Occupiers march on May Day - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Occupiers march on May Day

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- May Day has been a day of celebration and protests across the world for decades, but never stateside until Tuesday.

Taking cues from Occupy Wall Street, two dozen Chattanoogans hit the pavement as part of a nationwide strike.

Marching down the streets of Chattanooga, over the river and through Coolidge Park, protestors joined a global strike against work, school and just about any activity promoting commerce.

It's meant to be a day without the 99 percent.

"We're trying not to buy anything, so people have abided by that part and as far as they could, without jeopardizing their jobs, and things, with the rest of the general strike," protestor, Beth Foster says.

Tuesday's protest coincides with the 1886 strike in the fight for an eight hour work day, when more than 300,000 workers walked off the job across the United States.

"People literally died in riots, in worker strikes, in Chicago for our eight hour work day, for most of the labor rights we know today," protestor, Greg Dixon says. "So, it seems silly to not recognize this day."

The local occupy movement seemed to have disappeared, after being removed from the courthouse lawn.

But organizers say Tuesday's protest is a rebirth.

"I don't necessarily think camping is the way to do it," Dixon says. "More direct action is my idea about it, things like today to raise awareness."

"People in Chattanooga will see us in the streets all summer," Foster says.

And while they admit six months into their movement, their goal to end corporate greed has not been met. They say being a part of the conversation is enough.

"We've heard the conversation change, the national conversation change, everyone knows the 99 percent and the one percent now," Foster says.

Next on their agenda: Occupy Chattanooga plans to occupy the sidewalks outside big banks as part of a faces of Wall Street movement.

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