Protesters Resort to Violence on May Day

By Paul Adams

On May Day, the international holiday celebrated in over 80 countries last Tuesday, people across the nation assembled to bring awareness to the rights of the working class. Hundreds of thousands of people (the number varied, depending who you asked) assembled throughout major American cities to force the topic of their blue-collar strife into the national media conversation.

With the declining-but-still-perilous 8.6 percent national unemployment rate, the student loans continuing to be cut by the government, and the Arizona SB 1070 immigration law that will officially go into effect this summer, the protestors couldn’t have had better timing to take part in the international holiday – finding a wellspring of reasons to gather in the name of the injustices that continue to widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

However, any words spoken by the protestors were clouded by the outbreak of violence which disrupted these protests nationwide. At least 13 people were reportedly arrested in Los Angeles after the police began to disperse them when the 10pm city permitted time elapsed.  In Seattle, black-clad radicals broke the windows of businesses, slashed the tires of parked cars, and defaced downtown building facades. In Oakland, 39 were arrested, after a local police department building was found vandalized by the local protesters.

Though the violence displayed on May Day was undoubtedly inspired by unattended frustrations, the fact that the anger transcended  those regarded as upper class and reached the local small businesses and parked cars, shows that we can’t take these protests as more than misguided sadism. Violence will definitely draw attention, but it will also steer it away from the attention that’s needed to appropriately battle the rights that the protesters claim they want.

As Oakland mayor Jean Quan stated, “May Day in Oakland has traditionally been dedicated to supporting immigrants’ rights with broad community support for large marches to City Hall. Once again, a small group intent on confronting the police and doing damage to public buildings and businesses in our city disrupted yesterday’s largely peaceful events.”

She’s only partially correct, as – ironically – May Day was originally meant to commemorate the Haymarket riots in Chicago on May 4, 1886, when a worker’s strike was taking place before a bombing killed a few civilians and police officers while wounding several others.

Regardless, the incriminating dispositions of these irreverent protesters are doing them more harm than the properties they’ve destroyed. For a movement to gain attention, it can’t keep preaching to the choir, it needs to call out those who straddle along the fence, the tentative non-partisans, who would never be coaxed into becoming sympathizers when they see headlines of reckless vandalism. May Day showed them and the rest of the nation, just how far away the working-class movement is from realizing its goals.

[Photo by  The Eyes Of New York]

Paul Adams is a writer who lives in Los Angeles, follow him on Twitter @Yustomovic.

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

The moment Florida cops pull over an Afro-Latina and find she’s the State Attorney

Victor Landa July 13, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco Patrol cops in  Orlando, Florida, stopped a white sedan recently becasue they ran the tags and didn’t get a return, plus, the tint on the windows […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]

A Proposed New Tax, Mainly On Latinos, To Pay For Trump’s Border Wall

NewsTaco May 31, 2017

*This happened yesterday, while the rest of us were mesmerized by the Peckinpahesque implosion of the Trump administration, congress was moving a piece of legislation that would fund the Trumpian […]

Remembering Gus Garcia, Mexican-American Civil Rights Pioneer

Victor Landa July 27, 2017

By Raul A. Reyes, NBC News (7.5 minute read)   In his heyday, Gus Garcia cut a dashing figure in Texas legal and social circles. He was a key member […]