May Day riot in Paris: Masked protesters torch cars, police deploy tear gas

Police in Paris have used water cannons to break up a tumultuous rally. Amid May Day demonstrations, hooded individuals have been throwing smoke bombs and setting vehicles on fire in the French capital.

Live feeds from Paris showed chaotic scenes, as police attempt to disperse violent protesters while redirecting crowds of peaceful marchers to side streets. Loud bangs are heard in the background as smoke and tear gas billow down the streets.

Police pushed back against the rioters, peppering the crowd with tear gas grenades from behind riot shields and hitting the crowd with water cannon. Protesters lobbed firecrackers at the advancing force, as well as picking up and throwing back some of the gas canisters. Armored police vans and fire trucks are backed up advance.

Earlier, law enforcement tweeted there were around 1,200 “hooded and masked” individuals among the May Day demonstrators at the Pont d’Austerlitz bridge in central Paris.

The rioters have torched several vehicles and vandalized shop fronts, including reportedly throwing a petrol bomb through a McDonald’s window.

France marks Labor Day as President Emmanuel Macron finds himself in a protracted battle with unions and students over his reform plans. Railroad workers have been striking since mid-April, angry at plans to freeze salaries, cut over 120,000 jobs, and employ more private contractors.

Students have previously occupied several universities across France, protesting Macron’s move to reform the education system, including introducing new admissions criteria and ranking young people who apply to public universities.

Emmanuel Macron, who has remained unmoved by the protests and vowed to proceed with the reforms, is not in Paris to witness the unrest, having flown to Australia for a state visit.

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Workers, activists around the world mark May Day with defiant rallies

ISTANBUL – Workers and activists marked May Day on Tuesday with rallies to demand their government address labor issues.

International Workers’ Day is a public holiday in many countries, though activities are restricted in some places, sometimes leading to confrontations.

A look at some of the events around the world:

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TURKEY

Police in Istanbul detained more than a dozen demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul’s symbolic main square in defiance of a ban.

Turkey declared Taksim Square off-limits to May Day celebrations citing security concerns. Roads leading to the square were blocked and police allowed only small groups of labor union representatives to lay wreaths at a monument there.

Still, a group of some 25 people, chanting “Taksim cannot be off limits on May 1” tried to push their way into the square but were rounded up by riot police.

Taksim holds a symbolic value for Turkey’s labor movement. In 1977, 34 people were killed there during a May Day event when shots were fired into the crowd from a nearby building.

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SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s government has postponed the rallies and processions that mark May Day because the weeklong celebrations of the national festival of Vesak carry on until May 2 this year.

The government said in a statement that the decision was taken following requests by leading Buddhist monks, who are very influential in this majority Buddhist country. Vesak is also known as Buddha Purnima and marks the enlightenment of Lord Buddha.

The government has asked political parties and trade unions not to hold rallies on May 1. Some have said they will ignore the government directive and mark the day.

Usually, Sri Lankan political parties and trade unions celebrate the International Workers’ Day with colorful parades and giant rallies to showcase their political and organizational strength.

The government said it will mark International Workers’ Day on May 7.

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PHILIPPINES

About 5,000 people from various groups rallied near the presidential palace in Manila to protest the failure of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to fulfill a major campaign promise to end contractualization, the widespread practice of short-term employment.

The protesters also demanded that the government address issues including low wages, unemployment and trade union repression.

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SOUTH KOREA

Thousands of labor union members rallied in downtown Seoul for a higher minimum wage and other demands.

They chanted slogans urging the government to implement a 10,000 won ($9.34) minimum wage and convert all non-regular employees to regular workers with equal pay and treatment.

The rally was organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. The police estimated the crowd at 10,000 people.

The union members also demanded that the government scrap the restructuring of the shipbuilding and automobile industries, and reform the huge conglomerates that dominate the South Korean economy.

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INDONESIA

About 10,000 workers from various labor groups rallied near the presidential palace in Jakarta to voice their demands.

Most of the workers came from Jakarta and nearby suburbs, but some traveled from West Java and Surabaya.

The protesters urged the government to avoid outsourcing, and to raise their wages. They also asked the government to stop foreign laborers from working in Indonesia, saying it decreases employment opportunities for local workers.

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CAMBODIA

About 2,000 garment workers gathered at a park in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, for a rally organized by a garment union coalition.

The workers wanted to march to the National Assembly to urge lawmakers to help them address labor-related concerns, but the group was stopped by riot police.

