May Day Protests to Disrupt Much of Bay Area

Tuesday, May 1 is going to be a day of protest this year.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Jodi Hernandez
    Occupy Oakland prepared for the May Day action a day ahead of time with a massive display outside Oakland City Hall.

    Union leaders and Occupy protesters have called for a General Strike day Tuesday May 1, which could disrupt everything from the Port of Oakland, ferry service and every day business activity in downtown Oakland.

    The latest disruption announced by union members was the cancellation of morning ferry service across the San Francisco Bay. Golden Gate Bridge officials scrambled to inform riders to make other plans after the last minute one-morning strike was called late Monday.

    May Day is traditionally a day of union activism, and with the addition of the Occupy movement, the day is expected to attract thousands.

    Specifically, Occupy Oakland is calling for "no work, no school and no business as usual" and says there will be "decentralized actions" including pickets, blockades and marches in, around and through the city of Oakland.

    On Nov. 2, 2011, a General Strike protest ended at the Port of Oakland and included tens of thousands of people who intentionally shut down the port.

    Occupy Oakland member Mike King told the Oakland Tribune that Tuesday's march would be similar to the November action.

    The Oakland protests start at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day.  A mass rally is scheduled for noon with a downtown march to follow. Occupiers said they will be at the Fruitvale BART Station at 3 p.m.

    The groups appear to be set to converge downtown around 6 p.m.

    We couldn't find any estimated numbers from organizers, but it appears they expect thousands of people to take part.

    One group that is calling it a May Day March for Dignity and Resistance says Oakland is the center of the action for a reason:

    Oakland has been a key site of resistance, from the vibrancy of recent struggles to the legacy of the Black Panthers and 1946 General Strike. Oakland is also a microcosm of predatory capitalist oppression, from foreclosures and school shutdowns, to police brutality and deportations, to income inequality and debt. This May Day we are therefore calling on forces from around the Bay Area to converge on Oakland for a massive show of solidarity, to celebrate our Resistance and lay claim to our Dignity.

    An earlier plan to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge Tuesday morning has been amended. Union organizers said they will still hold a morning rally near the toll plaza Tuesday morning, but said they are no longer calling for a closure and in fact are promoting the fact that they want to keep the bridge open.