Occupy takes May Day protests to US streets

By REUTERS
May 2, 2012 00:09

 
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NEW YORK/OAKLAND, Calif. - Occupy Wall Street protesters gathered outside banks, meditated in public parks and staged anti-corporate song-and-dance routines on Tuesday in a May Day bid around the United States to revive a movement that triggered nationwide protests last year against economic injustice.

Hundreds of protesters in Oakland, California, clashed with baton-carrying police who fired flash-bang grenades and used a loudspeaker to order demonstrators to disperse from an intersection, in just one of numerous demonstrations that unfolded in US cities.

Police arrested small numbers of protesters in minor clashes around New York, chasing hundreds of marchers along Broadway.

Although labor unions rejected pleas from leaders of the Occupy movement for a general strike, and demonstrators backed off a pledge to occupy San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, activists hailed the day's events as a step forward in the movement that had grown inactive and cash poor since capturing world attention last fall.

"We've been building important alliances and radicalized people in what they're willing to endorse. I mean, we never even used to celebrate May Day. Now look at this," said David Graeber, an anthropologist and author active in the movement.

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