Over 1,000 New Yorkers rally for May Day protest against police brutality

A protester holds signs during a demonstration calling for social, economic and racial justice in New York May 1, 2015. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

A protester holds signs during a demonstration calling for social, economic and racial justice in New York May 1, 2015. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

More than 1,000 people rallied in New York City’s Union Square for the May Day rally, bringing together American and immigrant workers to press for better pay and workers’ rights.

May Day traditionally is celebrated internationally as a day of
solidarity for workers and laborers. Organizers with the May 1st
Coalition in New York expanded the rally to embrace the
groundswell of demonstrations against police killings of black
people, thus creating the “March to Disarm the NYPD.”

This last fall, public outrage over the police killings of
Mike Brown, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner and the almost countless
other black people murdered by police erupted in massive
demonstrations and riots across the country,
” the group
organizing the Union Square rally said on Facebook. “They
demanded an end to assassinations by police

People gathered and held signs expressing solidarity with people
all over the world, “From Baltimore to Ayotzinapa” in Mexico,
where 43 students went missing after a confrontation with police.

At least 1,000 New Yorkers arrived, reported RT’s Marina

The rally organizers embraced all oppressed peoples.

In the late afternoon, marchers left Union Square for Foley
Square in downtown Manhattan, walking through 2nd Avenue in the
East Village where a gas fire recently destroyed three buildings,
made residents homeless and put businesses out of work.

The march caused downtown gridlock temporarily.

Marchers chanted phrases such as, “all night all day, we’re doing
this for Freddie Gray.” Their route was marked by barricades,
with police officers traveling alongside protesters.

The NYPD has been criticized for the aggressive arrests of more
than 140 protesters who rallied at Union Square on Wednesday in
solidarity with Baltimore protesters over the death of Freddie
Gray, 25. The Maryland State’s attorney announced indictments
against six Baltimore police officers on Friday, including a
charge of second-degree of murder.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said Friday that
demonstrators should work with, not against, officers.

Elsewhere in New York, a dozen protesters unfurled a banner
inside the Guggenheim Museum over unfair pay, and the museum was
forced to close for the day. The protest was to challenge the
museum’s alleged exploitation of laborers as it expands in Abu

According to the New York Times, advocates
say workers pay recruitment and transit fees to be hired by
construction companies that are overseen by the government in Abu
Dhabi. Critics say the government takes the workers’ passports
hostage, provides substandard housing and makes them work brutal

Hundreds mparticipated in May Day rallies in other US cities,
including Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle, to
demand rights for workers and immigrants, and an end to police

Several hundred people marched in Oakland, California, with some
holding signs saying, “Racism is the Disease.” Others said they
wanted better wages and working conditions for the masses.

In Los Angeles, a dozen protesters rallied before dawn to
encourage the implementation of President Obama’s program to
protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

The annual May 1 marches are rooted in labor movements, which
hold annual demonstrations in a myriad of countries calling for
improved workers’ rights. In recent years, marches in the United
States got a boost from immigrants seeking authorization to live
and work in the country legally.

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