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May Day Special: The OccupyUSA Blog for May 1, With Frequent Updates! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

May Day Special: The OccupyUSA Blog for May 1, With Frequent Updates!

Live-blogging OWS daily since October 1.  Email: epic1934@aol.com. All times ET.   See my e-book on Occupy "40 Days That Shook the World."   My other books, including new ones on Bradley Manning and Beethoven, here....

11:45 Livestream from Oakland which remains hot, gas canisters used, arrests, warnings now about more arrests.  "Chemical agents will be used."


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11:00 NY crowd mainly leave area, others retreat to Zuccotti, where police are now massing again.... Lot going on in Oakland at this hour, report of tank and loaded rifles.  Cop reportedly hit in face with paint bag thing.

10:00 Thousands in park in New York at 10 pm closing of park, although thousands of others have left--and police have them surrounded.  See Tim Pool livestream below.  Warnings to be issued and then arrests will follow... 2nd livetream from NY below.  UPDATE:  Police attack group agt 10:30, guy hurt and some arrests.


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9:30 Press report from Nantes, France, where my daughter lives: from 8500 to 15000 protest today, only 2500 last year.  (h/t and translation Barbara Bedway)

7:55 Violence in Seattle top story at LA Times site:  "Downtown Seattle erupted in chaos Tuesday as black-clad May Day demonstrators marauded through the downtown shopping district, smashing plate glass windows at banks and retail outlets, spray-painting cars and slashing tires. Some arrests were reported in May Day protests in Portland, Ore., as well. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed an emergency order authorizing police to confiscate sticks, tire irons, hammers and other implements that might be used for continued destruction, though the worst of the mayhem appeared to have died down by midafternoon."  And see photo. 

Seattle Times blog covers here.   Nike, Starburks, Nordstroms, Wells Fargo, HSBC hit.  Even U.S. Court of Appeals building hit.   Nike releases statement vs. violence.

7:40  Dramatic local TV video of police attacking biker in Oakland, arrests and conflict follow:

 7:30  NY march passes Zuccotti--which is totally sealed off.  Perfect.Conflict coming?  Police have blocked off Wall St., told people only have permit for march,not rally, so could arrest. Giant march stretches for mile or more. Some sitting down and locking arms now. See Tim Pool livestream below.


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7:15  NY march continues to grow.  But local ACLU tweets:  arrest at spring and broome of journalist."  And Ryan Devereaux, now at The Guardian, tweets: "Video I was just shown appears to show a guy's head slammed into the ground multiple times."  Natonal Lawyers Guild reportedly tallies 34 arrests so far on day... Photos of Oakland cops taking down girl on a bike. 

6:00  Big NYC march now heading to Wall Street, see Tim Pool livestream below, peaceful so far, wide number of groups so tension and civil disobedience probably later.

4:45 Livestream from Oakland, as protesters with shields face off with cops, now re-grouping.

3:50  Bad sign: Occupy Cleveland cancels its May Day actions after arrest of those five men (three of them now said to be "self-professed anarchists") for alleged bridge bomb plot.  This report says men were seen at an Occupy Cleveland meeting as recently as Sunday and said they were connected to the group on their Facebook pages.  Here's Facebook page for one of them, Brandon,  Baxter, as he notes that affiliatiion, plus liking drum circles and the Cleveland Indians. Also Joshua Stafford.

On its Facebook page Occupy Cleveland has just posted:  "While the group arrested Monday evening by the FBI were associated with Occupy Cleveland they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland or the event that was planned for later today at the GE Lighting building.... Occupy Cleveland has had affirmed principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011."  This Plain Dealer update has more on Occupy calling the arrested only "fringe" activists and FBI claiming it is not probing Occupy itself.

3:20  Tim Pool livestream from up-close at big Union Sq rally in NYC, which has stage and permit and sound system.

3:00 Follow Susie Cagle @susie_c for Oakland actions, lot going on.

1:55 Militant "wildcat march" in NY underway, reports of several arrests already. Streamer just said,"These cops now ready for what these kids are ready to do." Now in park.  Follow @RDevro for more.  Just tweeted:  "An officer crashed his scooter in an intersection. The crowd erupted with cheers."  Down the page a bit: Tim Pool covering big Guitar Army march down to Union Sq led by Morello and Harper.


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1:00 More on Cleveland "bomb" plotters and photos via TPM:  Undercover sting guy paid  $5500.  Had long record of arrests. "The group was suspicious of the undercover officer who would sell the C-4 to them and the cooperating informant. Baxter said he thought that they would go to Guantanamo Bay if they get caught."  Naturally this is grabbing headlines today.

12:55 Susie Cagle reports arrest at Wells Fargo in SF....various banks blocked in Chicago...march set to begin at a Wells Fargo in Philly....police block 42nd Street around Grand Central in NYC.. from the Portland Occupier feed:  "Story of the day so far is Portland student strike. Wildcat march all over town. Reports of high schools locking down."

12:30  Go here at The Atlantic blog for photos of arrests on Williamsburg Bridge in NY today.  Also report of white powder at Fox hdqtrs, HazMat dispatched, more.

