May Day in New York City: A Quick Preview


Almost since their eviction from Zuccotti Park more than six months ago, Occupy Wall Street activists have been laying plans for a grand reemergence on May Day. Now the big day has arrived,

We’ll be running a live-blog throughout the day to keep you updated on developments throughout the city. But first, here’s a quick primer on May Day and what may be in store.

Detailed schedules of the days events can be found on Occupy Wall Street websites, but the gist of the day is this:

  • Starting at 8 a.m., the hub of operations will be Bryant Park. A free market and a skill-sharing in the park will offer a model of social interaction beyond capitalism, while the park will also serve as a jumping-off point for dozens of pickets planned throughout the city.
  • Starting at 10 a.m., a “Free University” will set up classes in Madison Square.
  • At 1 p.m., an unlicensed and likely arrest-heavy Wildcat March will set out from 2nd Avenue and Houston.
  • At 2 p.m., marchers will move south from Bryant Park to Union Square, where…
  • At 4:30, there will be free performances by Das Racist, Tom Morello, Dan Deacon, Immortal Technique, and Bobby Sanabria.
  • At 5:30, another march will move south to Wall Street, where…
  • At 7 p.m., JD Samson and Men will perform another free show.
  • What follows will likely be some combination of street party and more high-risk direct actions.

As all of this is going on, the police won’t be sitting on their hands either. That hasn’t really been their style recently when dealing with street protest of any sort. Yesterday morning, two different legal teams representing two different groups of plaintiffs both filed federal lawsuits against the NYPD over what they called its heavy-handed and unconstitutional repression of free speech.

Whether that will make any impact on how the police handle today’s protests remains to be seen. There were already reports yesterday of police raiding activists’ homes. Sources have told the Voice that police assigned to the May Day actions have been ordered to bring “hats and bats.” The first major deployment is set to begin at 4 a.m., with a relief shift stepping in at noon.

It’s going to be a long day. We’ll do our best to report it all on the live-blog.