May 01 2012

SPECIAL COVERAGE: May 1st General Strike

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After a long winter of planning and preparation, the Occupy Wall Street Movement begins its next crucial phase of action starting today May 1st which is also known as May Day or International Worker’s Day. To commemorate the day, Occupy activists are calling for the largest general strike in the history of the United States. For Occupiers this will be a ‘Day without the 99 percent’.

The May Day Holiday was originally started in 1886 marking the start of a nationwide strike by tens of thousands of workers which culminated three days later with the Haymarket bombing in Chicago. Workers around the country had been demanding an eight hour work day for more than 22 years prior to that bombing which helped strengthen the Labor Movement around the world.

Now, 126 years after the original May Day, the Occupy Movement has planned a day of actions, marches, and teach-ins around the country and the world as well as at the birthplace of May Day, in Chicago where there is a huge rally planned by unions and immigrants’ rights groups.

In New York City, where Occupy Wall Street got its start, there will be a mass rally at Union Square and, a Free University offering over 124 classes in Madison Square Park. There have also been major protests planned around the New York offices of JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America despite rumors that the banks have been colluding with the police to provide surveillance information on protesters.

In San Francisco, marchers have shifted their original plans of occupying the Golden Gate Bridge to shutting down ferries and organizing major marches in San Francisco and Oakland. Strikes are also planned around the world from Asia to Europe to Australia. In Greece, hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are members of the two major public and private sector unions are rallying in Athens and are expected to bring the country to a complete shutdown.

Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles there are numerous rallies planned around the Southern California region. Activists have broadly named their actions after the Greek mythological concept of four winds, North South East and West, representing the different geographical locations of the region, which will be carrying out actions throughout the day, and converging in downtown LA at 6th and Main starting at 2:30pm. At 3pm there will be a march to the Financial District followed at 4pm with a rally at Olympic and Broadway for immigrants’ rights. Civil disobedience actions are expected to take place throughout the afternoon as well. The day’s events will end with a General Assembly meeting in downtown’s Pershing Square at 7pm.


AIRPORT ACTION: Airport workers began their strike at 3 am this morning with a number of workers picketing in the early morning rain. Hundreds are expected to join them today, building up toward a 12 noon march starting at the Tom Bradley International terminal and heading to the intersection of Century Boulevard and Avion Drive where protesters will engage in civil disobedience.
GUEST: Alejandra Valles, Vice President of SEIU United Workers West

SOUTH WIND – Of the “four winds” that people are organizing to converge to Pershing Square later today is the South Wind, representing a number of local organizations including the Black Riders Liberation Party, the South Central Farmers, The Youth Justice Coalition, the Black Panthers, and more. They will gather at the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills, and caravan across the city, stopping at a number of significant intersections before heading downtown.
GUEST: Dele Aileman, a community organizer with the Africa International Labor Association and with Occupy LA.

NORTH WIND: We turn next to the North Wind, organized by Occupy San Fernando Valley among others. Their caravan started at 7 am at Panorama High School. From there they will head to Hermandad Mexicana, stopping at 7 significant locations around the city before converging on Pershing Square.
GUEST: Amber Barrero, student at LA Valley College and an activist with Occupy San Fernando Valley

SKYLIGHT BOOKS: Los Angeles’ independent bookstores are a rare species – participating in today’s May 1st General Strike is Skylight Books in Los Feliz, that is offering its space as a gathering point for people in the neighborhood who are participating in today’s activities. People are invited to gather at 1818 N Vermont Avenue in LA at 12 noon. The store will close between 2 and 5 pm as staff and others head to downtown LA. Later this evening, at 7:30 pm, folk singer Ross Altman will perform at Skylight. Visit for details.
GUEST: Meg Wade, bookseller at Skylight books

ORANGE COUNTY: Behind the Orange Curtain, the Orange County May Day Coalition is participating in today’s May 1st General Strike by declaring a state of emergency on public education, and highlighting the campaign for drivers licenses for all. There will be a program of education and entertainment at 2 p.m. at Sasscer Park located at 4th and Ross Streets. A march and post-march program will follow.
GUEST: Theresa Dang, board member of El Centro Cultural de Mexico, core member of the Orange County May Day Coalition, and Executive Producer of Stop Stealing Our Cars.


CAL STATE LA: Students at CSULA will be going on a day long strike, as a follow up action to the walkout and sit-in students orchestrated in March of 2012. The strike begins Tuesday, May 1st at 9:30am in front of the campus bookstore.

UNURBAN COFFEE HOUSE: There is a May Day General Strike event at UnUrban Coffee House in Santa Monica. It is a free, all-ages event featuring poetry, comedy, music, and more. It begins at 6 pm and goes through midnight. UnUrban Coffee House is located at 3301 Pico Blvd, at 33rd Street, in Santa Monica.

Meet at Shoreline Drive & Pine Ave at 12 Noon
March throughout Downtown area from the South with puppets, signs, instruments, etc, stopping at major banks and corporations including Hyatt and Hilton
Mass Rally with all groups at City Hall courtyard at 2PM
Music, Food, Speakers and other activities planned
Click here for details.

12:30pm Gathering (Dolphin Fountain [210 Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101])
1pm March and Picnic (walk to DeLaGuerra Plaza [De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101])
5:30pm Vigil for Immigrant Rights (DeLaGuerra Plaza [De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara, CA, 93101])
5:30am – 10:30pm Occupy Monsanto (2700 Camino del Sol, Oxnard, CA)

11am City College Rally (SD City College [1313 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101] to Civic Center [1100 3rd Avenue, San Diego, CA])
12pm Rally at Civic Center Plaza (Civic Center [1100 3rd Avenue, San Diego, CA]) and to proposed Walmart site in Sherman Heights [2121 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92102])
3:30pm SDEA Rally at Roosevelt Middle and March to Board Meeting [3366 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103]
4pm – 6pm OSD Labor Solidarity Rally at Civic Center (then marching to the Westin Gaslamp [910 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA])
5:30pm Chicano Park Festival (heading to Historic Chicano Park [National Avenue
San Diego, CA 92199])

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “SPECIAL COVERAGE: May 1st General Strike”

  1. Brandt Hardinon 01 May 2012 at 11:17 am

    The Occupy Movement is NECESSARY for our citizens to expose the corruption which Big Business has infected our Government with. Every single person occupying the streets and protesting Corporations is a hero and a patriot. I was compelled to lend a hand and create some new posters for the movement which you can download for free on my artist’s blog at

  2. John P. Garry IIIon 02 May 2012 at 9:12 am

    Good on-the-spot coverage of the May Day events. I liked the mix of music and interviews. No voice-of-god narration, either–an interesting choice. I’ve been enjoying Martina’s reporting for a while now. The story on the strike at LAX was informative rather than merely partisan.

    The only thing missing from the LAX report, it seems to me, was a statement by a union official describing the exact employer violations which prompted the strike. I assume the employer and the union had some face-to-face negotiations recently that did not yield results satisfactory to the union. The strikers that were interviewed had general issues (such as expired health insurance) but I would like to have heard if there were some specific issues that led to a management-labor breakdown.

    John P. Garry III
    KPFK listener-sponsor