May Day protests yesterday led to several arrests and injuries, as protestors clashed with police. May Day is generally a day when people gather to protest civil rights, union rights, or anything else they perceive as an injustice. While the protests are intended to be peaceful, many turned to violence and vandalism.
KTLA reported that at least 13 were arrested after 1,000 or so people gathered and began walking downtown, attempting to make their way to City Hall. The arrests came as people refused to disperse after the 10:00 p.m. deadline, officials said. In San Francisco, a different scenario emerged as protestors wore masks, used paintball guns and crowbars to vandalize businesses.
Across the nation protests led to some arrests and injuries, particularly in New York City, where the Occupy Wall Street movement was in full swing. At least 40 people were arrested during the day, reports state.
"It's not working," Susan Ostrowski told the New York Post. "People are going about their business. I got to work on time."
Ostrowski had some advice for the protestors as well.
"They should find jobs and protest in their time off. They should get involved politically, register to vote rather than sitting and sleeping on the steps in sleeping bags," she said.
Her thoughts were echoed by others who work in the Financial District.
"How can anyone take them seriously?" asked Kimberly Leo. While OWS had big plans for the day, none of them came to fruition due to low turnout and a general lack of interest.
Oakland police arrested nine after people refused to disperse and violated an order of protection issued by a judge. They described a scene in which protestors turned on police, vandalizing their van and at least two banks.
Yet many who took part in the protest said they had hoped for a more peaceful day of action that would lead to change.
"I want to see a world where there is a whole different value system," Shaina Burnette told Reuters, "where we actually put people before profits. I would beg people who care about the future: It's a movement, and you have to show up."