Citizens and union representatives in cities across Europe and the world took to the streets today to mark International Labor Day on May 1, and deliver protest messages to their governments.
May Day demonstrations have been organized in a number of cities in Europe as well as in India, Sri Lanka and South Korea and elsewhere.
In France, a holiday honoring workers is being used to raise objections to the newly re-elected centrist president, Emanuel Macron.
Lankari Lanka Foto: Beta / AP / Eranga Jayawardena
Italija Photo: Beta / AP / Francesco Benvenuti / LaPresse
Venezuela Photo: Beta/AP/Ariana Cubillos
Greece Photo: Beta / AP / Yorgos Karahalis
Kambodža Photo: Beta / AP / Heng Sinith
Turkey Photo: Beta / AP / Burhan Ozbilici
Indija Foto: Beta/AP/Mahesh Kumar A.
Kipar Photo: Beta/AP/Petros Karadjias
French Photo: Beta / AP / Lewis Joly
South Korea Photo: Beta / AP / Ahn Young-joon
Serbia Photo: Beta / AP / Darko Vojinovic
In addition to workers’ issues, peace is also a topic that runs with calls to end the Russian war in Ukraine.
Three leading Italian unions are organizing a major rally in the city of Assisi, a frequent destination for peace protesters. This year’s slogan is “Work for Peace”.
“This is the May Day holiday of social and civic commitment to peace and work,” said the leader of the Italian union CISL, Daniela Fumarola. A protest march was also organized in Milan.
In Turkey, police reacted quickly in Istanbul and surrounded protesters near the fenced Taksim Square, where 34 people were killed in 1977 during a May Day rally when bullets were fired at a crowd from a nearby building.
Turkish police detained 164 people today for demonstrating without permits and resisting police in the square, the Istanbul governor’s office said.
At a location on the Asian side of Istanbul, a May Day rally attracted thousands of people singing, shouting slogans and waving banners at a rally organized by the Federation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey.
Tens of thousands of people marched through cities across Europe today during a May Day protest to protect workers and against governments demanding to do more for their citizens.
In France, protesters shouted slogans against newly elected President Emanuel Macron, and in Paris, some masked protesters smashed the windows of banks, a restaurant and a real estate agency, in which police fired tear gas, but a street fire broke out.
Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin said 45 people had been detained and eight police officers injured.
In France, May Day rallies, held a week after the presidential election, aimed to show centrists Macron’s opposition he could face in his second five-year term.
The Paris march was dominated by far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélanchon, who finished third in the first round of the presidential election and is deep in talks with other left-wing parties to unite to prevent Macron’s centrists from dominating parliament as they are now.
About 250 processions and protests were held today throughout France. Everyone demanded from Macron a policy that “puts people first” and condemned his plan to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 65, although he said that was the only way to keep pensions good.
“May Day is a time to gather to shorten working hours – so that workers get a bigger share in wealth,” Melanchon said.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was not at the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the statue of Joan of Orleans, and the interim president of her party, the National Assembly, Jordan Bardela, said that “it would be unbelievable to hand over full power to Emanuel Macron.”
After two years of restrictions due to the pandemic, the May Day protests were again massive today and elsewhere in Europe.
Turkish police surrounded protesters in the European part of Istanbul and detained 164 people for gathering without permission and resisting police. On the Asian side of Istanbul, a union-organized rally brought together thousands of people singing, chanting and waving banners.
Berlin Mayor Francisco Gifi briefly interrupted her May Day speech at a union rally where someone threw an egg at her but missed. Gifi, from the Social Democrats, from the center-left, was greeted by loud protests.
A big open-air concert was held in Rome after rallies and protests in other Italian cities. In addition to improving conditions for workers, peace was a fundamental issue, with calls for an end to the Russian war in Ukraine. Three major Italian labor unions have held their main rally in the city of Assisi, a frequent destination for peace protests.
Rising inflation and fears of food shortages due to the war in Ukraine are fueling discontent elsewhere.
Thousands of workers, unemployed and pensioners marched peacefully in Skopje, demanding higher wages and respect for workers’ rights. Inflation, at an annual rate of 8.8 percent in March, is the highest in 14 years.
Darko Dimovski, the president of the Federation of Trade Unions, told the gathered that the workers demand a general increase in salaries. “The economic crisis has eaten workers’ wages,” he said.
Rallies have been held in Greece and other cities. In Dortmund, Germany, the May Day demonstration was organized by the German Federation of Trade Unions DGB.
Source: Dnevni list Danas by www.danas.rs.
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