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Reposted from jpmassar by DSWright

Tear gas, cops-gone-wild, broken windows, beaten protesters, all condensed down into headlines like "Protesters Confront Cops." By now most of you have probably read some version of Oakland's May Day; half truths at best, much of it outright lies.

But that's not what I wish to tell you about now. I want to show you some of what else came down in Oakland, California on May 1st, 2012, International Worker's Day and Immigrant Rights Day. I want to show you the inspiring and the amusing, the ordinary and the silly.

I will try do it with a few choice pictures.


Photobucket
Entrance to Oscar Grant Plaza

This is the work of Occupy Oakland's 'chalkify' artists, no less impressive than that of our bus painters and poster makers. It was created the evening before May Day, and I had fears that the City would send a crew to destroy it overnight. But they did not. Perhaps even Mayor Quan has some sense of respect for beauty, if no respect for human rights. The mural, which is only partially visible in the photo, is a composite from various posters. The banner across the top reads "GENERAL STRIKE", and the now-iconic fist is at the lower left. The silouette with the flag is taken from this poster.

The work survived the day; I do not know if it is still there or if it has been erased from the tiled surface by cleanup crews. It rained yesterday, so one way or another I suppose it is gone.

Continue Reading

Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM PDT

Occupy May Day Is Tomorrow

by DSWright

Photobucket

May Day, a holiday created in part to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, Illinois, has become a global celebration in almost every country except, ironically, the United States. That Ends Tomorrow.

A General Strike has been called and not just in America but throughout the world.

Bloomberg:

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower.

“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.  

OccupyMay1st.org:
May Day is an international workers’ day celebrated in more than eighty countries to honor labor and left-wing movements. Originally organized to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre, the day has broadened to include workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and anti-war efforts. The occupy movement is calling on the ninety-nine percent to no longer stand idly by and remain complacent. May Day is an opportunity to flex our collective power to show the plutocracy that their time is over, that profits over people will no longer be the modus operandi...

So will you call out of work for the sons and daughters fighting an illegitimate war, endangering themselves to enrich CEOs? Will you buy nothing in support of the ten million foreclosed homes expected in 2012? Will you march out of classes for the millions of uninsured children in this country?

Will you general strike with me?

Facebook:
BEGINNING MAY 1, 2012

NO WORK - NO SCHOOL - NO SHOPPING - NO BANKING - NO TRADING

THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS

#OLA & #OLB are calling on all people of the world to start planning NOW for a Global Strike. The goal is to shut down commerce worldwide and show the 1% we will not be taken for granted, we will not be silenced, WE WILL NOT MOVE until our grievances are redressed.

Occupy Together:
May Day is an international day of celebration to honor the labor movement. This year the Occupy movement has made a call for mass action—the May First General Strike (#M1GS): a day without the 99%. Over 115 US cities have organized in solidarity with this call to action...

If you are inspired by the day of action but don’t live near any organized events you can still take part. If you can’t strike, take the first step. We can work to shift the balance of power back into the hands of the people little by little in our everyday lives.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

Move Your Money - Share a meal with others and and talk about subsidized agriculture and factory farming or make a meal with friends to serve to local homeless people a la Food Not Bombs - Start a Personal/Community Garden - Have a Free Store/Fair: Get together and share your unwanted items with others -  Screen a Movie: Invite your friends or neighbors over to watch a documentary - Have a Skill Share: Give a free class to share your skills and knowledge. This could be as simple as giving a knitting demonstration or as complex as teaching someone a new language.

We have the power in our hands to change the course of our day to day realities if we are willing to participate and reach out to our neighbors and communities. In the words of Steven Biko, ”the greatest weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Big business should not be in control of us, we are the many and they are the few.

Anonymous:

Occupy Wall Street:

While American corporate media has focused on yet another stale election between Wall Street-financed candidates, Occupy has been organizing something extraordinary: the first truly nationwide General Strike in U.S. history. Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the on-going student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012. This in and of itself is a tremendous victory. For the first time, workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed from over 125 U.S. cities will stand together for economic justice.
The OWS site linked to above has a directory for your local Occupy and if you can not find one look at the suggestions from Occupy Together.


