GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Occupy Grand Junction activists will celebrate May Day, and the return of spring May 1 at Lincoln Park.
After an afternoon of music and speakers on a range of topics affecting the "99 percenters," the day will culminate with dancing around a May Pole decorated with ribbons - an ancient tradition to celebrate spring still observed in parts of Europe.
Organizers are also calling for a strike May 1, in solidarity with the national Occupy movement that day. It's partly to recognize the labor movement of the early 1900s that brought about a 40-hour work week, workplace safety measures, and the end to child labor.
The May Pole dance is scheduled for 5 p.m. for those who'd like to attend but prefer not to take the day off from work, organizer Eric Niederkruger said.
"It's a spring awakening, and ideally a kick-off to a summer of different actions people will take, culminating in a July 4 march on Washington with representatives from every congressional district there," he said.
Live music scheduled that day, starting at noon, will include a range of genres including heavy metal, singer-songwriter acoustic and conscious hip hop - a variety meant to reflect the broad, diverse group of people that make up the 99 percent, Niederkruger said.
Niederkruger said he knows that many people will not be familiar with the idea, or have the ability to strike for a day to make a point. He encourages the public to participate however they can.
"Many realize there is something really wrong in the country," Niederkruger said. "The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. The middle class is being stretched to nothing."
Both the Grand Junction police and the city parks department have been very helpful in allowing the event, and "we appreciate that," he said.