May 1st GENERAL STRIKE. Different ways you can participate on May Day.

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012. New York City – May 1st, also known as International Workers’ Day, is the annual commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a General Strike for the eight-hour workday. In many countries, May 1st is observed as a holiday. But in the United States, despite the eventual success of the eight-hour-workday campaign, the holiday is not officially recognized. In spite of this, May Day is already a powerful date in the U.S. In 2006, immigrant’s rights groups took to the streets in unprecedented numbers in a national “Day Without An Immigrant” – a general strike aimed at proving the economic power of immigrants in the U.S. At least one million people marched in Chicago and Los Angeles alone. Hundreds of thousands more marched throughout cities across the U.S.

(May Day – 1 de Mayo en Español.)

LIVE coverage of MAY DAY in NYC.

1 de Mayo. Huelga General. May 1st GENERAL STRIKE. 6 ways to get ready for May Day.

Protesters of the Occupy Movement posted on their site Occupy Wall Street, “We are getting ready. Planning is already underway in dozens of cities. Labor organizers, immigrants’ rights groups, artists, Occupiers, faith leaders, and more have all joined in the discussion to get ready. Now, all we need is you. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved!”

1 de Mayo. Huelga General. May 1st GENERAL STRIKE. 6 ways to get ready for May Day.

They also say, “Now, in response to call-outs from Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy Chicago, Occupy Oakland, and other General Assemblies and affinity groups, the Occupy Movement is preparing to mobilize a General Strike this May 1st in solidarity with struggles already underway to defend the rights of workers, immigrants, and other communities who are resisting oppression. Dozens of Occupations in cities and towns throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia have already endorsed May Day. Here is just a taste of events in the works for New York City:

* 8am-4pm: Midtown action staging zone in Bryant Park.
* Disruptive actions in midtown all day! Hit the 1% where they live and prevent them from getting to work. Let’s make this a Day Without the 1%, as well!
* Family friendly, free food, a really, REALLY free market, skillshares, workshops, lectures, art, fun and more!
* 4pm: March to Union Square for solidarity march
* 5:30pm: Solidarity march from Union Square to Wall St.
* 7pm: March to staging area for evening actions

And this is just the beginning. To quote the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo, a major Spanish union, who recently called for a national General Strike in Spain on March 29th to protest labor reforms:

For the CNT, the strike on March 29 must be only the beginning of a growing and sustained process of mobilization, one which includes the entire working class and the sectors that are most disadvantaged and affected by the capitalist crisis. This mobilization must put the brakes on the dynamic of constant assaults on our rights, while laying the bases for the recovery and conquest of new social rights with the goal of a deep social transformation.

May Day. Mayo 1 2012. "No housework. No school. No banking. No shopping. No work". Photo by Justin Wedes

None of this would be possible without the grassroots support of everyday organizers who volunteer their time to grow the movement against Wall Street greed and political corruption. Here are six simple things you can do to help advance the cause of equity for all:

[1] Work With Your Local Occupy: There are hundreds of Occupy groups still holding regular meetings and events. Chances are, there’s one nearby. (And if there isn’t yet – it’s easy to start one!) General Assemblies are open to everyone, and everyone has a voice in the consensus planning process. So find your nearest Occupation and go to a GA! If they haven’t already endorsed the General Strike, propose it to the group and start planning marches, distributing fliers, and forming direct action groups.

[2] Spread the Word On Social Media: Follow #M1GS, @OWSMayDay, @OccupyWallSt, and @OccupyGenStrike on Twitter. Also be sure to RSVP on Facebook and follow facebook.com/OccupyGeneralStrike. You can also look for city-specific events, like these from Chicago and Detroit.

[3] Start an Affinity Group: You can take action on your own. All you need are a few friends. Affinity groups are groups of people who know each other and come together autonomously for a particular action. Find a few people who are interested in helping you out on a project you have in mind – whether it’s making fliers and literature to distribute, or shutting down a Wall Street bank in your hometown. Get creative, and get to work! (Here’s a hint: OccuPrint collects, prints, and distributes posters from the worldwide Occupy movement, and they have a ton of amazing General Strike posters!)

[4] Join the General Strike Conference Calls: InterOccupy hosts regular calls to organize May 1st activities. Check out their schedule and join in the conversation!

[5] Talk to Labor: Due to federal laws, most unions are forbidden from organizing strikes for political reasons. However, unions and labor groups are still some of our strongest allies. During last year’s General Strike in Oakland, many unions encouraged their workers to take the day off or attend demonstrations after work. Not long after Occupy Oakland shut down ports in solidarity with striking Longshoreman, their employers caved to the union’s demands in a new contract. Get in touch with local unions and labor organizations, let them know about the plans for a General Strike, find out what they’re working on and how you can help, and encourage them to let their members know about May 1st and get involved in organizing directly.

[6] Organize Your Workplace, Campus, or Community: If you’re a unionized worker, encourage your union to support the General Strike. Whether your workplace is union or not, you can encourage co-workers to take a sick day on May 1st. If you can’t afford to lose out on pay, that’s okay – there will be plenty of celebrations, marches, and direct actions throughout all hours of the day. Invite your community to attend. If you’re a student at a high school or college, spread the word to walk-out of class on May 1st. If you’re not a worker or student, organize your friends!” More info here.

MAY DAY - 1 de Mayo. Huelga general - General Strike. 2012.

“On May 1st, 2012, everyone in New York who leaves their house or looks out their window will see public art as part of an historic MayDay celebration. Here are just some of the projects underway, with details about where you can see them and how you can participate in their creation.”

Why I strike: Post a photo of yourself holding a sign with “I strike because_________”

If you are on Facebook: You can RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook.

NYC Full Schedule of Permitted and Unpermitted May Day 2012 Actions
99 Picket Lines, Pop-up Occupation with Mutual Aid, May Day Morning Commute from Brooklyn, Sitting Meditation, Bike Bloc, The Free University: Lectures, Workshops, Skill-Shares and Discussions, Occupy Brooklyn March over the Williamsburg Bridge and into Wall Street and A LOT MORE!

Calendar of events on MAY DAY 2012.

Last-Minute May Day Checklist
What To Bring: (1) An affinity group, (2) Footwear, (3) Band-aids, (4) Water, (5) Snacks, (6) Backpack, (7) Multiple layers of clothes, (8) Cell phones and cameras, (9) Maps, (10) Rain gear, (11) Your own sign or banner, (12) Know how to identify legal observers, (13) Know how to Mic Check, (14) Smart phones, (15) Know your rights, (16) Drums, whistles, noisemakers, giant puppets, (17) WHAT NOT TO BRING.
If You Are Risking Arrest: (1) Everything above, (2) Appropriate clothes, (3) Emergency numbers, (4) Prepare for pepper-spray, (5) Peace shields, (6) Wear unidentifiable, all-black clothing, (7) Pen and paper, (8) First aid kits, (9) A solidarity plan, (10) Some quarters, (11) Tear-gas defense, (12) Identification, (13) What to do if you are arrested, (14) What to do if your comrade is arrested.
If you are an undocumented, If you have past arrests, If you are staying in a shelter or supportive housing program, If you have critical medical or disability-related needs, etc. READ THE DETAILS on the Occupy Wall Street website.

“On May 1st, 2012
Millions of people throughout the world — workers, students, immigrants, professionals, houseworkers — employed and unemployed alike — will take to the streets to unite in a General Strike against a system that does not work for us.
Don’t go to work. Don’t go to school. Don’t shop. Take the streets!”_May Day NYC

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