Today, Labour Day has been demonstrated in several countries. The impact of the coronapandemic on the labour market was one of the themes that protesters drew attention to.
As far as this was allowed, because in some countries such public meetings are prohibited. For example, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, more than 200 protesters were arrested for violating the rules of coronation. However, a number of trade union leaders were allowed to lay a wreath on Taksim Square.
Indonesia and France are the two countries where the most manifestations were reported. In both countries there were several hundred marches or demonstrations for workers‘ rights.
Unrest in Paris
The Paris police had deployed 5,000 officers as a precaution. This prevented, according to their own words, the gathering of anarchists dressed in black. 34 people were arrested when a number of trash cans were set on fire. The windows of a bank branch were also thrown in.
Trade unionists and yellow vests protested against planned social security reforms. “Dividend, not an unemployment benefit is the income of lazy people”, was written on one of the flags.
There were over 300 protests in France, except in Paris, also in Lyon, Lille, Nantes and Toulouse. Former left-wing presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and right-wing populist opposition leader Marine Le Pen participated in the marches of protest. They seized the opportunity to campaign against President Macron because of next year’s elections.
Indonesia and the Philippines
In Indonesia, about 50,000 employees of 3000 companies participated in the traditional protest day, says a trade union president against press agency Reuters. Action was taken in more than 200 cities throughout the country.
The criticism focused, among other things, on new labour laws. Critics fear that this will reduce the severance pay and that it will become more attractive for companies to hire foreigners instead of Indonesians. To illustrate the seriousness of the situation, protesters had jokingly staged a funeral on the street.
In the Philippines, police stopped protesters in the capital of Manila. Activists wanted to set off a square to enforce emergency support. Because of the pandemic, unemployment in the country has risen sharply. There is also a lockdown and on that basis the demonstration was banned.
Russia, Italy and Germany
The Russian authorities allowed several hundred people to the annual wreath laying due to Labor Day. Normally, thousands of members of the Communist Party were demonstrating in Moscow on 1 May; now there were several hundred.
In Italy, too, the May 1 events were a shadow of those of the recent past. This time no big rock concerts and big marches in honor of the work. The largest meeting was in Turin, where several hundred people had gathered.
Germany is also a country where it is often restless on May 1. Also this year thousands of agents were deployed to stop any disturbances. In Berlin, the day of protest went without major incidents during the day, but in the evening there was a riot.
Routers cheated cops with bottles and stones. On the street, trash bins and pallets were set on fire. According to the police, a total of about 8000 protesters in the capital were on their feet. By the way, the demonstrations were not only focused on Labour Day. Also opponents of the corona measures went out to the streets according to the police.