In what could become the largest protest of the year so far for the Occupy Wall Street movement, OWS organizers are preparing for a general strike on International Workers' Day--also known as May Day--and Occupy Denver is urging protesters, businesses and laborers to stand in solidarity with this international day of protest.
According to its website, Occupy Denver plans to rally on May 1st at Civic Center Park and march around Denver. Later in the afternoon protesters will return to Civic Center Park for activities for adults and kids, live music, food and teach-ins for the rest of the day at the park.
Denver Handmade Homemade Market has signed on and will be setting up a barter economy in the park from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. where participants can trade items of value instead of using cash to make a purchase.
Along with the Handmade Homemade Market, the general strike in Denver has been endorsed by the Colorado Progressive Coalition, the Denver Catholic Worker as well as The Mercury Cafe, which will be closed on May 1 in support of the general strike.
May Day is a national holiday in many countries around the world and is typically celebrated with marches and street demonstrations by working people, according to Mother Jones, but has not been as widely observed in the United States.
Occupy organizers are hoping that May Day could be a reboot for the movement. Marissa Holmes, an Occupy Wall Street organizer, spoke with Mother Jones saying, "May Day will be the big kickoff of Phase 2 of Occupy. I think we'll see a lot of people in the streets taking more militant actions than they had in the past."
In a press statement, Occupy Denver said this about the importance of May Day:
Now is the time for community, neighborhood, school and work groups to organize autonomous and direct actions. As long as we are attacked and deprived of our basic rights, we will not allow for business as usual. We will support independent efforts of people to claim control over their workplaces, schools, and community as the beginning stages of our journey towards reclaiming our lives and taking the power back.
May Day will be the beginning of a new chapter of struggle for justice and equality. As we occupy our streets, workplaces, neighborhoods, and other common spaces, we start to build a new world within the shell of this old world of injustice and inequality. Let May 1st be the beginning of a new chapter that has yet to be written.
For organizations that are interested in participating in May Day and want to support the event in some way, Occupy Denver has a "Statement of Support" available here.
Will you be participating in May Day next week? Let us know your thoughts, plans in the comments below.
LOOK: Poster for Occupy Denver's May Day March