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 across around the US.
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 in lower Manhatttan as the Occupy movement‘s most anticipated day of action in months took hold.
There were some clashes with police as officers clamped down on perceived violations, resulting in over 50 arrests. There were also flashpoints at protests in other cities.
In Oakland, California, scene of violent clashes between activists and police in recent months, police fired tear gas, sending hundreds of demonstrators scrambling. Four people were arrested.
Officers also fired “flash-bang” grenades to disperse protesters converging on officers as they tried to make arrests, police said. Four people were taken into custody.
Black-clad protesters in Seattle used sticks to smash downtown windows and ran through the streets disrupting traffic. The city’s mayor, Mike McGinn, made an emergency declaration allowing police to confiscate any items that could be used as weapons.
In San Francisco, the Occupy movement was blamed for a night of violence in which cars and small businesses were vandalised. Protest organisers later attempted to distance themselves from the disruption.
In New York, threatening letters containing a white powder that appeared to be corn starch were sent to some institutions in the city. Three letters were received on Tuesday: two at News Corporation headquarters and addressed to the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, and one at Citigroup. The message in the letters said: “Happy May Day”.
Read more at the Guardian….
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.