May 01 2012
Civic Circus with Ankur Patel breaks down local politics, with a weekly report on city, county, and state bureaucracies.
Today is May 1st and I am going to be one of the hundreds of thousands of people out in the streets of LA. May Day has become a convergence of International Workers Day and Immigrant Rights, but this year is slightly different as the Occupy movement has involved itself calling for M1GS – May 1st General Strike.
Across LA, a 4 winds caravan has been planned in coalition with unions, community organizations, immigrant rights groups, and local occupations. The 4 winds will be coming from the North, East, South, and West and will converge in downtown Los Angeles.
Each of the different winds will take the streets and connect workers, immigrants, and the community while taking direct action at banks, government agencies, and other strategic locations along the way that will bring attention to the foreclosure crisis, police brutality, and the broader need for an organized movement of the 99%.
I’m going to participate in the North Wind, starting at California State University Northridge in The Valley with fellow CSUN students, then head to Van Nuys Civic Center where we will meet up with Occupy San Fernando Valley, which will have already marched from Panorama High School.
From there I’ll participate in a General Assembly outside of Congressman Brad Sherman’s office where people will be given a few different options including heading to the “American Reclamation” in Glendale where the Teamsters have partnered up with the County Federation of Labor to stand up for waste haulers.
From the General Assembly we will have a few stopovers at relevant locations and reach 6th and Main in Downtown LA for the convergence of the 4 winds caravan. The West Wind coming from the ocean via Wilshire, the East Wind coming from Chavez and Atlantic passing by East Los Angeles College, and the South Wind coming up from CSU Dominguez Hills via South Central Avenue. Once the 4 winds meet at around 2:30, there are going to be a series of rallies, events, workshops, and likely a lot of police.
The next part of my itinerary has me going down to the financial district alongside thousands of other Angelenos with the plan to mobilize direct action in the financial district of downtown Los Angeles. The general tactics will be based on people power, but many people have been thinking strategically about this for a long time.
The coalitions being built this May Day are as diverse as any on this planet, from Code Pink and Medical Marijuana Advocates on the West Side to the Brown Berets from the East; college students, parents, and immigrants from all directions; unions made up of nurses, janitors, baggage handlers, and countless other workforces from around LA; homeless veterans and the LGBT community; the Black Panthers to the undocumented and unafraid.
The May 2nd coalition, as it’s being called, foreshadows the post May-Day future. Today’s actions have already started, but today I wonder how many of you will be in the streets?
Not just chanting and yelling, but actively thinking about the systems we live in and understanding that we, the people, have the power – we just have to take it.