Springtime is finally upon us, and the Occupy Wall Street folks are back again on the first day of May. Many protests and demonstrations are set to occur in major U.S. cities across the country involving labor unions, immigration activists and Occupiers in support of international workers' holiday.
In San Francisco, protesters are backing away from a call to block the Golden Gate Bridge and district ferry workers said they'll strike Tuesday morning to shut down ferry service, which brings commuters from Marin County to the city.
Alex Tonisson, an organizer and co-chair of the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition said:
"We ask supporters to stand with us at strike picket lines on May Day and to keep the bridge open."
Across the bay in Oakland, a spot where police and Occupy protesters have often clashed, officers are preparing for a long day, as hundreds of "General Strike" signs have sprouted across town.
In New York City, where the first Occupy camp was set up and large protests brought some of the earliest attention - and mass arrests - to the movement, leaders planned a variety of events, including picketing, a march through Manhattan and other "creative disruptions against the corporations who rule our city."
Organizers are calling for protesters to block one or more bridges or tunnels connecting Manhattan, the city's economic engine, to New Jersey and other parts of the city.
The Occupy movement began in September with a small camp in a Lower Manhattan plaza that quickly grew to include hundreds of protesters using the Zuccotti Park tent city as their home base. More than 700 people were arrested Oct. 1 as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.
The city broke the camp up in November, citing sanitary and other concerns, but the movement has held smaller events and protests periodically since then.
As far as other places on the West Coast, Occupy Seattle has called for people to rally at a park near downtown Tuesday, and Mayor Mike McGinn has warned residents there could be traffic delays.
In Los Angeles, Occupy is organizing a day-long "people's power and bike caravan" that will start from the four cardinal directions around the city in the morning, converging on downtown L.A.'s financial district in the mid afternoon for an approximately 90-minute protest. The themes of the marches are foreclosures and police brutality.
Through their website, Occupy L.A. promised the event will be "city-paralyzing" and "carnivalesque" with en route actions including a food giveaway in a South Los Angeles park, and mini-rallies outside the Veterans' Affairs and Bank of America buildings in West Los Angeles.
We’re happy to see the OWS back in full effect and hope that today stays peaceful.