What Are You Doing Tomorrow?
Discuss
Reposted from Daily Kos by DSWright
Open Thread for Night Owls
On May 1, 2012, two weeks from now, cities across the United States and elsewhere will see a new dimension of the Occupy movement: a general strike. Whether it achieves its ends—and those vary from city to city—depends a great deal on one's view of the Occupy movement itself.

Natasha Lennard writes:

Of the many questions that the Occupy movement faces before its May 1 general strike, the most important may be who exactly will be striking. Due in part to restrictive U.S. strike laws, organized labor has not endorsed the action. And many of the protesters from which the Occupy movement has drawn its energy are the under- and unemployed who have been victimized most by the economy—people who are not exactly in a great position to withhold their labor.

That’s where the Precarious and Service Workers Assemblies come in. These groups have been popping up around the country to try to forge links between unorganized laborers with tenuous employment. Last month, the first such meeting in New York drew 60 some people from an odd mix of professions—writers, adjunct professors, bar backs, dog walkers, baristas, sex workers, movers and designers. Despite their very different backgrounds, they discussed the one thing they all shared: a precarious earning situation. This was more than just an occasion to share their fears. It was, as the event invitation noted,  an organizing platform to “engage together in upcoming actions like the May Day General Strike.” [...]

No one is working under the impression that May Day in New York will resemble the general strikes of 1946, for example, or even contemporary general strikes elsewhere, like last week in Spain, when two powerful unions called a general strike and 3 million people took to the streets. [...]

However, questions still remain about the specific challenges facing different precarious workers who might be interested in involving themselves in May Day. How, for example, can someone leave work or call in sick for the day if they know they will be fired and lack a union to defend them? Or, how might someone strike if they work flexibly and don’t need to turn up to an office that day anyway? And how do unemployed people strike at all?

All these questions rely on a traditional notion of strike (withdrawing labor as leverage against an employer) or even general strike (that the majority of workers in a country or region walk off the job in solidarity with each other). Occupy organizers, though, are planning a very different type of general strike. Calls include a consumer strike (“No Shopping! No Banking!”), student debt strikes, school walkouts, a data strike (leave the smartphone at home), slow work days and, of course, calls to take the streets. The idea is that, given the variety and vulnerability of working situations, there’s no one catch-all way to strike—so a strike will need to have many diverse elements if it is going to be general.

From Occupy Wall Street:
On May 1st, 2012, we are creating a new kind of holiday—A People's Holiday—One that's not just yet another flavor of consumerism, but is explicitly about imagining a world beyond consumerism.

We ask you to do one of two things to commemorate this day:

Don't like what you do? Don't do it. Take one day to do something you love, instead.
Love what you do? Do it for free. Take it to the next level, and bring it to the public.

This is what it means to strike today. Join us, as we imagine another way of living.

These General Assemblies, the non-hierarchical, consensus-governed bodies that make decisions for each Occupy organization, have approved May 1 strike activities:

Occupy Atlanta, GA • Occupy Albany, NY • Occupy Amherst, MA • Occupy Baltimore, MD • Occupy Bellingham, WA • Occupy Boston, MA • Occupy Bozeman, MT • Occupy Brooklyn, NY • Occupy Buffalo, NY • Occupy Burlington, VT • Occupy Bushwick, NY • Occupy Chicago, IL • Occupy Cleveland, OH • Occupy Dayton, OH • Occupy Delaware • Occupy Detroit, MI • Occupy Durango, CO • Occupy Ft. Lauderdale, FL• Occupy Fullerton, CA • Occupy Honolulu, HI • Occupy Huntington, WV • Occupy Indiana • • Occupy Irvine, CA • Occupy Las Vegas, NV • Occupy Long Beach, CA • Occupy Long Island, NY • Occupy Los Angeles, CA • Media Consortium • Occupy Melbourne, AU • Occupy Miami, FL • Occupy Minneapolis/Twin Cities, MN • Occupy Mira Monte, CA • Occupy Naples, FL • Occupy New Jersey • Occupy Oakland, CA • Occupy Ottawa, ON, Canada • Occupy Oxnard, CA • Occupy Pasadena, CA • Occupy Philadelphia, PA • Occupy Phoenix, AZ • Occupy Portland, OR • Occupy Providence, RI • Occupy Richmond, VA • Occupy Riverside, CA • Occupy San Diego, CA • Occupy San Fernando Valley, CA • Occupy San Jose, CA • Occupy Santa Cruz, CA • Occupy Schenectady, NY • Occupy Seattle, WA • Occupy St. Louis, MO • Occupy Sydney, AU • Occupy Tacoma, WA • Occupy Tampa, FL • Occupy Venice, CA • Occupy Ventura, CA • Occupy Washington, D.C. • Occupy Williamsburg, NY • Occupy Wall Street