Prime Minister Hun Sun spent May Day with some 5,000 garment workers just outside Phnom Penh. He thanked the workers by announcing that each of them will receive 50,000 riel ($12.50). With a general election coming up in July, Hun Sen for the past year has been courting the large bloc of garment workers, whose unions traditionally have been strong supporters of the opposition.

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Raúl Castro and Miguel Díaz-Canel preside over May Day Rally in Havana

Cuban leader Raul Castro and President Miguel Diaz-Canel are heading today the massive popular rally for the International Workers’ Day at the Revolution Square in Havana.

Accompanying the leaders in the platform located before the monument to Cuban National Hero José Martí, are other top officials of the Government and the Communist Party of Cuba, as well as personalities, intellectuals, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in the island and union leaders and activists of several countries.

Hundreds of thousands of people rally here in front of the Revolution Square and millions are expected to do so in the 15 provinces of the largest Antillean island, under the slogan ‘Unity, Commitment and Victory’, the same launched by the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) for its 21st Congress.

In recent statements, CTC Secretary General Ulises Guilarte, affirmed that popular mobilization constitutes a show of support for the Revolution, the new leadership of the country and the historical generation that for decades has led the social justice project that began on
January 1, 1959

Cubasi Translation Staff

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Tear gas, over 200 arrests at May Day clashes in Istanbul (PHOTOS)

May Day rallies in Tukey’s most populous city descended into clashes with the police, as several activist groups tried to get into cordoned-off areas of the city. Over 200 people have been detained, and at least one man was reportedly killed.

Labor Day celebrations in Istanbul turned violent as multiple groups of demonstrators attempted to march towards central Taksim Square, despite police cordons and warnings.

“Some illegal groups who want to damage the peace and safety of our people attempted illegal marches and demonstrations, primarily around Taksim Square... under the pretext of May Day celebrations,” the governor’s office said, as cited by Reuters. “A total of 207 people have been detained, and some 40 Molotov cocktails, 17 hand grenades, 176 fireworks ... and lots of illegal posters have been seized.”

https://pbs.twimg.com/amplify_video_thumb/858979298165878784/img/HbsjcVIc-x5NLh4R.jpg

The clashes erupted at multiple locations throughout the city, as members of left-wing and anarchist parties, as well as trade unions, attempted to march towards Taksim Square.

A group of protesters was dispersed in the Mecidiyekoy neighborhood, when police used tear gas and rubber bullets as activists tried to march towards Taksim Square.

A 57-year old man was run over and killed by a police water cannon truck, CNN Turk reports. The governor's office said he was hit as the vehicle was maneuvering, as cited by Reuters.

@fgeffardAFP Protesters attempt to defy a ban and march on Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in Istanbul. @yasinnakgul

alanı 'dir. Yaşasın Taksim Mücadelemiz

After the botched July 2016 coup attempt, Turkey’s authorities tightened their grip on security by imposing a state of emergency that has been extended a number of times since. Consequently, Taksim Square was entirely cordoned off well beforehand on Sunday, and numerous riot and plain clothes police officers had been deployed to the area.

Nevertheless, two female activists shouting communist slogans and brandishing a banner managed to slip into the well-guarded area. The two were overwhelmed by police and placed in a cruiser after a brief yet violent struggle.

 

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Cubans flood squares in May Day parade

HAVANA, Cuba, May 1 (ACN) Despite being a traditional sight, the amount of Cubans flooding the main squares of the country this May Day causes awe to everyone watching as they march since seven AM throughout the country.

Reports from several media outlets reflect that more people continue joining the parades as they move forward chanting long live Fidel, long live Raul, long live the Revolution!
 
At the Havana’s Jose Marti Revolution Square, where Cuban flags flow to the air, hundreds of thousands await the beginning of the parade, the first since the Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro passed away.
 
In a nearby building a giant image shows the motto for this day: Our strength is the unity, while a similar one is displayed at the National Theater that reads: Unity gave us the victory.
 
Over 1,500 foreign guests from 84 countries and 14 Solidarity with Cuba organizations from all over the world are also part of the workers´celebrations.
 
The first province to have its parade was Santiago de Cuba, where the sun rises earlier than in Havana, and had the presence of Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, among other top Party and government leaders.
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Cuban Workers Commitment to Revolution Acknowledged

Havana, May 1 (Prensa Latina) The May Day parade will be a demonstration of the Cuban workers'' commitment to the work of the Revolution, the general secretary of the Cuban Workers'' Confederation (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, said.

