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May Day Activists Rally Around D.C. Area

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Activists rallied at Market Square in Alexandria to protest decisions by the city council.
Michael Pope
Activists rallied at Market Square in Alexandria to protest decisions by the city council.

Across the United States and around the globe, protesters are taking to the streets for May Day, a renewal of the protests against economic inequality sparked by Occupy Wall Street last year. While activists clashed with police in Seattle and Oakland, gatherings in the D.C. area have been relatively peaceful and subdued.

In Meridian Hill Park in Northwest D.C., there were a series of speakers, booths and workshops intended to help the Occupy DC movement reemerge from a winter season where the group was largely dormant. The crowd of approximately 300-400 represented a diverse mix of young, old, white and black. The scene was relaxed, especially compared to the tense stand-offs with police that happened just months ago.

The day's activities were capped with a march down 14th St. to New York Avenue on the way to the White House. 

Meanwhile, in Alexandria, workers assembled in Old Town for a May Day rally of their own. At Market Square, labor groups and civil rights advocates spoke out on a variety of issues affecting working people in the area.

Organizers say they want to send a message this May Day to elected leaders at City Hall that they are unhappy with recent decisions by the Alexandria City Council. They oppose what they call gentrification in Arlandria, and they're also calling for the city to allow taxi drivers to move their employment between companies.

Many say they will be exercising their opinion at the polls this November.

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