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May Day boosts protests in U.S.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Thousands of protesters in New York demanded an end to income inequality and housing foreclosures. Police fired tear gas to disperse marchers in Oakland, Calif. And black-clad demonstrators smashed windows in Seattle.

Activists across the U.S. joined in worldwide May Day protests Tuesday, with Occupy Wall Street demonstrators leading the way in some cities as they tried to recapture the enthusiasm that propelled their movement last fall.

While some protesters clashed with police, the melees were far less violent than ones that erupted last fall when the movement was at its peak. Marches and strikes led to a handful of arrests but no major disruptions Tuesday.

Many of the rallies also did not have the same drawing power as last year's Occupy movement.

Major developments included:

• In Oakland, the scene of several violent clashes between activists and police in recent months, the situation threatened to boil over again when police fired tear gas, sending hundreds of demonstrators scrambling. Nine people were arrested.

• In Seattle, protesters used sticks to smash small downtown windows and ran through the streets disrupting traffic. Police made at least six arrests.

• In New York, hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters and their supporters spilled out onto Fifth Avenue in a confrontation with police, while thousands later gathered peacefully in Union Square. The group had promised the day would mark a spring revival of the movement.

May Day boosts protests in U.S. 05/01/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:34am]

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