May Day 2012 General Strike organizers asked supporters to skip work, school, shopping and other activities in order to participate in the protests..
Led by the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, the general strike is aimed at allowing people to voice their opposition to economic inequality, political corruption, foreign wars and other issues that Occupiers want to see addressed.
The other goal of the protest is one that is rooted in the strategy of a workers' strike, in which organizers hope to demonstrate to the world's rich and powerful what life would be like if the 99 percent were not around to serve them.
The protest's organizers hope that the strike will include so many workers that it will be exceedingly difficult for people to go about basic daily tasks, a situation that they say would illustrate the important of all the world's workers, and juxtapose it against the daily impacts the one percent have on human activity.
May Day is a holiday for the 99%. It is a day for people to come together, across all those lines which too often divide us - race, class, gender, religion - and challenge the systems that create these divisions. When we come together, we recognize the common struggles we face and the common interests we have, a description of the May Day 2012 General Strike written by Occupy Wall Street declares.
Below is a compilation of all the May Day General Strike online live streams:
Some of the largest May 1 General Strike (M1GS) events are slated to be held in New York City, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. You can watch a live online stream of them below:
This link will take you to a non-embeddable video stream of Bryant Park, where some of the largest M1GS events are slated to take place today, including a guitarists' summit led by former Rage Against the Machine strummer Tom Morello:
This stream provides live video of the Chicago May Day protests events:
Watch a live stream of the May Day Los Angeles protest in the below window:
Occupy K Street (Washington, D.C.)'s live stream of May Day General Strike events in the Capitol can be seen here:
Occupy San Franciso has a live stream of its May Day events available in the below player:
And another San Francisco/Oakland stream is here:
Millions of people throughout the world - workers, students, immigrants, professionals, house-workers -- employed and unemployed alike -- will take to the streets to unite in a General Strike against a system that does not work for us. Don't go to work. Don't go to school. Don't shop. Take the streets!
Police departments throughout the world are bracing for what should be a boisterous day of street protests. The New York Police Department is particularly concerned about threats by Occupy Wall Street to shut down one or bridges and/or tunnels into Manhattan as part of the group's effort to project their views onto as wide a stage as possible and render them difficult to ignore. Occupy Wall Street has said the planned closing of points of entry to the island of Manhattan will be the biggest shut down the city of New York has ever seen.
And the office of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has said that it is worried about violence during the May Day 2012 General Strike protests slated to take place in the Washington city, as it has apparently seen a number of online calls for violence and information about how to conceal guns and target authorities.
The world has a long history of general strikes dating back to the ancient Roman empire. From the 1842 general strike in Great Britain, which was hosted by miners and factory workers to the shut down of Seattle during the 100,000-person-strong general strike there in 1919, the tactic has been used many times as a means to raise consciousness about issues of social and economic injustice.