Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/GettyImages.
UPDATE: Thousands of Occupy Wall Street activists took part in May Day demonstrations across the country Tuesday, as organizers looked to recapture the national attention that has largely deserted the movement in recent months.
For the most part, the events were much smaller than many of those that took place last year when the anti-Wall Street protests were in full swing. Still, a full slate of activities led to many of the same outcomes as then, including arrests, tear gas and general mayhem, albeit on a smaller scale.
The Seattle Times reports that about 75 black-clad anarchists smashed windows and set off sound bombs in Seattle, and also set a small fire at the U.S. Court of Appeals there. Only eight arrests were made, however, as the group of violent demonstrators dispersed into the crowd of thousands, removing their black clothes.
In Oakland, police used tear gas and flashbang smoke against protesters after they say some in the crowd began throwing objects at officers, the Associated Press reports. At least 25 arrests were made there.
Reuters reports an estimated crowd in the thousands gathered at New York City's Union Square for an afternoon rally with labor organizers. Police say they arrested roughly 40 protesters for various violations.
Tuesday, May 1, 3:53 p.m.: Occupy Wall Street's May Day demonstrations remained mostly quiet Tuesday afternoon, as organizers' calls for a general strike appeared to go mostly unanswered.
Still, with the largest New York rallies planned for this evening, it may be a little too early to issue a final verdict on a day that many of the Occupy activists had hoped would recapture the nation's attention.
While wet weather appears to have dampened Occupy excitement on the east coast, things were a little more eventful out in California. At the former OWS camp site in Oakland, Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson is reporting that he and a crowd of a couple hundred were hit with either teargas or flashbang smoke as tensions between police and protesters escalated there. A local reporter tweeted a picture of the scene, which you can check out here.
Here's a sampling of what else went down so far Tuesday:
—In San Francisco, protesters have backed away from an intended occupation of the Golden Gate Bridge in an agreement with police, according to Reuters. Overnight, one group of protesters from a Monday night march vandalized cars and businesses in the Mission district, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
—In New York, the rain has stopped. Protesters are still scattered all over the city, and are converging on Union Square for a 4 p.m. rally, followed by a planned march. One of the groups headed to Union is led by Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against the Machine. He's leading a "guitarmy" of protesters with instruments, the Guardian reports. There have been multiple reports of arrests related to the protests. The Guardian estimates that there have been about 10 total so far, with more expected at the afternoon and evening rally and march.
—In Portland, Ore., where May Day protests seem to be pretty active, Lincoln High School went into lockdown to prevent its students from joining a march led by students from another school, KATU reports.
—In Washington D.C. a planned 3:30 p.m. rally will be followed by a 6:30 p.m. march to the White House, according to the Washington Post. The Post notes that there were scattered reports of vandalism overnight.
Tuesday, May 1: The Occupy Wall Street movement is hoping for something of a spring awakening Tuesday with a full slate of events that correspond with global demonstrations for workers rights.
The Associated Press reports that the May Day protests got off to a fast start in parts of Asia and Europe, where thousands took to the streets to call for better wages and working conditions. Stateside, things were a little bit slower to develop, according to Reuters, with relatively small turnouts at a number of spots in rainy New York City, which has long served as the hub of the Occupy movement.
While the day could very well still lead to demonstrations akin to those that put the Occupy movement on the map last year, it appears unlikely that organizers will achieve the "general strike" that they are calling for.
Nonetheless, the NYPD didn't appear to be taking any chances, reportedly launching something of a preemptive strike late Monday. Gawker reports that at least three activists received unexpected visits from police and, in one case, an officer was reportedly armed with an arrest warrant for an activist's roommate on a six-year-old open container violation.
But the police concern may have had more to do with security concerns than with stopping protesters before they had a chance to finish work on their signs. The AP reports that seven envelopes filled with what turned out to be a harmless white powder substance were sent to New York City Wells Fargo branches, a JP Morgan Chase office, and another office building on Monday. The NYPD noted the timing of the envelopes, but a spokesperson for the Occupy organizers told the AP that the envelopes had nothing to do with the protests. It's not clear from the report whether there was any indication beyond timing that the incident has an Occupy association.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Occupy organizers planned over 50 separate morning starting points in New York City for the day's demonstrations. While early reports suggest individual turnout at each site was only in the double digits, it's been difficult to get a reliable estimate on the total crowd size given how spread out the events are. The separate gatherings are eventually headed to Union Square for an event and march with organized labor groups later Tuesday.
Additional events are ongoing in other cities, including Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
We'll update if anything big happens, but for those who want to-the-minute updates on the day, check out Tim Pool's livestream. Some of the (more sympathetic) journalists who normally live tweet Occupy events are apparently striking with protesters, but the Guardian's Ryan Devereaux, among others, appears to be updating from the marches. The Guardian also has a live blog of the day. Mother Jones' Josh Harkinson is tweeting from San Francisco. MoJo also has an online interactive map of the day.