In an interview on local television, the union leader noted that from all corners of the country, workers assured the levels of efficiency as a contribution to the production chain.

Celebrating May Day without the physical presence of the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, adds a particular dimension to the parade, but we interpret his legacy from the daily fulfillment of our duties, noted Guilarte.

The CTC leader pointed out that the parade at Havana's Revolution Square will end a period of acknowledgements and decorations to outstanding workers.

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Raul Castro Presides Over May Day Parade in Havana

Cuban President Raul Castro is presiding over the main event on Workers'' International Day at Havana''s Revolution Square, where a mass parade in defense of socialism is taking place.

Government officials, historic personages, intellectuals, the diplomatic corps in Cuba and trade union leaders from several countries were invited to participate in the festivities in the tribune, built at the foot of the monument to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti.

Under the slogan 'Our Strength Is Unity', millions of Cubans have gathered nationwide to celebrate May 1 with the commitment to improving Cuba's revolutionary process and praising the value of work.

The parade is also an opportunity to demand an end to the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade and the devolution of the illegally-occupied territory at the Guantanamo Naval Base.

The Cuban people are also repeating their support for the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela against the terrorist attacks by groups financed by the right wing and their rejection of the Latin American offensive against democratic processes and leaders in the continent, the general secretary of the Cuban Workers' Confederation (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, said on Sunday.

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May Day 2017 celebrations announced

The Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) and national trade unions calls on the Cuban people to mobilize to celebrate May Day, in a joyful environment of unity and commitment in the defense of socialism, under the banner of “Unity is our strength”

The Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) and national trade unions has a issued a call on the Cuban people to mobilize to celebrate May Day, in a joyfyl environment of unity and commitment in the defense of socialism, under the banner of “Unity is our strength.”

There are many reasons for us to make this celebration of the global proletariat the greatest demonstration of support for our Revolution, Raúl and the Communist Party of Cuba, as well as a tribute to our historic leader, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz. This will be an opportunity to reaffirm the sacred oath to fulfill his Concept of Revolution endorsed by our people.

We will dedicate this May Day to Cuban youth, who today, as never before, stand as the continuators of the work of those who, almost 60 years ago, changed the course of our homeland’s history to make Cuba a free and independent nation, an example of sovereignty, dignity and heroism for the world.

This day will be a propitious moment to recognize the value of work, to maximize efficiency in each collective, to promote conservation to fulfill production and service plans, as well as to recognize outstanding individuals and collectives in this endeavor.

On this occasion we are invited to celebrate important events that highlight our history and traditions of struggle, such as the 56th anniversary of the victory of Playa Girón and the proclamation of the socialist character of the Revolution, the 55th anniversary of the creation of the Young Communists League and the 50th anniversary of the death of the heroic guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara, promoter of the struggle for the country's industrialization, the drive to ensure daily fulfillment of our duties, labor discipline, the quality of production, voluntary work, and the innovators and rationalizers movement.

We will highlight the example and legacy of great labor leaders such as Lázaro Peña González, Jesús Menéndez Larrondo, José María Pérez Capote, and Aracelio Iglesias Díaz, as well as the example of others who identify the highest values of our different unions and workers.

This May Day we will ratify the firm conviction that through our own effort, victories, and proven ability to fight, we will continue to carry forward the process of updating the economic and social model that we have chosen, with the objective of developing the country and achieving the welfare of the people.

These activities will promote knowledge and support in each collective for the implementation of the Guidelines from the 7th Party Congress, aimed at building a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous, and sustainable nation.

Once again, during the huge, colorful marches in all our plazas and avenues, we will repeat the demand of our workers for an end to the criminal and genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and the return of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base. At the same time we will reaffirm our solidarity with the peoples of the world who are fighting against the discriminatory policies that neoliberal capital applies in the labor sphere.

This year’s global workers’ celebration will be held in an international context in which the right is on the offensive in Latin America, attacking democratic processes and their leaders across the region.

Cuba reaffirms its support for the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan people in their struggle for sovereignty and self-determination, while at the same time expresses its decisive contribution to the consolidation of the economic, social, and cultural integration mechanisms of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), to successfully face the challenge of building a better world.

Compatriots

Nothing and no one will be able to stop us. The Cuban people will triumph.
Long live May Day!
Long live Fidel and Raúl!
Ever onward to victory!

  • Published in Cuba
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