Neither rainy weather, nor week-day morning malaise, nor taunts from passersby could dampen the spirits of Occupy Wall Street protestors, who declared this May Day a day of protest. Participants in 125 cities across the country met in streets, parks, and other public spaces to encourage people not to shop, work, or bank on May 1.
The “general strike” is aimed at drawing attention to the inequalities between the majority of American workers and the one percent who earn big paychecks in banking and other financial services sectors. (One Fortune 50 CEO, for example, out-earns the average employee at his company at a rate of 1737:1.) The idea is to see how the one percent deals without the 99 percent — if only for one day.
It could be the biggest protest since police shut down Zucotti Park in November, 2011. OWS organizers recently returned to the park to engage in a series of “Spring Training” exercises, designed to help marchers resist police intervention this time around.
Overseas, May Day is observed as International Worker’s Day. It’s a national holiday in Great Britain and other countries in Europe, South America, and Asia.
Organizers hope for tens of thousands of participants in Manhattan alone, where protesters gathered in midtown at Bryant Park at 8 a.m. The plan is to connect with other protests involving labor unions and financial institutions across the city.
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