* Movement inspires rallies in numerous cities
* "Anarchists" wear black bandanas in some locations
* Packets of harmless white powder mailed to N.Y. banks
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian and Emmett Berg
NEW YORK/OAKLAND, Calif., May 1 Occupy Wall
Street protesters smashed windows in Seattle, fled police on
scooters through the streets of New York and clashed with
officers in Oakland on Tuesday in May Day demonstrations
intended to revive their movement against economic injustice.
Many events were peaceful, marked by meditation in public
parks and anti-corporate song-and-dance routines in New York.
But police in Oakland, California, called for aid from
neighboring cities and deployed a "small amount" of tear gas on
raucous demonstrators who threw objects at police and defied an
order to disperse.
Black-clad protesters seized the opportunity to radicalize
other demonstrations, wearing black bandanas that symbolize an
anarchist faction within the largely peaceful Occupy movement.
The more radical elements have taken a forceful role in West
Coast cities such as Oakland, where a report by an outside
monitor also criticized Oakland police for using "an
overwhelming military-type response" to disperse protesters last
Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement
captured world attention last year with a campaign decrying the
gap between rich and poor and a political system and tax
structured tilted toward the wealthiest 1 percent.
In Seattle, some 50 black-clad protesters marched through
downtown, carrying black flags on sticks they used to shatter
the windows of several stores including a Nike Town outlet and
an HSBC bank before police moved them out of the area.
Others smashed windows at a Seattle federal building, and
swarms of demonstrators gathered in an open-air plaza.
New York police arrested about 30 people for disorderly
conduct and resisting arrest following a series of scuffles
throughout the day. At least 12 were arrested in Portland,
Oregon, and 10 in Los Angeles.
About 400 New York protesters - most of them wearing black
clothes and bandanas - ran onto Broadway as police chased them
New York police reported 10 instances of harmless white
powder - apparently meant to raise an anthrax scare - being
mailed to financial institutions and others, along with a note
saying, "Happy May Day ... This is a reminder you are not in
Thousands packed New York's Union Square in a festive
atmosphere with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello
leading a sing-along.
"It's definitely a restart for Occupy Wall Street," said Lily
Schwarzbaum, 21, who is from New York but studies in Montreal,
Canada. "Occupy Wall Street has been very conscious of making it
Occupy Cleveland canceled its events "out of respect for the
city" after U.S. authorities announced the arrest of five
self-described anarchists in the Cleveland area on suspicion of
plotting to blow up a four-lane highway bridge over a national
Occupy Cleveland said in a statement the men arrested were
associated with their movement but that "they were in no way
representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland" and that
the group was committed to non-violent protest.
Although labor unions rejected pleas from leaders of the
Occupy movement for a general strike, and demonstrators backed
off a pledge to occupy San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge,
activists hailed the day's events as a step forward in the
movement that had grown inactive and cash poor since capturing
world attention last fall.
"We've been building important alliances and radicalized
people in what they're willing to endorse. I mean, we never even
used to celebrate May Day. Now look at this," said David
Graeber, an anthropologist and author active in the movement.
May Day, also known as International Workers' Day, has long
been a day on which the labor movement holds street
demonstrations and marches, but less so in the United States
than elsewhere around the world.
In San Francisco, a protest by unionized ferry workers
worsened the morning rush-hour for Bay Area commuters.
Anticipating a one-day walkout by workers, transportation
officials suspended ferry service between San Francisco and
Marin County to the north, forcing some 3,000 commuters to head
into town over the Golden Gate Bridge instead and slowing
traffic over the famed span.
About 200 protesters in Portland, Oregon, were "moving" a
woman back into her foreclosed house, chanting "welcome home"
when she managed to get in through a side door.
Portland Mayor Sam Adams thanked student demonstrators who
marched through town and gathered at City Hall, saying, "keep up
the great work" and inviting them to use city hall restrooms.