May Day May Day

Friday is May 1st, historically International Worker's Day, and, more recently, a day of protest for the rights of immigrants. This year, with protests against racist policing continuing across the country in the wake of the killings of Walter Scott and Freddie Gray, the Bay Area's May Day is packed with demonstrations linking police repression with other social justice issues. 

Here's your schedule of major events, whether you want to join or plan your commute:

7:30 AM to 9:30 AM: “Block the Tech Commute” — The Google Bus blockade comes to Oakland. Hundreds of people have RSVPed to a Facebook event calling for a protest against gentrification by blocking tech shuttles at MacArthur BART. The union that has been organizing tech shuttle drivers, Teamsters Local 853, is apparently opposing the action, saying in an open letter circulated on Facebook: “If you want to make the economy work for struggling Bay Area families, then help the other drivers organize a union with us. Help push for affordable housing. But please don't stop our buses.” 

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM: “Labor Against Police Terror” — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 is stopping work on May Day, and specifically linking its action to racist police brutality. The union has a long history of taking political action—from refusing to handle goods from Apartheid South Africa to protesting the Iraq War. President Melvin Mackay told the San Francisco Business Times, “We're going to be marching on Friday. It's about the police doing the right thing.” About two dozen other community groups and unions will be joining the ILWU, which plans to rally at the Port at 9:00 AM before marching to Frank Ogawa Plaza. 

1:00 PM to 5:30 PM: International Workers Day Regional Festival and March — San Francisco's traditional May Day immigrant's right march will kick off this year at Civic Center with a festival highlighting workers' rights. At 3:30 PM, the group plans to march to 24th and Mission. The march organizers are calling for legalization for undocumented immigrants, an end to deportations, and upholding workers' rights, while also supporting “the struggle of Black communities against state-sanctioned violence in the U.S.” 

7:00 PM: May Day for Freddie Gray — Called in the wake of the protests, riots, and police brutality following Freddie Gray's killing in Baltimore, protesters are planning an evening march for Oakland to finish up the day. This is the kind of march that can get hairy, so you might want to bring your running shoes and a bandana. Alternatively, if you own a bar or bank downtown, you might want to invest in some plywood. 

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