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May Day Protests Were Peaceful, But Not Quiet

By aaroncynic in News on May 2, 2012 4:20PM

Yesterday thousands of people marched in and around the loop for May Day. Actions began in the Loop in the morning, where a group of protesters shut down the entrance to Bank of America on State Street briefly, then marched toward Union Park to converge with thousands of other demonstrators.

The march stepped off at 1:30 p.m., heading slowly toward the Loop toward Federal Plaza. Protesters stopped briefly near the site of the Haymarket Riot, pausing for a moment of silence to commemorate the struggle for an 8-hour workday, and again in front of the Chicago Board of Trade to show their ire for the 1 percent.

While police presence was heavy, the annual march was completely peaceful, with no violence or arrests. After another convergence and rally in Federal Plaza, smaller groups of protesters broke off and peacefully shut down several other Bank of America branches in the loop. The 50,000-strong crowd that Adbusters called for months ago didn’t exactly pan out, but the estimated 2,000 or more demonstrators who did maintained a boisterous, joyful and determined presence.

May Day marches in Chicago traditionally maintain their focus on immigrant and workers rights, and this rally was no exception. However, demonstrators also made their voices heard for myriad other causes, highlighting the interconnected nature of injustice. The Trib reports Donnie V. Moore, president of Teamsters Local 74 said, “We stand against injustice in every form, against prisons, against the laws of Arizona, against racial profiling.”