Tuesday is International Worker's Day—also known as May Day—a day that commonly sees organized protests from labor unions and other worker's rights groups throughout the world. This year, after the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement last September, May Day protests have expanded as Occupiers attempt to rejuvenate their fledgling movement.
Protesters set up an encampment in New York City's Bryant Park on Tuesday morning, and they also planned to block off entrances to the headquarters of major financial institutions throughout the city, such as the nearby Bank of America tower. As hundreds of protesters marched through midtown on Tuesday afternoon, a group of activists shut down the Williamsburg Bridge, which stretches from Brooklyn into Manhattan, prompting police to arrest at least four people according to the New York Daily News. More marches were planned for later in the day on Tuesday, and some groups have vowed to obstruct traffic in the city as they march through the streets, according to the Occupy Wall Street website.
According to an affidavit unsealed on Tuesday, five Cleveland men—at least three whom are self-described anarchists—were recently arrested for plotting to blow up a bridge as part of the May Day protests, according to the Daily Mail. A member of Occupy Cleveland revealed that some of the men had ties to the group as well, but their media coordinator denied any knowledge of the planned attacks.
The men, whose ages range from 20 to 35, allegedly targeted a bridge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, about 15 miles outside of Cleveland, and they reportedly considered using a car bomb to attack the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Cleveland.
"The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views," FBI Special Agent Stephen D. Anthony said in a statement. The men were arrested by the FBI on charges of conspiracy and trying to use explosives to damage property affecting interstate commerce, and they will appear in Federal court on Tuesday afternoon.
In California, Occupy Oakland—an encampment that saw one of the worst episodes of violence last fall—called for protesters to gather at the Golden Gate bridge to protest alleged unfair treatment of bridge workers who are engaged in a contract dispute over wages and benefits. Thousands of protesters in neighboring Los Angeles planned to close off streets as well, and workers at LAX planned to walk off their jobs over contract disputes.