Austin May Day events began around 9am this morning with an anti-foreclosure defense rally. My day began in bed and I stayed there till just a little while ago. I figured if I am going to work on May Day as a blogger, I should set my own schedule & I’m still exhausted from adjusting to my new full time job.
I’m about to head to Eastwoods Park, where Activate Austin, Occupy Austin & our other allies are holding a potluck picnic. The OccuQueers will teach an Employment Nondiscrimination teach-in at 1pm, and I may be going live from there if I can. I’ve included my ustream below so that you can easily tune in if I go live. Otherwise I’ll be tweeting throughout the day and updating this blog several times from our ongoing events. Here’s a complete schedule.
2:45pm A crowd is gathered in Eastwoods Park. Get Equal Texas gave a teach in on ENDA and Obama’s executive order. We are now hearing from Iraq Veterans against the War and Ft. Hood’s Under the Hood coffee shop & outreach center.
3:45pm: We are learning about the unpaid labor of women and how their work is devalued in raising families & children under the capitalist system.
It’s still a beautiful day in the park. Hot but there is plenty of shade. At 5pm, we will moved to the UT Austin tower for a rally & march. [cont'd.]
4:15pm: The anarchist soccer game is underway.
5:00pm: A rally gathered at the UT Austin tower with Occupy UT and allied organizations. After speeches about sweatshop labor and the rights of immigrants & all workers we started a march.
5:30pm: Occupy UT and allies marched to the State Capitol. This was a weird march which did not generate much energy. The route seemed confused and those who took to the streets where told to return to the sidewalks in order to remain in solidarity with immigrants. The highest energy moment came during the single moment of civil disobedience, when they group marched through the student center.
6:00pm: The Occupy UT march joined the main May Day rally at the Texas State Capitol for music and speeches. There will soon be a march. A crowd of a few hundred people has gathered with signs, flags and banners. People are cooling off in the shade as they prepare for the march & water has been supplied to the group.
Tonight’s march will be permitted so there should be little risk of police.
Final May Day Update, 10:20pm: Shortly after my last update, I dropped my smartphone on the ground and lost my ability to tweet or update when it broke. I have insurance, so hopefully I should be able to replace it tomorrow.
The May Day March was larger than I realized. We probably had about 300 in the street in Austin. The energy was much higher than on the Occupy UT march. The chanting was lively and bilingual in both English and Spanish. The route took us through the heart of downtown and then back to the State Capitol. As always, people in Austin stopped to watch and shoot photos of us with their phones.
We rallied for a long moment in front of the huge Bank of America building on Congress directly south of the capitol. Flags were flying and chants were echoing off the tall building. This was the single moment which the police looked at all concerned on this permitted march, as it seemed a departure from the plan.
When we returned to the State Capitol, I departed with a friend to get food. A capture the flag game in downtown Austin was planned for later that night.
I will update this post with some new photos tomorrow once I can get them off my SD card.