•••

You can also check out DKos Occupy May Day.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007:

Sure, all the news reports are coming out today on the various presidential candidates and their quarterly FEC filings, but one of the nice things is that you don't have to depend on all that to find the information of interest to you.  The law required Presidential and House candidates to file these reports electronically by April 15, and they are all available to you,right now, to do your own sleuthing and reporting.

Here is the link to the FEC's website.  If you want to find all the Presidentials, just select "presidential" for committee type, and "APR Quarterly" for the report.  Or just type in a name of a Presidential or House candidate.

Click on "view" next to the report filed on 4/15/2007, and you'll see something like this, with a summary chart and a list of links.  (We'll stick with Sen. Biden as an example.)  There, you'll easily see lines like "10. Cash on Hand at CLOSE of the Reporting Period" and line 17(a), "Contributions (other than loans) From: Individuals/Persons Other than Political Committees".  That's all the individual contributions.


Tweet of the Day:

My grandmother was born in field of cotton. Sugar Ditch, MS. No birth certificate or state ID. And you'll tell her she can't vote?
@goldietaylor via Twitterrific


High Impact Posts. Top Comments .

Discuss

Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:31 AM PDT

Anonymous Joins Occupy May Day

by DSWright

Photobucket

Anonymous has endorsed the Occupy May Day General Strike.

Discuss

Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM PDT

Occupy May Day Strike Hits Mainstream

by DSWright

From the Associated Press:

Occupy Wall Street activists on Monday called for supporters to skip work on May 1 to protest what they're calling police brutality during 73 arrests in New York during the weekend.

Several dozen activists joined members of New York's City Council for a news conference in Zuccotti Park to complain about police tactics. On Saturday, police started detaining people after hundreds of Occupy supporters gathered in the park to mark six months since the start of the movement.

Occupy organizers across the country have been mobilizing for months toward a one-day general strike in May.

It is good to see the Mainstream Media finally taking notice. Occupy May Day already has had a:

* Facebook Group

* Reddit Feed

* Website

* And numerous declarations of support and solidarity from Occupy Oakland to Occupy Minneapolis to Occupy Miami and on and on.

More from AP:

While Occupy organizers have been clamoring for the May general strike as a springtime renewal of their movement, it's impossible to gauge the expected response.

Last November in Oakland, when the Occupy movement was at its height, a daylong general strike resulted in a five-hour protest at the city's port, the nation's fifth-busiest. In solidarity, hundreds of Oakland teachers skipped school, leaving too few substitutes to keep some classes running.

Supporters in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere held smaller-scale demonstrations.

Follow the Occupy May Day Kos Group for more information. Spring is coming...


What are you doing on May 1st, 2012?
Discuss

Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM PST

This Week In Occupy May Day

by DSWright

Last Week.

* Labor Activist Video calling for Wildcat Strike on May Day:


(Occupy May Day 2012)
If you are involved in your Local Union, contact your fellow laborers about organizing May Day events or participating in them.

If you are not in a union but involved in your local Occupy, see how your Occupy is joining in local annual May Day festivities.

If you are involved in neither but want to get involved in a Local, I recommend you contact the Industrial Workers of the World at http://www.iww.org/.

Pete Seeger singing L'Internationale.

To learn more about May Day and Labor History, visit http://cwcs.ysu.edu/... to find a Labor Museum or Exhibit in your area. Labor History is important American History.

