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Occupy’s May Day on the Streets

Peter Fedynsky

The Occupy Wall Street movement took to the streets of several U.S. cities Tuesday to mark the May First International Workers Holiday.  Activists sought to expand support for the movement.

Demonstrators in New York started banging drums early despite rainy skies that appeared to threaten the day’s turnout.  But this Occupy activist was undaunted.

“If the NYPD [New York Police Department] can't stop us, Mother Nature can't stop us,"said the activist. "You can't stop the truth.”

Activists in various venues throughout New York came to deliver a core message of the Occupy movement:  growing income disparities between the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and the remaining 99 percent.  David Harvey, an anthropology professor at the City University of New York, made the point at an Occupy teach-in in Manhattan.

“We've got this situation where we don't have the money power," said Anthropology Professor David Harvey. "The only power we have is people.  The only way politics is going to work for us is  on the street.   That's the only thing we got.  That's the only power we got.”

Police arrested at least four marchers on the Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan for not obeying an order to turn around.  Police also made arrests at other venues.

Demonstrators handed out messages to shopkeepers calling for a general strike - no work, school or shopping.  Hairdresser Lizzy Steelheart said she sympathizes with the Occupy movement.

“I definitely support people speaking up about some of the economic injustice that’s going on in our country," she said.

Activists targeted banks and corporations they consider corrupt and greedy.  Demonstrators took that message to Bank of America.  But the movement’s call for a general strike did not materialize.  As the hairdresser explained, she could not afford to take the day off.  

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