There are pro-Palestinian banners

CBS News

ISTANBUL (AP) — Workers and activists around the world marked May Day with largely peaceful protests Wednesday over rising prices and calls for greater labor rights.
In 1977, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a May Day celebration there, causing a stampede and killing 34 people.
May Day, which falls on May 1, is observed to celebrate workers’ rights.
In Paris, police fired tear gas as thousands of protesters marched through the French capital, seeking better pay and working conditions.
There were similar scenes in Greece as pro-Palestinian protesters joined May Day rallies, waving a giant Palestinian flag as they marched past the Greek parliament.
Several thousand protesters joined the Athens marches as labor strikes disrupted public transport across Greece.
In South Africa, pro-Palestinian demonstrators joined May Day events.
In Lebanon, pro-Palestinian marchers mingled with workers demanding an end to a miserable economic crisis.


ISTANBUL (AP) — On May Day, workers and activists worldwide observed mainly nonviolent demonstrations against rising costs and demands for expanded worker rights on Wednesday. Pro-Palestinian feelings were also evident.

In defiance of a ban, thousands of people attempted to breach a barricade and enter the main Taksim square in Istanbul, but police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter them. At least 210 people were detained, according to Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya.

For security reasons, Taksim has long been off-limits to protests, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. 34 people were killed in a stampede that occurred in 1977 when unknown gunmen opened fire during a May Day celebration there. A small group of trade union representatives wreath-planted at a victims’ memorial on Wednesday.

May Day is celebrated on May 1st to honor workers’ rights. It provides a forum for voicing political or economic complaints. In Germany, a banner said, “Tax the Rich.”. In Sri Lanka, someone else wrote, “Don’t touch the eight-hour workday!”. One in France said, “I want to live, not survive.”.

As thousands of demonstrators marched through Paris in pursuit of better wages and working conditions, police opened fire with tear gas. A homemade explosive that was detonated on the march’s fringes reportedly left 12 police hospitalized. The total number of arrests was twenty-nine.

A group of demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction with the Summer Games, which begin in less than three months, by setting fire to improvised Olympic rings. The unions in France have threatened to go on strike during the Games if the government does not provide sufficient pay to those who are made to work during the summer break.

The general secretary of the largest union in France, the CGT, Sophie Binet, claimed that representatives of the government had not scheduled any meetings with union leaders. “If the authorities don’t react to our most basic demand, how do you think this will go?” she asked.

Joining the Paris demonstration, pro-Palestinian organizations chanted slogans endorsing the people of Gaza. Similar events occurred in Greece when pro-Palestinian demonstrators participated in May Day gatherings and marched past the Greek parliament while brandishing a large Palestinian flag. Others held banners in solidarity with American students who were participating in pro-Palestinian protests.

“We would like to show our support for American students, who are experiencing severe violations of their rights and legitimate demands,” Nikos Mavrokefalos stated during the demonstration. “Workers say no to poverty, no to exploitation, and no to high prices,” he continued.

When strikes affected Greece’s public transportation, thousands of demonstrators joined the Athens marches. Following the elimination of labor rights during the 2010–18 financial crisis, the largest union is calling for a return to collective bargaining.

Unions in Nigeria demanded higher wage increases and criticized government initiatives to lower the cost of living. With over 33 percent inflation, this is the highest level of inflation in 28 years. Pro-Palestinian protestors participated in May Day activities in South Africa. President William Ruto of Kenya demanded that the minimum wage be raised.

Laborers calling for an end to a terrible economic crisis mixed with pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Lebanon. According to Abed Tabbaa, one protestor, “politicians do not feel the pain of the worker or the economic conditions.”. Protesters in Iraq called for the cessation of certain businesses’ privatization, the opening of shuttered factories, and higher wages.

As the nation battles its worst economic crisis two years after filing for bankruptcy, tens of thousands of Sri Lankans marched through the capital. The attempts to boost revenue by taxing professionals and small businesses and hiking the price of electricity have stoked discontent.

At a protest intended to intensify criticism of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s conservative government’s allegedly anti-labor policies, thousands of demonstrators chanted pro-labor slogans in the capital of South Korea.

The head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Yang Kyung-soo, stated in a speech that “the lives of our laborers have plunged into despair in the past two years under the Yoon Suk Yeol government.”. Union members took issue with Yoon’s recent veto of a bill intended to restrict businesses’ ability to pursue damages from union strikes.

More than ten thousand Japanese citizens gathered in Tokyo to call for pay increases to counteract price increases. Income disparities have widened, according to Masako Obata, leader of the left-leaning National Confederation of Trade Unions.

Workers in Indonesia called for an increase in the minimum wage as well as protections for migrant workers abroad. They assembled in the face of a heavy police presence, yelling anti-job creation laws and pro-outsourcing slogans.

Amidst the surge in food and oil prices, hundreds of laborers and left-leaning activists staged a protest in the Philippines, calling for wage increases and job security. Their approach to the presidential palace was thwarted by riot police.


scroll to top