Photo-essay by Ariel Messman-Rucker

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]housands of outraged protesters marched through the streets of Oakland on May Day 2012, demanding economic justice and an end to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A huge immigrant rights group left the Fruitvale BART station on a long procession to join other marchers in downtown Oakland.
Demonstrators represented Occupy Oakland, immigrant rights groups and labor unions. The march culminated in Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland where more than 5,000 protesters rallied to demand an end to corporate greed and bank bail-outs, and to call for an economy that serves the needs of workers and poor people, rather than a system that is rigged for the rich. Many activists voiced outrage at the police brutality aimed at past Occupy protests.
May Day protesters in San Francisco occupied a vacant building owned by the S.F. Archdiocese, and were arrested.
The massive march in Oakland represented a new surge of energy for Occupy Oakland, and new hope for the future of this movement for economic justice.

Members of the Brass Liberation Orchestra bring vitality and spirit to the May Day march with their energetic marching band.

May Day marchers called for living wages for everyone who works for a living and decent jobs for the 99%.

This march was a wake-up call for a nation, as this simple yet eloquent banner declares: “Despierta! Awake!”

“Dignity and Resistance — May Day.” A huge and highly diverse outpouring of activists marched through Oakland streets.

A huge immigrants rights march from the Fruitvale BART station in East Oakland called for “dignity and resistance.”

Several marches processed at Oakland City Hall where more than 5,000 protesters gathered and spoke out for their message: “Occupy Love.”

Oakland is a highly diverse community and the march represented this diversity as people of all races, ages and walks of life came together to demonstrate for justice for all.