What are the Occupiers Planning for Tomorrow’s Massive ‘May Day’ Protest?
On Sunday, we showed you why this week is going to be “one of the biggest weeks that anyone can remember” (as mentioned by Business Insider). A big reason for that is Occupy Wall Street’s plan to create a chain of disruptive protests and strikes around the world on May Day, tomorrow, in order to reinvigorate its movement and address, it says, inequality and pursue social justice.
Today, Bloomberg News has a piece with more details about what that will look like.
The Bloomberg reports digs deeper into what the Occupy movement has planned. According the article, it will involve massive, coordinated May Day direct actions across the United States and the globe:
“Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.”
Bloomberg also went inside the planning meeting for the event, and the schedule of events:
About 150 attended an April 25 meeting at the Greenwich Village headquarters of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union, making last-minute preparations for how to deploy legal and medical help; site selection for picketing; purchasing, production and distribution of protest signs; and how to talk to reporters.
The meeting convened inside the union hall basement, where attendees arranged chairs in a circle as three facilitators asked each of the assembled to identify themselves by first name and gender — he, she or they. Most appeared under age 30, though gray-haired baby boomers also participated. One of the older attendees pulled a ski mask over his head to protest the presence of a photographer from Tokyo.
Tom Morello of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Rage Against the Machine along with 1,000 other guitar-playing musicians will accompany a march to Union Square at 2 p.m., according to the maydaynyc.org website. That will be followed by a “unity rally” at Union Square at 4 p.m.; a march from there to Wall Street at 5:30 p.m.; and a walk to a staging area for “evening actions,” which organizers at the April 25 meeting said would be the so-called after-party.
In San Francisco, a group calling itself the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition abandoned a plan to close the span while carrying on with a day of picketing to support bridge, ferry and bus workers seeking reduced health-care benefit costs, according to its website.
Across the bay in Oakland, protesters said they intend morning marches on banks and the Chamber of Commerce, followed by an afternoon rally and a march downtown.
Since the Occupation of Zuccotti Park in New York City was disbanded on November 15th, the Occupiers have been forced to rely on marches and smaller-scale protests during the winter months. They seek to change all that tomorrow and come back bigger than ever.
The Occupiers in New York will be able to call upon the additional strength of dozens of organized labor unions as well as a number of community organizers. With the help of the Occupiers’ digital media wing, images of mass protests and possibly civil disobedience are likely to be blast around the world in real time.
The Daily News Reports that the Occupiers are advising sympathizers: “If you can’t strike call in sick. If you can’t call in sick hold a slow down.”
Some believe that Occupy Wall Street will attempt to shut down a bridge or tunnel into Manhattan, while others believe the group will simply move en masse into the streets to snarl traffic. There is also the possibility of an “affinity group” direct action led by the anarchists of the so-called “Black Bloc,” which could turn destructive.
The NYPD and the residents of New York are bracing for what could be a hectic, frustrating, adrenaline-filled day on the streets of America’s biggest city. Mass arrests of Occupiers are certainly possible, and all it takes is one wayward group to create a very dangerous situation.
The Blaze will report live from various Occupy Wall Street protests and direct action events and will be on scene throughout the day tomorrow, so stay tuned and keep checking in.
(Editor’s note: to learn more about the Occupy Movement and its goals, get your copy of Occupy American Spring: The Making of a Revolution)
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