4:50 PM ET This live blog is closed down now. Updates on May Day action resume at The Dissenter here with Dustin Slaughter taking over.
4:33 PM ET From earlier, Tom Morello leads “Guitar Army” in march to Union Square in New York. Concert is now happening.
4:30 PM ET Riot police, bicycle cops breaking up Occupy PDX march in Portland, Oregon. Report that bikes, smoke being used as weapons.
4:20 PM ET May Day update from the streets of Oakland.
4:00 PM ET President Barack Obama has declared May Day “Loyalty Day.” This is how much he doesn’t care about the history and struggles of labor. He cares so little that he is urging people to engage in purebred nationalism on May 1.
In order to recognize the American spirit of loyalty and the sacrifices that so many have made for our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 85-529 as amended, has designated May 1 of each year as “Loyalty Day.” On this day, let us reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America, our Constitution, and our founding values.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2012, as Loyalty Day. This Loyalty Day, I call upon all the people of the United States to join in support of this national observance, whether by displaying the flag of the United States or pledging allegiance to the Republic for which it stands.
Everything that motivates people to participate in Occupy or May Day action today is insignificant. Obama has nothing but indifference. Except, we’re in the middle of an election so he will be broadcasting his wish for “May Day success” at 7:30 pm EST.
Loyalty Day has been marked for decades. Presidents before Obama proclaimed May 1 “Loyalty Day.” That just tells you why America has the anti-union culture that it does. Other countries celebrate May Day. Not America. America celebrates “Loyalty Day.”
3:10 PM ET Reports of NYPD brutally arresting “Bike Bloc” protesters. People being ripped off their bicycles by police.
2:53 PM ET Occupy Philly march declared an unlawful assembly.(via @SabzBrach)
2:48 PM ET Chicago’s May Day march with Occupy Chicago at the front.
2:45 PM ET Bank of the West torn up by anti-capitalist march in Oakland. Susie Cagle has photo.
2:30 PM ET Molly Knefel reports unprovoked arrest in New York. Cops ran up from behind and just grabbed him. Hilarity ensued as police couldn’t find key for police van – photos of Keystone Cops (NYPD) here and here.
2:28 PM ET Photo “Guitar Army” taking off from Bryant Park in New York.
2:20 PM ET Occupy Wall Street: ”Guitar Army,” which is being led by Tom Morello (?), is taking off. There’s also a “wildcat” march that took off in the past hour. People just took off running. Protesters who didn’t have a problem with getting arrested by police were in this action.
2:13 PM ET – Susie Cagle has update on Occupy Oakland:
2:05 PM ET – Allison Kilkenny sends this photo of black bloc protesters walling themselves off from police with barricades
Trash cans and orange traffic cones being kicked into the street.
2:00 PM ET – Ryan Devereaux has a post on Occupy Wall Street and May Day for The Guardian here.
1:35 PM ET – I am going on FreeSpeechTV’s “Occupy the Media” right now to talk corporate power and participate in their special May Day broadcast. They’re having me add thoughts on corporate media coverage of May Day so far today. Watch live here.
1:02 PM ET – Williamsburg Bridge march by Occupy Wall Street makes it across the bridge.
12:59 PM ET – KQED reports thousands of commuters affected by Golden Gate bridge ferry strike…Occupy Bloomington tries to get up an encampment for May Day but police immediately take tent down…Arrests at Occupy Albany for the reprehensible crime of—wait for it—putting a table up in a park without a permit!
12:53 PM ET – Gothamist roundup on Occupy Wall Street action so far features – dancing cops
12:50 PM ET – Dustin Slaughter (@DustinSlaughter) is heading to Philadelphia’s financial district to cover Occupy Philly’s Strike the Banks action. Five banks were reportedly chain-locked earlier.
12:45 PM ET – Livestream of Occupy Wall Street picket near and around Citibank branch in New York.
12:41 PM ET – Picketing by Occupy Wall Street continues
Firedoglake is live blogging all the May Day action that the Occupy movement is engaged in today. Just now, reports are coming in of an Occupy Wall Street march being kettled at 41st and Park. Seven vans of riot cops are said to be deploying. National Lawyers Guild legal observers and medics are present.
With that update, I am now taking over for the next four hours and will be posting updates on May Day action until 4 pm ET when Dustin Slaughter takes over again.
Previous updates from Dustin Slaughter
-Hundreds of Caterpillar plant workers in Joliet, Illinois have gone on strike today, refusing to accept a new contract that offers no pay increase and includes higher health insurance costs.
-Josh Harkinson from Mother Jones has also posted a video of alleged Black Bloc vandalism in San Francisco’s Mission District from earlier this morning. According to Harkinson, Occupy San Francisco has reportedly denounced these incidents.
-Occupy Wall Street livestreamer Tim Pool is reporting at least two arrests so far, including a military veteran who was arrested for standing in the street with an American flag. Protesters are returning to Bryant Park to rest, before more action in an hour. Approximately 1,000 people at the park right now.
-Portland high school students gather to protest education cuts
-Mobile picket teams, as part of OWS’ 99 Pickets, disperse to a number of banks throughout Manhattan. A Golden Gate Bridge ferry picket unfolds in San Francisco too.