandals dressed in black known as the "Black Bloc" smashed up banks and other businesses with sticks, batons, and rocks, reports the Seattle Times.
Niketown and American Apparel downtown were hit. A half dozen Starbucks closed early after stores reported broken windows.
At least two were arrested during the vandalism spree. Police said the vandals dressed in black were hard to track because they discarded their clothing to blend in with onlookers. Tear gas was used to stop some of the vandals.
The protesters also took out their anger at the U.S. Court of Appeals building, shooting paint balls at it, shattering glass doors, and attempting to ignite an incendiary device.
Not officially part of Occupy, employees at Los Angeles International Airport joined May Day demonstrations to protest the hiring of non-union workers. Ten were arrested for blocking an intersection near LAX, reports CBS LA.
In another gathering in downtown, a group of protesters appeared to surround LAPD officers, reports the L.A. Times. A female officer was struck in the head with a skateboard, denting her helmet. She was taken to the hospital, but the injury was not life-threatening.
The incident marred a "festive" atmosphere during protests earlier in the day.
San Francisco Bay Area
In Oakland, police using tear gas confronted a protest of about 400 downtown. Nine were arrested and at least one demonstrator was reportedly tasered. Protesters blocked streets throughout the day and vandalized two banks in the area. A news van and police vehicle were also vandalized.
Earlier plans to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge were abandoned. Golden Gate Ferry workers, however, went on strike over health care coverage and morning service was canceled.
A group of a protesters tried to take over a building owned by the Archdiocese of San Francisco -- the same one protesters briefly occupied as a commune on April 1, reports CBS SF. A protester dressed in black threw pipes and bricks from the roof of a building at police. Two arrests were made.
The evening before hundreds gathered in the Mission District in San Francisco. As the group began to march through the streets, some protesters began breaking car windows, spray-painting anarchist symbols on restaurants and attacking a police station.
One Occupy SF protester disavowed the violence. "I know Occupiers," Jesse Smith told KTVU. "None of us have any idea who they were."
One person was arrested.
New York City
About 30 protesters were arrested over the course of the day for mostly minor charges, ranging from resisting arrest to blocking street traffic, reports the New York Daily News. Confrontations were scattered around the city. There was a skirmish on the Lower East Side with masked protesters who may not be part of the main Occupy group.
Letters containing a white powder that turned out to be cornstarch were sent to various New York banks and media outlets, and one was sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reports the Associated Press.
The letters read "Happy May Day..This is a reminder that you are not in control.." said authorities.
Five people, claiming to be anarchists, have been arrested in Cleveland for trying to blow up a four-lane bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The local Occupy crowd said they were a part of their operation, but have now distanced themselves.
The suspects had bought fake explosives and placed them near the bridge Monday. The suspects were arrested after 9 p.m. Monday, according to WEWS.
The public was never in danger from the devices, according to Fox News. The explosive devices were inoperable and controlled by an undercover FBI agent. Charges against the suspects were filed Tuesday morning.
—With reporting from Jeff Stacklin
SOURCE: YAHOO NEWS
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