Occupiers veer off in a clearly organized May Day attack. Notice not only the organized destruction but the organized camera making sure the “attack” on the evil bank is properly recorded. Also the one brave employee lady who tells them to “get out”:
In NY, the majority of the Occupy May Day actions were calm and orderly, including marching on banks and businesses that they felt were somehow offensive. These ranged from protests around Bank of America and Chipotle, to people marching behind Tom Morello with guitars as a “guitar army”. According to CNBC Net Net:
Whereas the OWS crowd proclaimed “we are the 99 Percent” and “banks got bailed out, we got sold out,” a band of construction workers delivered chants of their own.
“Get-a-job! Get-a-job!” several workers atop a work site repeatedly hollered.
“Get a job! Stop wasting the cops’ time!” yelled another, referring to the large detail of officers clad in riot gear that accompanied the Occupy procession.
“Occupy my b—-!” another offered.
The march grew to perhaps several thousand at its height, when the May 1 immigrants coalition and unions with people getting out of work joined later in the day. But as Net Net noted: “had trouble living up to advanced billing”.
The idea was to shut down the city and have people stay home from work and school, not shop or bank, “a shutdown the likes of which NYC has never seen”. But NYC, with all its typical ability to deal with the odd and strange, continued on in its normal fashion. All bridges and tunnels remained open. Most people went on as before, and somehow, capitalism survived.
While most of the protest was fairly orderly, and no where near as crazed as its brethren on the West Coast, there was one action titled a “wildcat march” for the “adventurous”. Some of occupiers were “bloc-ed up” in all black and raced down the streets, throwing down garbage cans, pulling things into the streets, and causing random damage. Perhaps the most interesting tweet on the violence came from the people who often have to defend those accused of such actions, an NYCLU tweet stream, which noted that “trash cans were thrown, barricades were flung, arrests were made”
But the NYCLU tweeter was concerned, stating the march “was manic and violent, admittedly it was scary, taru[police video unit] was right to film”
Video of the action can be found here
Some pictures of the day:
Use of children:
Trying to “de-arrest” someone:
May 1st Coalition marchers:
Via ONN – The Cleveland office of the FBI held a Tuesday morning news conference to detail arrests and charges filed relating to a national security issue.
Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland FBI office,provided details about the local connection to this national security case.
A Justice Department official said that the five men are self-described anarchists and are not tied to international terrorism.
The department said that the five men were taken into custody as part of an undercover operation by law enforcement authorities.
Federal agents said that the alleged suspects were conspiring to use explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland.
The FBI’s Cleveland office is displaying a photo of the apparent bridge in question.
It’s the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad bridge in Brecksville.
All five were reportedly associated with Occupy at some point.
Occupy Schedule in NYC here:
Likely trouble spots – the 99 Pickets against various businesses, which are organized as small group actions and may be uncontrolled.
Also actions that are not yet formally announced that will happen later in the day.
Notice CWA the New York Writer’s Guild as being supportive of protests.
Also New York Communities for Change and Working Families Party-both rebranded ACORN
Various Socialist and Communist organizations
Pro Palestinian organizations
Occupy DC schedule here with a march to the White House.
The broad coalition sees their differing backgrounds as a strength. The “celebration of the diversity of cultures of resistance” will, in the words of Occupy DC Labor Committee coordinator Mike Golash, show “solidarity in the fight against capitalism.” Nancy Munoz, an organizer from the Anarchist Alliance DC Network, said: “We believe through our participation in the May Day actions we will raise the level of awareness by educating people and showing solidarity with other organizations.” She added: “[we will] empower society and help them understand that they can organize themselves in the fight against the establishment.
Don’t miss the Radical Cheerleaders!
Via ABC News in San Francisco:
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) –
Dozens of vandals attacked Union Square late Friday night, smashing windows at some of the nicest stores in the city. Grant Street was hit hard with seven stores suffering damage.
A few other stores on the adjacent streets were also hit, including Macy’s department store.
According to police and witnesses, a group of about 50 protesters, believed to be anarchists, tossed around fake $100 bills, shot paint balls, and broke several windows. They were decrying capitalism.
Police and witnesses say they were all dressed in black, hid their faces with black bandanas and many of them were wearing wigs.
Among the stores vandalized: Debeers, Longchamp, Prada, Armani, Tumi, Guess and Montblanc.
And stores managers say with the economy the way it’s been, this is the last thing they need to be dealing with. So far, there have been no arrests.
Police plan to provide security overnight as these stores work on getting things cleaned up.
See video here
As the violence began in San Francisco tonight pre MayDay, some Occupy members professed suprise, others shock, some disgust, others disavowed the actions, calling them by “provocateurs”.
