Various Brooklyn-based contingents of Occupy Wall Street poured across the Williamsburg Bridge and into the Lower East Side on Tuesday morning, part of a New York City-wide effort to display the movement's vitality in commemoration of May Day.
More than 100 protesters gathered at the base of the bridge, holding aloft placards and beating drums while National Lawyers Guild volunteers instructed them on how to interact with the police and what to do if arrested. A sizeable contingent of about 50 police officers looked on.
Maggie Taylor, a 35-year-old who works for a legal nonprofit, linked the demonstration to the labor movement from which May Day originated. She said some basic freedoms for which workers were agitating, including the right to an eight-hour work day, were disparaged at the time as un-American and predicted history would similarly alter perceptions of Occupy Wall Street.
It's this corporate world we live in that's un-American, Taylor said. It's not democratic.
Protesters heeded police officers' warning not to stray into the road and obstruct traffic, although three protesters were arrested on the bridge's pedestrian walkway for reasons that were not immediately clear. Protesters chanted now-familiar slogans -- including the ubiquitous All day, all week, occupy Wall Street -- and played musical instruments as they marched, the mist-shrouded Manhattan skyline rising before them.
After marching across the bridge, the demonstrators threaded their way through the Lower East Side and began heading west on Houston Street, flanked by police officers. Check back with the International Business Times throughout the day for updates.