UPDATED: Protesters Rally for Workers' Rights
Occupy Boston's May Day strike is expected to gain steam as the day goes on.
What Occupiers lacked in numbers they made up for in enthusiasm as about 100 protesters huddled under Trinity Church before marching to Government Center to mark International Worker's Day.
"We're really trying to be advocates for workers rights," said Steve Revilak, an Arlington resident who took the day off from work in spirit of May Day.
Other protesters held flags and signs - including a large banner declaring 'Decolonize,' created by progressive artist Mark Hanley of Somerville. The counterpart to the banner read 'To Liberate' and they both will be laid on the steps of City Hall.
"I wish it wasn't raining," Hanley said. He's been participating in May Day protests for the past six or seven years, and worker rights for immigrants have been his focus.
On their march from Copley Square, the group paused in front of the Boston Marriott Copley Place, chanting against allegations of unfair wages and working conditions for out-of-state workers involved in the hotel's renovation project.
"What do we want? Workers rights! When do we want them? Now!" the group chanted.
"May Day stems from a capitalist crime. In 1886, in Chicago, during a period of intense class struggle, they rounded up eight anarchists and accuemed them of something they didn't do. Four were hanged a year later after a fake trial. These executuions sparked an international furor of protest. May First was thereafter celebrated as a workers day," James Herod told a crowd at City Hall.
Herod said that big government organizations need to be dismantled in favor of direct democracy through popular assemblies."We must break the control that these capitalists have over our lives," he said.
City Councilor Charles Yancey spoke to the crowd at City Hall, saying that tomorrow the council will vote on a resolution to proclaim May 1, 2012, International Workers' Day in Boston.
"The City Council honors whose who improved the quality of workers' lives," Yancey said. "There are many who came before us and sacrificed their lives so that we can have the freedoms we have."