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May Day in NYC: A Guide

May Day in NYC: A Guide
Tue, 5/1/2012 - by Beth Buczynski
This article originally appeared on Care2

Photo: Seeds of Change by Drew Paonessa.

Members of the Occupy Movement are gearing up for the nationwide general strike on May 1. In solidarity with the hundreds of events planned all over the country, Occupy Wall Street supporters in New York City have planned an entire day of protests, including marches, walk-outs and teach-ins.

Further demonstrating that Occupy Wall Street isn’t only about exposing what’s wrong with our society, but also about enlightening each other about how we can be the change we want to see in the world, the OWS Sustainability Working Group will do its part by hosting a variety of educational events throughout the day.

Here’s a sampling of May Day events to attend if you're in the area:

The Climate Apocalypse, With Cookies

Let Patrick Robbins (his partner calls him “The Sally Field of Climate Science!”) teach you the basics of the Earth’s climate system. You will learn about the El Nino system, natural phenomena like Ekman spirals and Earth’s energy balance - and then you will learn how all of these beautiful systems are going to destroy society. It’s kind of a downer, which is why there will be cookies afterward. The lecture also showcases potential solutions: not solutions to the climate crisis, because there are none, but solutions to the problem of building a good life in a changed world. The second part of the discussion is more open-ended, showcasing the localization of agriculture, energy production and social structures as potential solutions. Think "Road Warrior," but with more kale.

Introduction To Permaculture Design

Winnie Wong, the founder and editor of Seismologik and an organizer for OWS Sustainability, will facilitate this discussion on solutions for sustainable urban living. Permaculture is a philosophy of ecological design based on 3 basic principles: People Care. Planet Care. Resource Share. Drawing from several disciplines - including organic farming, sustainable development and applied ecology - urban permaculture design can help to solve many of the challenges that cities with large urban populations face in the 21st century. When she isn’t busy editing submissions from luminaries like Bill McKibben or speaking at Green Festivals and Sustainability Conferences around the country, Wong can be found making seed balls or short films.

The Free University of NYC

College tuition rates and student loan debt got you down? Never fear. On May 1, a coalition of students and faculty from Brooklyn College, Columbia University, the CUNY Graduate Center, Eugene Lang College, Hunter College, New School for Social Research, New York University, Occupy University and Princeton are collaborating to produce a “collective educational experiment” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Free University will intervene in a dysfunctional, inequitable and inaccessible system and will offer instead education that is open, free and accessible to all. It is a strike against all forms of oppression and the perpetuation of class, racial and gender inequalities within contemporary universities. It is a strike which demands an educational system that actually serves the public’s needs and desires. All are invited and encouraged to participate by attending a class or volunteering to lead class based on their own knowledge, skills, or experiences.

Aside from the above educational elements, which happen from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Madison Square Park, there will be teach-ins, skillshares, workshops, free food and market, art displays and a library at Bryant Park between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m..

At 2 p.m., the march led by the Occupy Guitarmy will leave Bryant Park for Union Square, where there will be a rally, speakers and musicians starting at 4 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the Solidarity March leaves from Union Square to Wall Street with a coalition of labor, immigrant, occupiers and students. At 7 p.m. there will be a march to a staging area for evening actions, which will begin at 8 p.m.

Media Coverage

Although OWS has been in full effect since September 2011, mainstream media outlets have consistently refused to cover its actions, or intentionally distorted coverage by focusing only on participants who thwart the movement’s mandate against violence and vandalism. That’s why more than 25 independent media outlets belonging to The Media Consortium are collaborating to provide coordinated, national coverage of the nationwide May Day strike and other related events.

To assist the movement in spreading its message of social and economic equality on this historic day, Media for the 99 Percent, will leverage their existing platforms and reporters to provide coordinated national multimedia coverage, featuring:

An interactive map: Find out where actions are happening across the country and follow the independent media’s by-the-minute coverage with links to video, audio, photos, and blog reports.

Television and livestream broadcasts: Free Speech TV will broadcast live (and live streamed) news coverage throughout the day, featuring reports from around the U.S., as well as in-studio commentary.

Curated social media coverage: Using the Storify platform, Media for the 99 Percent will offer a curated narrative of breaking news via blog updates, along with photos and social media posts from reporters on the ground.

Read, watch, and share the stories published by members of Media for the 99 Percent on your social media profiles. You can also help by making a financial donation so the coalition can pay its freelancers for their hard work during this event.

Check out for a comprehensive lists of actions occurring on M1.


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