* The Occupied Social Network, Occupii:

BEGINNING MAY 1, 2012

NO WORK - NO SCHOOL - NO SHOPPING - NO BANKING - NO TRADING

THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET WILL TAKE TO THE STREETS

#OLA & #OLB are calling on all Occupations and all Labor Unions to start planning NOW for a Global Strike. The goal is to shut down commerce worldwide and show the 1% we will not be taken for granted, we will not be silenced, WE WILL NOT MOVE until our grievances are redressed.

Every continent, every country, every state, every city will stand up.

Labor and workers are under attack by the 1%. Occupy stands Immigrants and with Labor both organized and not. Unions and union rights are what made our working class strong. Every benefit we have as working people has come from the struggles of organized labor and immigrants fighting for their rights. Now they are trying to destroy our bargaining rights, they want their greedy hands on our pensions. They don't have enough already? ENOUGH.

A DAY FOR MIGRANT RIGHTS, LABOR RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS.

STOP FORECLOSURES!!!

We demand good jobs and good pay for everyone on the planet. Citizen of the country they work in or not. Outsourcing will no longer be tolerated by the so called "job creators" for cheap labor. All human beings deserve a living wage.

Education, Housing and Healthcare are human rights NOT "entitlements."

ALL COUNTRIES PARTICIPATING: If you send me translation of this invite in your native language, I will create an event on this page to coincide with the English version. Please send to Tkukreja315@gmail.com

* UK "Occupy Cafe " member Anna Harris is ready for May Day:

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!
It is obvious we are headed for disaster unless we change course drastically, and we don't have a lot of time. A project is being discussed internationally in the Occupy movement - Global Strike May 2012. What we are proposing is a continuous strike, a permanent withdrawal from the current system, a signal for all those who feel their work to be meaningless and unsatisfying, to switch to alternative means which are beneficial to the whole community, to support themselves and their families. In order to make this feasible this alternative system needs to be up and running by May 2012. Outrageous! Impossible! I agree with you. Nevertheless it has to happen if we are serious about moving from this morally bankrupt and physically damaging path we are on, to a sustainable system that puts people before profit. Join us on Take the Squares Network https:/n-1.cc/pg/groups/1010883/15m-global-strike. and please pass around to friends and colleagues. Anna@shsh.co.uk

* Speaking of the Take The Square Network - will Occupy May Day go Global?

* And Occupy LA has a statement (h/t jpmassar):

Occupy Los Angeles General Assembly unanimously consented on Dec. 19, 2011 to publish this statement and take action to make it a reality.

“Occupy LA supports in principle a General Strike on May 1, 2012, for migrant rights, jobs for all, a moratorium on foreclosures, and peace - and to recognize housing, education and health care as human rights, and calls for the building of a broad coalition to make that a reality.”

Website  
http://occupymay1st.org

What are you doing on May 1st, 2012?
Discuss

Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 07:36 PM PST

This Week In Occupy May Day

by DSWright

Occupy May Day - May 1st, 2012

Last week (no TWIOMD) was Martin Luther King Day. MLK Would Occupy

* From Ryan Rice on OccupyMay1st.org:

May Day is an international workers’ day celebrated in more than eighty countries to honor labor and left-wing movements. Originally organized to commemorate the Haymarket Massacre, the day has broadened to include workers’ rights, immigrant rights, and anti-war efforts. The occupy movement is calling on the ninety-nine percent to no longer stand idly by and remain complacent. May Day is an opportunity to flex our collective power to show the plutocracy that their time is over, that profits over people will no longer be the modus operandi...

So will you call out of work for the sons and daughters fighting an illegitimate war, endangering themselves to enrich CEOs? Will you buy nothing in support of the ten million foreclosed homes expected in 2012? Will you march out of classes for the millions of uninsured children in this country?

Will you general strike with me?

* Another Facebook Group - they need to know where to go, WALL STREET

* Reddit Occupy May Day

* Occupier Margaret Flowers calls for May Day General Strike:

Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Riverside and Occupy the Hood, building on the "Occupy the Ports - A Day without Goldman Sachs!" action on December 12, have all issued calls for and started building towards a General Strike on May 1, 2012.

