If the mainstream media was confused about Occupy Wall Street in its early days in Zuccotti Park, they’re bound to be completely befuddled this May Day.
May Day already has a lot piled on it. In pre-Christian Europe, May Day was a time to dance, light bonfires, sing, and carry on in celebration of the changing seasons. May Day also marks the anniversary of the 1886 Haymarket massacre, which occurred during a Chicago strike for the eight-hour workday. Also called International Workers’ Day, it’s a holiday in more than 80 countries.
And most recently, the U.S. immigrants right movement has used May 1st for massive street demonstrations and strikes aimed at reforming laws and policies that result in imprisonment, deportation, and discrimination against undocumented people.
This May Day, the Occupy movement is getting involved, calling it “The day without the 99 percent.” What will May Day look like with so many traditions riding on it?
May Day Collaborations—from Bike Caravan to Free University
The way plans are shaping up, in at least some locations around the United States, it could be big, festive, and importantly, include elements of all the May Day traditions. And it could be profoundly different than the big days of action we’ve seen in the past. In the weeks leading up to May Day, various movements have been collaborating. And people will not only be protesting, they’ll be liberating spaces for education, the arts, general assemblies, and teach-ins.
There will be marches, of course. Some permitted, planned, and predictable. Others will be spontaneous, possibly disruptive. In ...