NEW YORK CITY (WNBC) - Labor groups, immigration advocates, Occupy Wall Street protesters and other activists are staging marches and other events in Manhattan with the aim of bringing daily business to a standstill on International Workers Day, or May Day, today.
About 200 people gathered at Bryant Park by about 9 a.m., carrying signs that said "Go on Strike" and chanting as a heavy police presence stood watch. A few blocks away at Grand Central, police followed behind an Occupy marching band as it weaved along the sidewalk.
Some protesters were targeting bank offices in midtown, picketing outside in groups of a few dozen. There were scattered arrests as activities kicked off.
Occupy activists say they are aiming to slow the city's economic engine - from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to pamphlets and organizers' word-of-mouth communications.
The biggest known plan has the support of thousands of union members.
Organizers say Bryant Park is being used as a staging area for picket lines fanning out across midtown to spots where labor organizations have ongoing disputes.