May Day

Only real change can avert more conflict

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This week's May Day events brought together immigrant groups, labor unions, and activists with the Occupy movement to confront gross inequities in our economic and political systems. That's a healthy democratic exercise, even if it sometimes provokes tense standoffs with police and property interests. But the day was marred by violence that didn't need to happen, and that's a dangerous situation that could only get worse.Read more »

Reflecting on violence at the SF Commune

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Occupy San Francisco protesters entered Catholic Church-owned properties at 888 Turk last night. This is the same building that a similar group occupied April 1, in a peaceful action that lasted about 24 hours. 

The successful reentry was a testament to the spread of skills and cultures surrounding building takeovers by groups like Homes Not Jails. The resulting “rebirth of the SF Commune” was a mellow and pleasant event at first, as protesters on a march from the celebratory Peoples Street Festival joined in the commune. Some held back in the street while others entered the building in hopes of building a “community center”—most remained outside the building, enjoying a free meal cooked and served by some of the same Occupy SF kitchen volunteers that once fed hundreds of people daily at Justin Herman Plaza.

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Pix of May Day in Oakland

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Photos by Tim Daw

Pix of May Day in San Francisco

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Photos by Tim Daw

Police leave, Occupiers remain

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The man who was throwing bricks has been arrested -- and in an unexpected move, the cops have packed up their barricades and left. Only one barricade was left in front of the door, and the protesters moved it and now remain in the 888 Turk Street building.

UPDATE: About 30 remained in the building as night fell, planning next steps. One anonymous supporter donated pizzas. 26 were arrested in an early-morning raid .

Bizarre development: Lone guy in black mask throws bricks at Occupy crowd

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Yael Chanoff reports from the scene of the Occupy building takeover with a really strange development:.Read more »

Police and protesters on collision course in Oakland

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Police at Oakland City Hall are already in riot gear, waiting for a couple large May Day marches that converged at San Antonio Park, bringing together more than 1,000 protesters that will soon be headed for City Hall.

Several cops are already loaded down with tear gas canisters and an Alameda County Sheriff's Department armored vehicle, manufactured by Blackwater and armed with an LRAD sonic weapon, stands ready to be used on a protest that has been peaceful so far. We'll be posting updates of the situation as they develop.Read more »

Occupy retakes Catholic Church building

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The Occupy SF Commune is back.

More than 100 activists went from a march on Market Street to the building at 888 Turk, owned by the Catholic Church, that was occupied not long ago.

“This is our home,” said one OSF person. “A lot of folks love this spot.”Read more »

Oakland protest: Tear gas, one arrest

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Tuesday morning brought an eruption of protests though out downtown Oakland as Occupy activists marched and rallied in support of a national general strike day to mark May Day.

Though the action lacked the numbers of last fall's Port of Oakland strike, three early morning marches of several hundred protesters made there way through Oakland drawing attention to issues of gentrification, patriarchy and what protesters characterized as the injustices of capitalism.

In a city still waiting for an economic recovery, the protests were a reminder that simmering tensions over economic disparities continue to cause major disruptions of business as usual in Oakland.

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Lively crowd takes over Financial District

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Click here for more breaking May Day action coverage

About 1,000 people gathered in the Financial District for a May Day convergence, blocking traffic at the intersection of Market and Montgomery and painting a huge yellow sun on the street with the caption “Rise up 99% Levántese!”

The lively crowd listened to music and speeches and participated in street theater.Read more »