May Day Rallies, Though Diminished from Last Year, Show Alliance-Building for New York's Left

Categories: May Day

MayDaymaskedcommunist.jpg
C.S. Muncy
A participant in yesterday's May Day march.
So much can change in a year. Last May Day, the amount of organizing energy and media hype surrounding plans for the annual holiday was staggering. For the first time in recent memory, unions and immigrant organizations, which had historically held separate May Day rallies, came together for a huge convergence, joined by other activist groups on the left. Among those was Occupy Wall Street, which publicly pinned its hopes to reclaiming the momentum it lost after the NYPD raid on Zuccotti Park on a massive showing on May Day.

More »

People of All Ages and Backgrounds Turned Out for May Day Yesterday

OWSmarch.JPG
As fellow colleague James King wrote here , The New York Post dismissed yesterday's May Day event as a "joke", made up mostly of "bums".

While there were definitely a good number of attention-whorish characters, hooligans, and actual bums, many people who participated seemed to be normal folks, of all ages and various backgrounds, looking to let their voices be heard.

We'll let photos do the talking. (For more professional photos of yesterday's event, check out our slideshow, featuring images shot by C S Muncy)

More »

May Day Recap: Highlights from Voice Reports (UPDATE)

king-thumb-500x373.jpg
Good (late) morning!

A lot of the Voice staff is still recovering from a long day of May 1 coverage, but we wanted to bring you a brief recap of what went down from when we stopped liveblogging until now.

Enjoy!

More »

Jesus and Friends Occupy Wall Street

Jesus200.png
Nick Pinto
Apparently, unlike Joel Osteen or Jimmy Baker, Jesus is part of the 99%
The Occupy Wall Street May Day actions are winding down this evening, with a march from Union Square to Battery Park. [Update, 9:00 PM: Nick Pinto tells me things are not winding down at all. Rather, a very large crowd "has filtered into the amphitheater at the Veteran's Memorial, where they're having a General Assembly on occupation options."] The parade of thousands was made up of quite the motley crew, which spanned the political, social and cultural spectrums.

There was Jesus Christ himself, dragging a cross and clad in nothing but a pair of conspicuously modern 2xist boxer briefs:

More »

Comptroller John Liu on May Day: Americans 'Owe' Haymarket Workers

liuuuuuuuu.jpg
City Comptroller/embattled mayoral candidate John Liu has taken the time to step away from releasing audit, after audit, after audit to speak about May Day.

In a statement released this afternoon, Liu makes mention of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when cops fired on workers striking for an eight-hour day. Liu says Americans "owe" a lot to these workers who "fought with their very lives to get us decent wages and working conditions, weekends off, and to end child labor. "

More »

May Day Student March in Brooklyn Targets Bloomberg and School Closure Policy

sbillofrights.JPG
Sam Levin
Paul Robeson student holds a Bill of Student Rights.
Students frustrated with the city's plan to shut down their high school walked out of class today and marched two-and-a-half miles in support of Occupy Wall Street's May Day.

Separate from the chaotic protests in Manhattan -- which, as expected, are getting a lot of attention for their arrests and police-protester confrontations -- the rally in Brooklyn was peaceful and remained focused on a number of key education issues in the city that have gotten support from Occupy Wall Street. The march was organized and led by high school students with some help from a handful of OWS-ers.

The Voice first caught up with students at noon in Crown Heights from Paul Robeson High School -- a struggling school the city is in the process of phasing out. It's the time of the year when education rallies and heated Panel for Educational Policy meetings make headlines as critics target Mayor Bloomberg's controversial practice of shutting down failing schools. It's one of a handful of policies that have fueled criticisms over mayoral control, the governance structure that gives Bloomberg direct authority over the education system.

More »

OWS Free University Rocks Madison Square Park, Draws Bigger Crowd Than Shake Shack

FreeClass.jpg
Steven Thrasher
Class at Free University in Madison Sq
Somewhat ironically, it's the Occupy Wall Street May Day event that is the least controversial that is most reminiscent of the best of Zuccotti Park's heyday. The Free University of New York -- largely sponsored by CUNY students and faculty who chose to take their classes into Madison Square Park today, where they were free and open to the public -- recalled Zuccotti's finest hours, when freewheeling political debate and the exchange of ideas dominated a public space unseen in modern New York.

The big question this reporter had before arriving was, if Free University were to really affect the public life of Madison Square, would it be able to draw a bigger crowd than Shake Shack?

It actually did.

More »

The Music of May Day

Categories: May Day

JDSamson_250.jpg
Over at Sound of the City, a look at the soundtrack to today's protests. JD Samson of MEN talks to Nick Pinto about the band's concert for the protestors later tonight. Dan Deacon also talks about his afternoon performance and AWKward muses about the Occupy Wall Street movement in general.

There's also the top six contenders for song of the summer. That doesn't really have anything to do with Occupy Wall Street, but c'mon, don't you want to get a head start on the newest summer jams?

OWS Music Group Plans to Take May Day to Nightclubs

407480_176233275815434_175677319204363_231790_165674095_n.jpeg
via Facebook
One Occupy Wall Street group is taking May Day to places that probably don't get a lot of protests -- the Lower East Side's nightclubs.

Tonight, a faction of OWS called the Musicians Solidarity Council hopes to draw attention to the common practice of clubs bringing in musicians without actually paying them by protesting inside a few venues.

"It's really important to recognize that musicians are workers. Musicians are part of the 99 percent," Matt Plummer, a musician who is part of the council, told the Voice this morning. "I've played in clubs...that are clearly bringing in a lot of money...but we finish the night with a couple dollars a person."

More »

Union Square Undergoing Massive Barricading By NYPD In Advance of OWS Rally

UnionSqBarricade.jpg
Robert Sietsema
Union Square South with a double barricade
As we just shared on our live blog of today's OWS May Day events, Voice writer Robert Sietsema has confirmed that while much of the OWS activity is happening in Bryant Park, Union Square is undergoing a massive barricading effort by the NYPD.

Robert wrote to us that: "I don't think I've ever seen so many barricades in 1 place. The barricades are doubled along 14th street and union square and are being set up all the way to sixth avenue, not only 1 set but concentric circles of barricades focusing on the stage that's been setup right across from whole foods. Pedestrians coming out of the subway bewildered by the maze." On the phone, we asked him if it looked like the barricade plan was to keep people out of the park entirely, or for crowd control for the music rally. "Both," he said. "I've never seen the double barricades before. They can put a cordone of police officers between fences," he said, adding that the barricades "prevent the freedom of assembly and divide people up into little units. They're keeping Union Square cordoned off, and they can limit the number of people in Union Square, or keep them out altogether if they want."

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...