Updated 05/01/2012 09:27 PM
May Day Protesters Join For Large Union Square Rally
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Boisterous Occupy Wall Street protesters, union members and others filled Union Square in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon to commemorate May Day, also known as International Workers Day, and said the day's demonstrations and confrontations with police revived of their protest movement.
Protestors marched to Union Square from Bryant Park, where they gathered Tuesday morning for teach-ins and workshops, to mark May Day, when unions and labor advocates worldwide advocate for better working conditions and pay.
Do you welcome the May Day protests? Did you see or join a protest around town today? Are demonstrations like these making a difference? Join the conversation on "The Call" at 9 p.m. with NY1's John Schiumo, or email your thoughts.
At Union Square, speakers addressed the crowd about what they consider inequalities in society and were followed by a live concert featuring the hip-hop group Das Racist and other performers.
The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations were spirited, but they fell short of the widespread disruption organizers predicted. But protesters said their presence showed they are not finished yet.
"I do think on some level May Day says Occupy Wall Street is back," said Han Shan, a protester.
A father who let her daughter skip school and join him at the protests said, "There's no better civics lesson than getting out of the classroom and seeing how democracy works."
There were some arrests and touch-points with police, and several dozen demonstrators blocked Broadway north of Union Square.
At least one police officer was injured, but by Tuesday evening circumstances regarding that incident were not yet known.
Others chose less combative methods and resorted to name-calling to get their points across.
"They're like, 'Well, you know, you're working for the man. You're a slave to society, a slave to government,'" said George Nikolis, an onlooker at Union Square who was wearing a suit.
As for government officials, presence was limited. There was little encouragement at the Union Square rally to get involved in the political process, although President Barack Obama has taken economic equality at the center of his re-election bid.
"I think these guys have done a very good job because we're all here talking about them. So it's up to them to decide which trajectory they want to go," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.
After reaching Union Square, the marchers headed to Lower Manhattan for a Tuesday night rally.
The New York City Police Department says it is prepared to accommodate lawful protests and will respond to any unlawful activity.
The spring and summer promises to bring many more marches, demonstrations and occasional flare-ups with police.