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New York celebrates May Day

By staff

Crowd holds signs saying "Victory to the Palestinian Resistance".

New York, NY – On Wednesday, May 1, thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to celebrate International Workers Day. This May Day, there was a shift in focus to include demands around Palestine and solidarity with the students at the six different Gaza Solidarity Encampments.

The main focus of the solidarity was for the students at Columbia University and City University of New York (CUNY).

On the evening of April 30, hundreds of NYPD officers brutalized students at Columbia University at gunpoint. The police closed off the 116th Street entrance and marched down Broadway Avenue to enter the campus carry forward their attack, regardless of who witnessed it. At the City College Campus of CUNY, NYPD officers barreled through the encampment, attacking students as they fought back. Images from both campuses were harrowing and showed violence against protesters standing for Palestine. It’s still unknown how many students were arrested from both campuses, but the estimate is upward of 250.

The May Day morning opened with a rally at City Hall demanding the end to a 24-hour workday for home aid workers. Currently, New York state is the only state in the country where home aid workers can work 24 hours, multiple days in a row, but only get paid for 13 hours. The No More 24 rally was called by the Ain’t I a Women?! coalition, and it was endorsed by many organizations such as NYC Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Gabriella, and Youth Against Displacement. The rally opened with home aid workers who detailed their plight and why they’re fighting for justice.

By 2 p.m., the rally ended with protesters singing Solidarity Forever and dancing to Bella Ciao.

At 4 p.m., a few thousand people gathered in Foley Square for the Labor for Palestine rally. Organizers and activists from all sectors of the movement gathered to celebrate the labor struggle, but also call upon their unions to divest from Israel. Speakers from UAW, City Workers for Palestine, and others all brought forth demands for Palestine. The rally turned into a march with the plans to stop by one of the student encampments.

The final event for the day was a press conference and rally outside of the City College of New York, called for by the organizers of the CUNY and Columbia encampment. Hundreds gathered at 140th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, despite the horrific events that had transpired the previous evening, to stand in solidarity with the students. Dozens of cops crowded the protesters and surveyed them from the rooftops of the surrounding buildings.

The crowd chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine is almost free” and resolutely vowed to continue standing in solidarity with the encampments around the city.

#NewYorkNY #MayDay #FreePalestine