Workers express anger, gloom, elation on May Day
With Europe’s unemployed denouncing austerity measures, Asia’s laborers demanding higher salaries and U.S. protesters condemning Wall Street, Tuesday’s demonstrations by hundreds of thousands were less a celebration of workers’ rights than a furious venting over spending cuts, tax hikes and soaring unemployment.
In Boston, activities are being planned that will include a noon rally at City Hall, and a “Death of Capitalism Street Theater Funeral Procession” later in the evening, according to CBS Station WBZ Boston. Occupy Boston called for people to skip work and school, strike and not shop. (CBS News)
Boston Phoenix photo album: Occupy Boston’s May Day rally
Occupy Boston Marks May Day With Rallies, ‘Funeral’
It’s May Day, an international labor holiday, and demonstrations of varying size and message are under way around the world, as NPR and other outlets are reporting.
Here, Occupy Boston planned “A Day Without The 99%,” as it urged “the 99% to strike, skip work, walk out of school, and refrain from shopping, banking, and business.”
The group began its schedule of area events this morning in Boston’s Financial District, where, as WCVB-TV reports, “[a] small group of Occupy Boston protesters braved the rain and marched.” Demonstrators then gathered at Copley Square and Boston City Hall Plaza. (WBUR)
Occupy Boston protesters return to rally (NECN)
May Day Occupy protests – live coverage
(Occupy Boston photo embed at The Guardian)
Occupy Boston protesters rally for May Day
On the first day of May, Occupy Boston protesters rallied through the city’s streets in honor of May Day. Although the group was small, demonstrators were still without permits.
The protesters began their march in the Financial District then headed to City Hall and Downtown Boston. The “May Day” protesters marched for workers’ right. (My Fox Boston)
UPDATED: Protesters Rally for Workers’ Rights
What Occupiers lacked in numbers they made up for in enthusiasm as about 100 protesters huddled under Trinity Church before marching to Government Center to mark International Worker’s Day.
“We’re really trying to be advocates for workers rights,” said Steve Revilak, an Arlington resident who took the day off from work in spirit of May Day. (South End Patch)
‘Occupy’ Marchers Return To Boston
A small group of Occupy Boston protesters braved the rain and marched through Boston’s financial district Tuesday morning, saying their Dewey Square encampment may be gone, but their message is here to stay.
The protesters, which numbered a few dozen, marched past many of the institutions they accuse of creating and maintaining disparity between the rich, the 1 percent, and the masses, the 99 percent.
Tuesday’s march is part of a full-day of May Day events Occupy groups have planned around Greater Boston and the country. (Boston Channel)
Occupy May Day Goes Global
Occupy May Day went global on Tuesday, as demonstrations stretched from California to New York and from Europe to the Caribbean.
Occupy San Francisco got an early start to the traditional May Day workers’ protest, kicking off its organized rally at 8 p.m. local time on Monday.
“San Francisco, once a stronghold of the dispossessed, has become a playground for the rich and a living hell for those of us who can’t keep up or have no interest in capitalist relations,” Bay Area protest organizers said in a statement.
Flashpoints but mostly calm Occupy May Day
May Day was targeted by the Occupy movement as the day “the people of the planet will take to the streets.” Crowds did in many major cities demonstrating against the control of the “1 percent.” But promised stoppage of mass transportation and commerce largely fizzled across the country.
Overall there were a modest number of arrests and minor clashes in a few cities. The Occupy movement targeted May Day to disrupt “business as usual” nationwide. Organizers called on the 99 percent to abandon work, school, and all commercial activities with marches planned in major hubs like New York, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C.
What started out as a day of mostly peaceful protests saw increasing arrests and acts of violence. Here’s a roundup of flashpoints:
Occupy May Day protests across US as activists and unions link up
The Occupy Wall Street movement has attempted to breathe new life into its campaign against inequities in the global financial system with a series of May Day protests around the United States.
Thousands of people turned out in New York for a day of action that culminated in a confident march down Broadway in the evening sunshine towards Wall Street, the crucible of the protest that began last year with an angry backlash against banking excess.
The stated aim of bringing business in the commercial capital of the US to a standstill went unfulfilled, but as rain gave way to a bright spring afternoon, traffic ground to a halt around Lower Manhatttan as the Occupy movement’s most anticipated day of action in months took hold.
May Day in Seattle: Black-clad protesters smash bank, shop windows
Downtown Seattle erupted in chaos Tuesday as black-clad May Day demonstrators marauded through the downtown shopping district, smashing plate glass windows at banks and retail outlets, spray-painting cars and slashing tires. Some arrests were reported in May Day protests in Portland, Ore., as well.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed an emergency order authorizing police to confiscate sticks, tire irons, hammers and other implements that might be used for continued destruction, though the worst of the mayhem appeared to have died down by midafternoon.
Bankers Assault on Financial Reform
“Once [reforms] are in the regulatory environment rather than straight-forward law, then one, the regulatory agencies are subject to all this lobbying and two, partly what the Republicans are proposing is to underfund these agencies so that even if there is a regulation they can’t do anything about it.”
Designed to Fail: Why Regulatory Agencies Don’t Work
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We have been “reforming” regulatory agencies over and over again, and over and over again they have failed. Yet, as a result of the recent catastrophic failures of regulatory agencies, politicians and pundits are talking about the same old “Regulatory Reform” again. “Fill the regulatory agencies with honest people who won’t cave in to special interests.” “Give them more money, more authority and more people.” But my experience has shown that by concentrating all legislative, executive and judiciary authority in one regulatory agency just makes it easier for it to be corrupted by the industries it regulates.
I worked for the US Environmental Protection agency for 30 years and lived through many cycles of “Regulatory Reform,” doing the same “reforms” over and over again and expecting different results. I’ve learned that the way to achieve true regulatory reform is to give regulatory agencies less money, less authority, fewer people but more intelligent regulations. The theme of this article is that by dispersing regulatory authority, rather than concentrating it, we would make corruption more difficult and facilitate more sensible regulation.
America’s new working poor – In this economy, having a job is no longer a guarantee against poverty
Last Friday, the U.S. Government announced that 7.2 percent of Americans in the labor force earn so little that they are living in poverty. Reuters noted that the percentage of the working poor is the highest in at least two decades. The rate was 7 percent in 2009, 5 percent in 1999, and 5.5 percent in 1987.
May Day was big for the 1% too
The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 13,338 Tuesday, it’s highest since December, 2007. The S&P 500 added 16 points. Wall Street will remember May 1 as a great day.
But most of these gains are going to the richest 10 percent of Americans who own 90 percent of the shares traded on Wall Street. And the lion’s share of the gains are going to the wealthiest 1 percent.
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