After hearing it many times at Occupy associated events, the denial when the criminal actions happen becomes a bit doubtful, although I do believe many were in fact suprised at the level of violence unleashed, because it was not restricted to “state approved” targets. Problem is once you let the genie out of the bottle it has a hard time getting back in. You can’t say to some people, only mess up area A and not Area B.
The Sparrow Media Project, a major part of Occupy Media, the producer of the OWS media pamphlet “Declaration Of Occupation of NYC” among other media efforts, seemed to drop its media face just a bit in a moment of uncharacteristic honesty, noting “Gorgeous Photo of Mission Police Station destruction” at the paint bombed and damaged building:
Sparrow Media has been known for telling people to delete tweets that might be legally harmful to Occupy, as was noted by Foolish Reporter. As Foolish Reporter also noted, Sparrow Media is known for its head, Andrew Stepanian, convicted felon activist.
Early reports on May Day action so far:
White powder was sent to seven locations in Manhattan, including Wells Fargo branches and reportedly the Mayor. Threatening notes were attached:
“This is a reminder that you are not in control,” said a message that arrived with the envelopes. “Just in case you needed some incentive to stop working we have a little surprise for you. Think fast you have seconds.
All the powder was tested and turned out to be non toxic, according to police. It caused evacuations of the banks, but there were no injuries.
The police believed San Francisco-based Wells Fargo might have been targeted for white powder mailings because about half of a key dozen Occupy Wall Street members have backgrounds in Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley, and similar incidents occurred in California earlier this week, police sources said.
In the New York cases, the envelopes mainly appear to have reached low-level workers at the bank branches.
“Apparently, the message was aimed at the mail room workers among the ’99 percent,’” New York police spokesman Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told ABC News.
The envelopes, believed intended for May Day delivery, evidently arrived at the banks early, according to police.
“They underestimated the efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service,” one official said.
Occupy members denied responsibility for the action
In the Mission District in San Francisco:
Reports are that between 50 and 60 black bloc members rampaged through the area around Dolores Park (where Occupy SF was having a early “Occupy Party” for May Day) smashing “mom and pop” businesses and cars along the street.
Protesters damaged windows and doors of businesses including restaurants Monday evening following an early May Day protest that started at Dolores Park. The Mission Police Station building and Locanda restaurant were also paint-bombed.
Police said that they have received 500 calls with reports of damage and officers are patrolling the streets after dispersing the crowd at 14th and Mission streets.
See more here
There were also two reported car accidents involving police vehicles responding to the violence. It is not known what injuries may have resulted at this time.
Some Occupy twitter accounts denied occupy involvement, while others professed shock at the violence.
We will be updating information throughout the day as we hear it.
Update: Video taken surreptiously which is why it is unclear in spots. Also why I am mirroring it. A live streamer had been threatened already. Guide to video: ACAB= All Cops are Bastards. A in circle is Anarchy symbol. You can hear things being smashed throughout the video but at 8:50 or so you can see an art gallery being smashed.
Update: ABC TV video of some of destruction here
Earlier today, the OWS Arts and Labor working group sent out a press release claiming the Whitney Museum was closing in support of OWS efforts to have a general strike on “May Day”, May 1.
The release claimed the Whitney was a ”wholly changed institution”, and that they had decided to break with their main corporate sponsors, Sotheby’s and Deutsche Bank. It also stated that the Whitney was going to “begin vetting each of its sponsors as part of an ongoing restructuring to respond to the needs of the public it serves instead of the private interests of a small minority who possess a vast majority of the nation’s wealth.”
See a full copy of the fake press release here:
The fake release didn’t fool many, as the Whitney is closed on Tuesdays, so it could not be open on May 1, in any event.
This is not the first ‘fake press release” or fake action precipitated by OWS. They have previously set up a fake Bank of America website, and also claimed that they had successfully lobbied a company to quit ALEC “the American Legislative Executive Council” (when it turned out the company had never belonged to ALEC).
OWS previous actions against museums and art institutions have included a violent confrontation with guards at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and a protest of Sotheby’s in support of a workers’ union lobbying against the company. The protest against Sotheby’s even extended to actually invading a Danny Meyer restaurant in NYC, because Meyer was on the Board of Sotheby’s. According to OWS, Occupy Museums is “an ongoing protest that calls out corruption and injustice in institutions of art and culture” They claim that museums and art institutions are a ‘weapon of the 1%” and they reject using ‘art as a “financial instrument”. They plan on holding their own art fair outside the Frieze Art Fair in May, where “we will not use money but rather search for a value system that empowers everyone”.
It is rather ironic that OWS chastises the Whitney for having Deutsche Bank as a sponsor. Since their removal from Zuccotti Park in November of last year, OWS has held the majority of its meetings in the atrium lobby at 60 Wall Street-the Deutsche Bank building. So, in a very real sense, they indeed are “sponsored” by the Deutsche Bank.