BERLIN (AP) — Left-wing groups and trade unions are staging rallies across Europe, the Middle East and Asia on Friday to mark International Workers Day.
Most events are expected to be peaceful protests for workers’ rights and world peace. But May 1 regularly sees clashes between police and militant groups in some cities.
International Workers Day originates in the United States. American unions first called for the introduction of an eight-hour working day in the second half of the 19th century. A general strike was declared to press these demands, starting May 1, 1886. The idea spread to other countries and since then workers around the world have held protests on May 1 every year, although the U.S. celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September.
Here’s a look at some of the May Day events around the world:
Security forces pushed back demonstrators using water cannons and tear gas. Protesters retaliated by throwing stones and hurling firecrackers at police.
Turkish newswires say that 10,000 police officers were stationed around the square Friday.
Although it is the highest rate in the country, it is still “a far cry from being decent,” says Lito Ustarez, vice chairman of the left-wing May One Movement.
Several thousand people took part in anti-capitalist street parties in the north of the city. Fireworks and stones were thrown at police, injuring one officer. Fifteen people were detained. Elsewhere in the German capital revelers partied “extremely peacefully,” police noted on Friday morning.