At a meeting of the General Strike Preparation Committee of Occupy LA today, with representation from Occupy Long Beach, Pasadena and Riverside as well as Occupy the Hood, consensus was reached to call for the formation of a broad, deep and larger coalition for a General Strike, first meeting to be held on Sunday, January 22 at 2:00 PM, location to be announced, around the following provisional program:

FOR IM/MIGRANT RIGHTS
FOR ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND LABOR RIGHTS
FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE
FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES AND AN END TO THE POLICE STATE
FOR HOUSING, EDUCATION, AND HEALTH CARE AS HUMAN RIGHTS
FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUITY

A General Strike, Boycott and Day of Action on May 1, 2012, the anniversary of the historic general strike for the 8-hour day in Chicago IL in 1886.

* It's not just America - Occupy movement calls for worldwide general strike on May Day

What are you doing on May 1st, 2012?
Discuss

Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 10:30 AM PST

This Week In Occupy May Day

by DSWright

Occupy May Day on Kos is dedicated to a mass demonstration in the financial district of New York City, also known as Wall Street, on May 1st, 2012.

In the first week in review I'll present some of the other ideas in the 99% Movement of what to do on May 1st.

* Occupy LA calls for a general strike on May 1st:

The Occupy movement, which started in mid-September last year as Occupy Wall Street, a protest in a Manhattan park against the excesses of big banks, has morphed into something quite extraordinary across the United States. It seeks to connect and speak for the victims of America's four-year recession, the ''99 per cent'', who have seen job security, savings and income evaporate in hard times.

While its LA members talk of a national general strike in May, other protesters propose taking their argument to Washington, with a million-strong encampment in front of the nation's Capitol on January 17, a gathering they are calling Occupy Congress.

This also includes a webpage.

* There is a similar call on Facebook for a general strike with over 5000 committing to it. As well as other pages. And more.

* Occupy Oakland also calls for general strike on May Day.

* Occupy Minneapolis also has an Occupy May 1st Committee.

* Occupy Miami has created a working group for May 1st.

* Well, it was Google scheduled at least!

"Occupy Everywhere" is a nice slogan but also rather a mixed message. For those who consider the 99% Movement about a predatory 1% undermining democracy, peace and prosperity Occupying your town, while interesting, is not particularly compelling or relevant. Instead...

Occupy Wall Street.
Discuss

Sun Jan 01, 2012 at 06:51 PM PST

Occupy May Day

by DSWright

Reposted from DSWright by DSWright Editor's Note: diary 1 -- DSWright

On September 17th, 2011, in the financial district of New York City, a movement was born to restore democracy, the the rule of law, and the possibility for a future in the United States of America. This protest would become known as Occupy Wall Street, lead by the slogan We are the 99% referring to the massive and growing income and wealth inequality in America between the richest 1% and the rest of the population.

Why did this happen? Because America is in decline: few deny this. Even the cocooned elite recognize the sentiment if not the realities. The American people have lost faith that their institutions can fix their problems or that politicians can lead them to a better future. Therefore some American citizens believed the best course of action, rather than waiting for public officials with dubious affiliations and motives to lead them, was to lead themselves.

The small group in Zuccotti Park was first ignored then mocked then begrudgingly covered by the American corporate media as the protests spread all over the country. Struggling first with police brutality then a nationwide campaign of eradication coordinated by public officials, the various Occupy encampments were under constant assault and many were removed. The original camp in Zuccotti Park would face a legally questionable eviction at one in the morning where the press was barred from seeing the event and protesters were barred from reentry despite a court order and now are ordered to no longer Occupy the park. Similar scenes have played out throughout that country but although many of the Occupy camps have been destroyed for the moment, the spirit of the movement goes on.

In the United States of America May 1st is, by official proclamation, Loyalty Day. A day officially proclaimed to recognize the heritage of American freedom. The freedom to speak and assemble well deserves its own holiday.

Therefore, holding these truths to be self-evident, I call on all who are loyal to America and its heritage of freedom to Occupy the financial district of New York City on May 1st, 2012. To demonstrate your commitment to liberty and justice for all. To stand up to the criminality on Wall Street and corruption in Washington, so freedom may once again reign in America.

See you there.

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