After packing up the small tent city pitched in Grand Circus Park in November, members of Occupy Detroit have been pursuing lower-profile projects, fighting foreclosure and fixing up houses around the city. But on Tuesday, the group plans to step back into the spotlight with a daylong series of actions timed to coincide with Occupy Wall Street movement actions in New York City and around the country.
May 1, known as International Workers Day, more recently has been a day to push for immigrant rights in the United States. Occupy Detroit is tapping into both traditions with a May Day call to action: "Legalize, Unionize, Organize to fight the 1 percent and defend the 99 percent."
Activists are planning to meet Tuesday morning in Clark Park in Southwest Detroit, the recent site of a mass student walkout at Western International High School. Occupiers are taking up the students' cause, a push to stop school closures and improve public education.
They're also demanding better public transit and plan to march by the Rosa Parks Transit Center before rallying in Grand Circus Park, the site of the group's original encampment in October. Members plan to "re-occupy" the park with a new tent city for one night.
Occupy Detroit members are promising "a massive gathering of laborers, immigrants, students and more." Around 200 people eventually joined the day's actions as demonstrators moved from Clark Park to Michigan Central Station to the Patrick V. McNamara Building to Grand Circus Park.
At its peak, around 4 p.m., the gathering at the park attracted about 500 people. As of 7 p.m. the crowd had dwindled to about 75 people, and Occupy Detroit began holding a general assembly.
For a full recap and updates, see below.