What no one has been saying about today’s May Day demonstrations is that they are a New York City tradition. For years labour and progressive advocacy groups (known as the May Day Coalition) have held protests on this day, and for years they have gone unnoticed.The difference this year, of course, was Occupy Wall Street.
The fact that this was billed as the movement’s day to re-surge made observers curious to known whether they would succeed or fail. We at Business Insider, to be honest, had our doubts about whether or not the movement would draw the numbers they drew this fall.
We were wrong.
After a rainy, action packed morning filled with marches and arrests, 10 to 15 thousand demonstrators gathered in Union Square to listen to music and join an array of groups from the Transit Workers Union to SEIU for a ‘Solidarity Rally’.
“There’s a time for Occupy to do its own thing and there’s a time for us to work with other groups,” said Occupy spokesman Mark Bray. “We see days like this as an adrenaline shot for the movement.”
A helicopter was flying overhead as we got to Union Square. Generally a sign of a big police presence on the ground.
And there were people in a band dressed in green and black, the band is called The Rude Mechanical Orchestra
As we moved through the North end of the park, we figured there were a couple hundred people assembled.
It took us a while to get through the crowd to see who was speaking — representatives from the Taxi Drivers Union, Immigration groups, and more all had their chance on the mic.
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