Feature image by Stacy Lanyon
When we left #MayDay Will Yam, Molly O., and Max had separated and were wandering around the Free School in Madison Square Park when a lively march passed by. They all joined and reconvened in Union Square for the concert. You can see Part 1 here.
Some of the .Gifs are large files, so give the page a few seconds to load.
We split off onto Broadway at the Flatiron building and marched down the street, brushing up against cops on scooters trying to push us back onto the sidewalk. There were so many scooters that once back on the side of the road, the police were themselves disrupting traffic on Broadway. At one point an officer, number Badge ID 8150-something, got off his scooter grabbed a woman who refused to move. He threw her off the road, and everyone started shouting “shame!” and his badge number.
Protestors made their way into Union Square while Santa Claus broke his strike to make sure cops weren’t being naughty.
I think her sign said, “Social Justice Is Fabulous!”
Meanwhile, Molly ran into our friend Chris, who was looking fabulous in his pink-and-gold-sequin bloc getup.
And I ran into a Maypole. This is where Max and Kaye found me: walking around in a circle holding a ribbon with words about economic injustice. The sign on the top read, “all our grievances are connected,” which was meant to start a discussion about intersectionality.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the stage on the south side of Union Square park, where speakers gave rousing monologues of support, often ending in chants of “¡sí, se puede!” Several musicians gave performances of roughly fifteen minutes each–among them Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine with a Guitarmy of 100-strong. People estimated several thousand were in the park. Our friend Oscar attached a camera to a bunch of balloons to get an aerial shot, which can be seen floating above the crowd..
Backstage, #OWS activist @DiceyTroop caught up with Das Racist hype-man Dap.
It was strange that on #MayDay the concert had security and a “backstage” area, but I walked through the press tent without any credentials. I learned later that unions had bottom-lined the concert, so the backstage, security, and the like came from them. Still, nobody said anything about me being there. Some organizers tried to keep a path clear to the stage, but guitarists, speakers, journalists, and security guards crowded the tiny space alongside Union Square South. As the Guitarmy finished up, Vee and Dap waited for Heems.
And Lakutis kept rubbing his butt on a railing.
Heems showed up a few minutes later with producer and longtime friend Mike Finito, and after a few technical difficulties, Das Racist performed “Michael Jackson” and “Rainbow in the Dark.”
Everybody was psyched.
Especially this girl.
The beat cut out towards the end of “Rainbow in the Dark,” either from a technical difficulty or the sound guy was confused, but Vee finished his verse. Everybody yelled along the last two lines, “Don’t trust the white-faced man like Geronimo/We tried to go to Amsterdam, they threw us in Guantanamo.”
Next was Dan Deacon, who, in his short set, made people form a giant circle and start a dance competition. Audience members participated with synchronized hand motions. I got these dudes uptwinkling–using the “affirmative” or “I feel good about this/agree” hand motion used at #OWS General Assembly meetings.
Immortal Technique came on soon after, and I got hungry and went looking for the kitchen, which I was apparently nearby but I never found it. That was when my phone died. Molly, in the crowd, got this baby boomer reluctantly bumping along to Immortal’s set.
The concert ended, Max and Kaye had gone, but Molly and I met up along with some friends and sat for a bit on a ledge on the East side of Union Square. After the concert ended, we watched as marchers bled out of the park, turning onto Broadway.
There were an estimated 30,000 people marching south to the Financial District. Rumors circulated that the march stretched all the way to Canal Street when the last marchers left Union Square. And you could feel it, too: the police, normally surrounding small marches in riot gear, were far behind us. Everybody was cheering and drumming while Broadway residents leaned out their windows to cheer or watch. Molly O.’s phone died too shortly after taking this last .gif below, but we were out long after dark. Four rows of police, including officers on horseback, guarded the entrance to Wall Street behind some barricades. Marchers instead moved into 55 Water Street between HQ’s of Standard & Poor, and J.P. Morgan & Chase, where they held a GA. Police allowed the crowd to stay until 10:00 PM, until we were forced to disperse. Members of Occupy Faith and Veterans for Peace elected to stay at 55 Water and be arrested as a form of peaceful protest, while everybody else formed a march and made their way up to Zucotti. That was when we ate some Halal food and boarded the train back home to Brooklyn.
So, we either need more iPhones or more battery packs because we don’t have any gifs of what happened after dark. But, if possible, I’d love to do a 3rd part. If you’re still reading this and have .gifs of your own or video clips that could be turn into .gifs, please let us know! In the meantime, I have an assload of more .gifs from the day. I’ll be posting them on our tumblr over the next few days.