The Occupy Wall Street movement vows to create “the biggest shutdown” of New York City on Tuesday, along with disturbances in cities across the country to mark International Workers’ Day, May 1.
One movement website, Strikeisaverb.net, threatens that “autonomous direct action groups within Occupy Wall Street, as part of the global mobilizations for general strike and economic noncompliance, will block one or more Manhattan-bound bridges or tunnels to protest the shameful opulence of the 1%.”
It goes on to state: “This May 1, we will create the biggest shutdown the city of New York has ever seen. The city will be shut down, so enjoy the day without the 99%!”
Occupy groups have been protesting economic disparity between the wealthy “1%” and the other “99%” of America.
The movement will join scores of labor organizations observing May Day, Bloomberg News reports. Demonstrators plan to march from Union Square to Lower Manhattan, and to occupy Bryant Park across the street from the Bank of America’s office tower.
“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an email.
Another posting reads: “No work, no school, no shopping, no housework, no compliance,” according to the New York Daily News.
“If you can’t strike, call in sick. If you can’t call in sick, hold a slowdown.”
Occupy-related events are planned in more than 100 cities across the United States, including Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, and calls for a general strike have appeared on websites in Toronto, London, Sydney and other foreign cities.
In the San Francisco area, Occupy Oakland threatens to shut down travel across the Golden Gate Bridge.
“This will be accomplished by a collaboration of pickets and direct action which will shut down all modes of transportation from Marin [County] to San Francisco,” according to a statement on the website Occupythebridge.com.
In New York, police are prepared to handle the demonstrators, police spokesman Paul Brown said. “We’re experienced at accommodating lawful protests and responding appropriately to anyone who engages in unlawful activity, and we’re prepared to do both.”
And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “People have a right to protest. We will protect that right. They don’t have the right to disrupt other people.”
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