Posted by Julia Leef
On Tuesday, May 1, students will depart for Academy Park in Albany to join in the demonstrations for May Day, or International Worker's Day, organized by Occupy Albany.
Occupy Albany is a left-wing activist movement in conjunction with Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Together movement, along with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and the Solidarity Committee.
Joseph Byrne '13, who is organizing the student trip from the College, contacted Occupy Albany through Colin Donnaruma, a graduate student from the University of Albany and one of the organization's organizers.
"There was an Occupy film screening sponsored by CLASS and Social Justice week on campus a few weeks ago," Byrne said. "After seeing the film I contacted members of Occupy Albany in order to find out how Skidmore kids could get involved in direct action, and Occupy pointed me toward May Day."
According to its website, May Day is a general strike to demonstrate the power of the people in which over 115 cities in the United States will partake, including New York City, Chicago and Seattle.
The events, which begin at 1:30 p.m., include a march through Albany, teach-ins and workshops, and a mass rally and speak-out, concluding with live music and food at 5 p.m. The opening plenary will talk about the origins and history of May Day, while the closing focus will be on current organized labor fights against what the movements see as "plutocratic capitalism."
Byrne said his interest in Tuesday's event came from researching Occupy Albany and discovering its weekly meetings as a social-justice community center.
"I found out [Occupy Albany was] planning a May Day event, and I wanted to go, but I didn't want to go alone," Byrne said. "I knew other people would care, if they only knew it was happening. I foresee future trips as Occupy Albany continues to grow."
Students who are interested in attending the trip may contact Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org, clarifying whether they require transportation. Students will depart at 12:30 p.m. and return at 5:30 p.m.