Mayday NYC 3rd version

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 05/03/2001 - 22:11
Author

Aries de la Cruz/NYC IMC

Telephone

(212)684-8112

3rd draft. Some parts are incomplete.

POLICE BLAMED FOR INCITING MAYDAY RIOT IN NYC.

3rd Draft. Don't publish on the main site yet.

 

POLICE BLAMED FOR INCITING MAYDAY RIOT IN NYC.

AGAIN.

an Indymedia EXCLUSIVE by Aries
de la Cruz

with additional reporting by Maaret Klaber

 


Super Barrio Man fighting
the INS, minutes before the Police stormed in to arrest a man in
violation of the NYC Anti-Mask Law.
(IMC PHOTO: Workhorse)

In a repeat of
last year's Mayday incident in New York City, witnesses are once
again blaming NYPD officers for causing a melee outside 5th
avenue and 13th street immediately after a street theater skit by
Super Barrio Man and others in the middle of a Mayday march which
resulted in 5 people being placed under arrest with charges which
include trespassing, loitering, assault, obstruction of justice
and disorderly conduct. At a rally later in the afternoon in
front of the IMF offices near the United Nations, more activists
were arrested on similar charges.


Police deny media access
as they arrest demonstrators outside the union-busting East
Natural Deli.
(IMC PHOTO: WORKHORSE)

ORGINS
OF MAYDAY

Mayday began as a pagan
holiday in early Europe to celebrate the first spring planting.
It was outlawed by the Catholic Church by the 1700s, yet it
remained incredibly popular withartisans and villagers. Mischief
and satire would rule on Mayday, with jesters and fools making
fun of local authorities.

It became a working class
holiday on Mayday 1886 when the Knights of Labor called for a
general strike across the US and Canada to demand an eight-hour
workday. Police attacked strikers in Chicago, killing six. The
next day, a
demonstration was held at Haymarket Square to protest the police
brutality. A bomb exploded around a crowd of police, killing
eight. Police then arrested eight anarchist trade unionists,
accusing them of throwing the bombs.

Much controversy surrounded
the Haymarket Massacre; Some said that it was the workers who
threw the bombs at the police, others say a government
provocateur dropped the bomb while trying to retreat from
charging workers.


A boy holds sign that says
"Haymarket will Not Be Forgetten" during Mayday
Protests in Chicago
(IMC PHOTO: Patrick Chee)

Trade unionists Albert
Parsons, August Spies, George Engle and Adolph Fischer were found
guilty and executed by the State of Illinois.

 

MAYDAY
2001 NYC

The day's
festivities, organized by the Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants, along with other organizations like UNITE!
Local 169
, Organizing Committee for Workers Rights and The Filipino Workers Center, began at noon in an area of Manhattan
often-used by workers and political activists as a gathering
place and where the first Labor Parade took place in 1882. Union
Square. The crowd that gathered represented a kaleidoscope of the
left. Present were anarchists, communists, greens, socialists and
working-class immigrants.

As they listened
to musicians like Fred Ho and the local band Black 47. A colorful
truck which belonged to a Coca-Cola subsidiary, Planet Java, was
distributing sample drinks to passerby, most likely on a lunch
break, yards away from the stage and sound system. They told
Indymedia they were not aware of the Mayday event and were there
purely coincidentally.

At around 3:30,
the marchers began to leave Union Square, surrounded on all sides
by police officers, some with plastic cuffs, while other officers
sported gas masks in bags and pouches. Also present were members
of the NYPD Technical and Research Unit (TARU), who often videotape and photograph activists
at major protests and rallies.

The marchers, who carried
signs, puppets and musical instruments began chanting their way
towards 5th avenue and 17th street, and walked all the way down
to 13th street where Super Barrio Man fought Green Grocery Owner
Man, who, according to organizers, pays his workers
"sub-minimum wages" and "fires them for trying to
form a union", in front of the East Natural Deli, notorius
for it's use of non-unionized workers. [Editor's
note: See the latest issue of the Indypendent for more on the Green Grocer
Campaign]. The first
round, one of three that took place during the day, was organized
by Reclaim the Streets.

 

"LET
THEM GO!"

After the round was over, the
Radical Cheerleaders were invited into the makeshift wrestling
ring to deliver a cheer in favor of Super Barrio Man but was
immediately interrupted by Jeannette Gabriel of the Organizing Committee who used a bullhorn to call attention to the officers who
were starting to arrest protestors for violating the Anti-Mask
law.

As she did this, the police
attempted to arrest her for violating NYC laws against sound
devices. "We weren't allowed to have a sound permit at East
Natural because its so close to the New School Campus, "
Gabriel told Indymedia. "The police threatened to arrest me
for making an announcement with the bullhorn." A Legal
observer from the National Lawyer's Guild, however, was able to
clear Gabriel from possible arrest.

Police then began to load 2
protestors into a waiting Paddywagon; A photographer with New
York City press credentials attempted to document the moment, but
was tackled down and was reprimanded by police for tresspassing,
even though press credentials empower journalists to cross police
lines.

The crowd became angrier and
angrier by the moment, everyone confused and furious towards the
police because no one had committed any violence. People cried
"Shame, shame, shame!" upon the officersn and some
began to invoke the name of Amadou Diallo, the unarmed black man
who was a victim of police brutality in 1999.

The marchers began arguing
with the police officers, especially the higher-ranking
"white-shirts," as they're popularly refered to. Police
then attempted to extricate more protestors, including a female
member of Reclaim the Streets; An argument broke out between Lt.
Anthony Bologna and another young protestor,

Lt. Anthony Bologna attacked
[, is known violence protestors

More police entered the
protest barricades, and a bottle of water was thrown into the
crowd of officers from the 2nd floor windows of East Natural,
temporarily distracting both police and protestors.