Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
“The Whole World is Waking” headlines at OWS. Florence Reece wrote the song “Which Side Are You On?” in 1931. The question is as relevant today as then. Her husband was a union organizer with United Mine Workers of Harlam County, Kentucky, and the efforts were met with corporate resistance largely enforced by law enforcement. The song is one of those used in today’s May Day actions, including with Guitarmy. Tom Morello helped organize the thousand or more guitarists and accompanying percussionists and many more general noisemakers, who marched in NYC to Union Square to perform “World Wide Rebel Songs.”
“Get Up! Get Down! There’s Revolution in this Town!” is one of the refrains frequently chanted. Put that with “Which Side Are You On?” and “The Whole World is Waking”, and the message is that “we the people” have a choice to make — or rather, a series of choices. That message is integral to today’s actions, and to the future of Occupy and related actions and advocacy.
On Day 228 of the Occupation, it’s been a very busy May Day around the world, and actions continue — from protests in front of banks and media outlets, to marches to teach-ins to picnics to music. Many Occupy events are scheduled for the evening. Many smaller locations have only late afternoon / evening actions. And according to OWS, labor and immigrant organization actions — some related with Occupy, some not — are largely scheduled for late afternoon.
Of course the numerous marches and gatherings of all sizes and kinds have included a police presence, and at least in NYC, accompanied by police “legal observers,” who join those from, among others, the ACLU. One arrest was for “standing too close to the curb.”
There’s way too much going on to do more than this very cursory overview, and encourage you to check out links, especially since actions continue. At OWS, see “Live Updates,” and scroll through it for an idea of some of what’s gone on, and continues. Also check out Greg Mitchell’s May Day live blogging at The Nation.
I’ve seen several reports of May Day Livestreams being blocked. I don’t know if this is accurate, but I do know the feed has been interrupted consistently, which at least in my experience, is unusual.
One specific story getting a lot of attention, via NewsNet5:
The Cleveland office of the FBI announced Tuesday the arrests of five people who allegedly tried to blow up a bridge in northeast Ohio. …
The report says the “bombs” were actually “duds,” though the five involved didn’t know that. Apparently there are no connections with any of the May Day event organizers, and Occupy Cleveland denied that the five were acting on behalf of Occupy. Apparently for safety reasons, however, the May Day Event sponsored by OC, North Short AFL-CIO, Jobs for Justice and more was cancelled. Naturally, this was picked up by the anti-OWS crowd, and spun accordingly.
The OWS and other Twitter feeds include a lot of pro-Occupy messages, but also a good number of anti-Occupy expressions, which isn’t unusual. A few examples of both follow. Interpret for yourself. I’m thinking that if today’s Occupiers are throwbacks to “hippies” then their critics are throwbacks to “America, love it or leave it” crowd of the same era, who interpreted any criticism of the status quo as “un-American” and “unpatriotic.”
If I lived in NYC I would be at #ows throwing water balloons at the hippies today filled with soap & water.
Hey #OWS Put the Doritos down, go up stairs and tell Mom and Dad you’ll be back when you find a job!! #youcandoitlosers
â€@FreedomNJ Happy May Day: remembering the 100 Million killed by socialists Lenin, Mao, Che, Stalin, Hitler #OWS | #Nj @michellemalkin
George Hattâ€@gohatt #OWS jerkoffs at it again — letting us know what it would be like living in a communist country.
Report that the Immigrant Justice march has been kettled at 41st and Park. #OWS is sending relief. #m1nyc
Michele Preziusoâ€@michip94 Arrests going down on Willburg bridge. #OWS #M1GS
lauraâ€@laurapcd1 @greensboro_nc perfect weather for the #mayday march at 5pm! #m1gs #ows
OccupyIthaca RT @Chicagoist: Today’s May Day march could be a sign of things to come later this month. bit.ly/Iqu0NO #occupychicago #NATO
May 1st – International Guerrilla #Gardening Day bit.ly/InternationalS…
remembering the haymarket martyrs- executed fighting for the 8 hour day
NYPD Raids Activists’ Homes Before Tomorrow’s Occupy Wall Street Protests gaw.kr/qHAb
My best suggestion at this point is to click on the links above — and these are only a few of those available — and follow the May Day actions as they continue happening.