May Day Signals Renewed Call for Action
May Day! May Day! OWS bums to foul up working folks in NY _ New York Post headline, May 1, 2012
“Filth. Swill. OWS Bums.” I can’t believe these were some of the terms used to describe Occupy Wall Street protesters in print and online comments about May Day/General Strike actions in New York and nationwide. I’ll never understand why some people feel justified and obligated to cast a disparaging, mean-spirited light on others who united at a crucial moment in history for one common goal _ to improve the overall human condition. In reality, activists gathering Tuesday to mark International Workers’ Day ranged from college students and war veterans to neighborhood abuelitas, labor unions and laid-off teachers, nurses, journalists outraged by blatant social injustices and far-reaching economic disparities gnawing at health care, affordable and fair housing, employment and more.
In New York City, added police and law enforcement set up barricades, and at times, violently clashed with crowds in Union Square and downtown, arresting dozens of people. General Strike efforts, however, weren’t hampered as the Occupy movement slowed traffic and made its presence known from Bryant Park to Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. Union Square was a central platform to hear diverse voices on immigration rights, the upcoming Presidential election and a pending vote on NYC rent increases (final vote slated for June). Information tables were set up throughout the park, while other areas along the perimeter offered free clothing, books and artwork. Illustrator Marc Scheff only asked that curious passers-by take one of his free prints and Occucards outreach literature to share with others unfamiliar with the OWS movement. “Everyone’s got a soapbox … but these guys give facts after facts not rhetoric,” Scheff said.
Protesters later marched to Wall Street, emphasizing a renewed call for action.What happens next rests in the hands of the people …
Occupy Wall Street: http://occupywallst.org/
May Day NYC: http://www.maydaynyc.org/
May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights: http://www.may1.info/
Community Voices Heard: http://www.cvhaction.org/
HealthCare Now: http://www.healthcare-now.org/
Occucards (Why We Occupy): http://www.occucards.com/
Marc Scheff (illustrator): http://www.marcscheff.com
Ask a Freegan: http://freegan.info