Occupy Wall Street participants, as well as labor unions, protested around the country as a show of solidarity on May Day. (Source: CNN)
NEW YORK (RNN) - The Occupy Wall Street protestors are using the first day of May, or May Day, to ramp up their activism after a winter hiatus.
Occupy protesters are demonstrating in Bryant Park in New York City in spite of rain and cold weather. They're lined up outside a Bank of America building, and at the headquarters of the New York Times.
The daily newspaper is involved in contract negotiations with the Newspaper Guild.
"Today we assert our power as working people. We declare our solidarity with all people of the world," the Occupy Wall Street website reads. "We affirm our rights to economic security, to meaningful work, to health care, to public services, to safe and healthy communities, to free, quality public education from pre-K to college, and to civil liberties."
The Occupy-organized "May Day: A day without the 99 percent" - on the day traditionally known as International Workers' Day - urges the 99 percent to take a day off from work, school and shopping.
The hope is that so many people will be missing from commerce and society that their absence will disrupt the lives of the 1 percent, and that the needs of the general public will be met, and not those of corporations.
"We're the ones that make society run," said one Occupy Wall Street organizer. "And policies should be oriented towards providing for us and not just looking to lobbyists and bankers."
CNN has reported the number near Bryant Park as around 50. However, live feeds from the event show many more than that.
Organizers expect hundreds for the Solidarity March, which will include Occupy protestors and labor unions. The march will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET at Union Square and end at Wall Street.
Some violence has already broken out in San Francisco. A police station was vandalized with paint and windows were broken. Cars business and other property were also vandalized.
Occupy San Francisco protestors were planning to shut down and protest on the Golden Gate Bridge, but have called off the blockade.
The group, along with bridge and bus workers, is instead protesting ferry terminals around the city. A strong police presence is still on the bridge.
Two lawsuits were filed Monday, one by Occupy Wall Street protestors and the other by four New York City council members alleging that various public and private agencies violated their constitutional right to free speech, improperly photographed protestors who were arrested, interfered with journalists, improperly detained people for hours without charges, and excessive force.
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