Lukewarm and drizzly outside. Wonderful weather for some protest! Follow Full Stop all day for updates on the May Day General Strike. Tweet our editor @MaxRivlinNadler to give him some heads up as he tries to cover as much ground as possible. Also, be sure to check out our interviews with David Harvey and Aijaz Ahmad, as well as Elena Gambino’s wonderful dissection of the politics of Parks and Recreation as we observe this most radical of days.

Update: 11:30 Around 300 people at Bryant Park as the rain tapers off. A march in support of immigrant workers is about to set off to sites around midtown that support their exploitation. The numbers at the park should continue to grow until 2 pm when the march to Union Square will begin. For now, drums, marching, and breakout groups.


Update 12:20: A few stressful moments outside of Wells Fargo as the march against exploitation of immigrant workers, which had been marching through the streets of midtown, was met by a large contingent of NYPD. It now continues, albeit with a large police presence in tow.



Update 12:45: Protesters are now massing outside The Capital Grille, whose owner Darden Resturaunts is the target of a class action lawsuit alleging wage theft and discrimination. Over 200 protesters have formed a large picket line under the watchful eye of the NYPD.


Update 2:30: A relaxing two hours as marchers returned to Bryant Park and got ready for the march down to Union Square. With the drumming, lines for food, and ongoing discussion groups, Bryant Park feels quite like Zucotti did in the fall.

The march has now emptied the park as protesters head toward Union Square.


Update 3:00: The day has turned clear and sunny. With 1,000 protestors already at Union Square, the marchers are about to head down  the middle of Broadway to join them.

Update: 3:30 The Strand labor negotiations have stalled between workers and management, who wish to phase out the workers union. At this moment, Strand workers are picketing their worksite for the first time. Over 50 workers and sympathizers are chanting, “Get up, get down, New York is a union town.”

Update: 4:15 Tom Morello and his “Guitarmy” perform his “World Wide Rebel Song” and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” for the crowd at Union Square.

Update: 5:45 A series of musical performances just concluded at Union Square. Performers included Das Racist, who didn’t seem to know why they were there (neither did the crowd); Dan Deacon, who tried to start a dance party in the middle of Union Square (with moderate success — it was strangely beautiful); The New Labor Choir, who performeda rousing “Solidarity Forever”; and Immortal Technique, who did his thing (as only Immortal Technique can).

Now a huge crowd, including dozens of large groups, is headed to MTA headquarters to support union workers who have been working without a contract for several months.




Update 10:30 : After the concert, marchers took the long walk down Broadway to the Wall Street area. Besides some (insanely irritating) kettling by the NYPD as marchers attempted to exit Union Square, the march remained mostly peaceful. I can’t really give an estimate, but the march was definitely equal to or greater than the October 5th march.

This picture pretty much sums up the feeling of the afternoon, as the sunlight faded and the marchers wound their way to the end of Broadway. The site of the long-rumored May 1st occupation was revealed to be 55 Water Street, a Vietnam War memorial. After successfully occupying the space and holding a brief General Assembly, Occupiers were arrested (some violently) and removed from the site at around 10pm. The rest dispersed through downtown Manhattan, in what is proving to be yet another long night of coalescing and dispersal.

Almost a year ago, I marched with protestors against Michael Bloomberg’s budget cuts. It was the first large-scale protest in New York City since the immigrant solidarity demonstrations of May 2006. While being a tactical disaster, May 12th, 2011 proved to many in the Left that a broad coalition between unions, organizations, and students could be created. Looking back at it today, it seems like it took place much longer than a year ago. To think of how far organizers have come in preparing a day to call out and demonstrate the inequities of our society is nothing less than astonishing.

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