12:20  Press release just now in my email box from Occupy Denver:  "On May Day, we are calling on the people of Denver to convene at the Pavillion on 16th st  at 9:30 PM, and we will hold a sleep-in.  By holding a mass sleep in on the 16th st mall, we will stand in solidarity with those who are being singled out by this draconian bill and let its chief backers know, that this is our city, our streets, and no one will be jailed for lack of privilege.  Rather than be forced off the streets by the  Downtown Denver Business Partnership, we aim to show the 1% that a Denver's Peoples Partnership is stronger than all the lobbyists in the city.  On May Day,  Bring your bodies, your friends, your wares and liberate the 16th st mall with us."

12:10  Tim Pool livestreaming from middle of NYC march in midtown.


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 11:45 More sites to visit for May Day actions:   via MoveOn and 99%,  the main OccupyWallStreet site.  And semi-live  coverage around USA.

11:20  More on Cleveland "bomb" plot (and see below):  "The suspects were self-described anarchists who formed their own group, according to one official. The official said that during the investigation, several of the suspects repeatedly complained that the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had spread to other cities from New York, wasn't violent enough."  MSNBC update just now:  "plotters" arrested yesterday when planting fake bombs--they paid $450 last month for them (really? for bomba?).  Oldest age 35.  None had any idea how to make bombs or get materials.  Pete Williams on MSNBC:  "Another one of those sting operations where you have to wonder what would have happened if left to their own devices."

11:15  Perfect: Bloomberg and Romney met for a May Day breakfast in New York today.  Someone tally up their combined net worth.

10:55 Current TV with its own resource section on May Day events... Heavy  barricade abd police presence forming at Union Sq in NYC.... Big crowd at Bryant Park in NY, free food, Tom Morello and Ben Harper on the way at noon, then big march to Union Sq at 2.

10:30 CNN with FBI detials on plot and posts names and scruffy mug shot photos of 5 young men arrested.  Say they plotted to get C4 explosives (from FBI) but were given "inoperable" ones.   Full "string" operation.  Started as mere distracting action but came to be explosive plot--promoted by FBI as in past incidents?

10:20  MSNBC covers Cleveland "plot" (see below), sting began last October,  plan was to act yesterday but still unclear if explosive were only gas canisaters and not bomb to blow up bridge.

10:00 Five alleged "anarchists" arrested by FBI and terror task force in alleged plot to blow up Ohio bridge.  Vague details right now. Arrested in Cleveland park.  Public not in danger.  And as per usual in these cases:  explosives always under control of FBI agents (who as usual provided them). Press conference starting now. Also, more full report here is confusing: they did allegedly plot to low up bridge or just explode gas canisters to draw police? 

9:45 Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland, outside bank, got "chalk-upied" last night, see left.... New doc on Tom Morello's "World Wide Rebel Tour" now out, see it here.

9:15 Reliable @RDevro on scene at BOA now, follow him all day.  And follow our own @AllisonKilkenny on twitter.   Also follow @FreePress for reports of police vs. journalists.  And check out Laura Flanders and GritTV coverage.   Mother Jones updates here.  Follow OWS longtimer @johnknefel here.  First arrest in the city reported at  42nd Street and Sixth.

9:10  May Day street party in SF turned violent last night, with anarchists allegedly breaking away and breaking windows, vandalizing some cars, with cops unprepered. Lengthy report here.  Brief video below:


 

8:40  May Day actions already underway in US--and abroad. ....Good preview of May Day actions in NY today with accent on levels of "confrontations." ... Tom Morello tweets: "Looks like it's going to rain.   Even better! Rain or Shine the Nightwatchman will not shrink from his appointed task!"... Photo of overpass highway protest in Harrisburg, PA.

8:05  See top of Nation site right now for special coverage and features--including a map you can check for events....Full lineup of SF Bay Area events tomorrow via the Bay Guardian--with action starting tonight.

8:00 Great progress at OccupyTheFarm near Berkeley, see photo left and link.

From late Monday

NYT on the letters and white substance (corn starch) sent to Wells Fargo and Chase branches and Mayor Bloomberg (see below).... Claim that several apartments where anarchists live in NYC visited by police today.

 Tom Morello, who is leading a "thousand man" guitar army tomorrow in NY now tweets:  "My new band also looking 4 1million percussionists. Marching band veterans, pots & pans bangers please apply. Noon/Bryant Park."  Big boost for May Day tomorrow as Tom and Ben Harper (who is also leading march tomorrow) will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight, as he tweets:  "Looking for best and worst 25,000 musicians in NYC area. Tomm. Bryant Park. Noon. Nightwatchman/Ben Harper 2nite on Fallon to PUMP IT UP."

Major NYT piece online tonight on Occupy in academia, with new studies, books emerging and so on.

Fox News:  NYPD investigating envelopes with white powder sent to "at least" 5 Wells Fargo branches in city, discovered today.  "The bank branches were closed, and they will remain closed until the situation is deemed safe, the spokesman said."   Fox helpfully notes that this happening on the eve of May Day but does note later that this has not been linked to Occupy (yet).  Of course, Wells Fargo was a target of protests in San Fran just last week.

Doug Schoen at Daily Beast:  How Occupy, despite recent quietitude, seized control of narrative in 2012 politics and campaigns.....

Famous and good guy author Stephen King begs U.S. to tax him and other very rich more severely.  Strong language and curse words.  Even attacks Koch brothers.   "I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar.... If this situation isn’t fairly addressed, last year’s protests will just be the beginning. Scrooge changed his tune after the ghosts visited him. Marie Antoinette, on the other hand, lost her head. Think about it."

 

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