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Worldwide Protests Erupt on May Day

Variety of causes, including improved working conditions, draw crowds
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2021 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Protests on International Workers Day increased in number and intensity this time around, with demonstrators calling for improved working conditions and a series of other changes to help them deal with economic and health problems. Berlin alone had more than 20 demonstrations Saturday, the AP reports, and a few became violent: More than 90 police officers were reported injured and more than 350 protesters were taken into custody. Police in Paris arrested 46 people, and three officers were hurt, police said. The day is called Labor Day in many places as well as, of course, May Day. "There are so many motivations for a revolt that are building up—the management of COVID, the so-called reforms that are going to take away people's ability to live, job-seekers who are going to lose their benefits," a demonstrator in Paris said. "We absolutely need to express ourselves."

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The demonstrations and causes included:

  • In Berlin, at least 5,000 people condemning social inequity, per NPR. About 10,000 cyclists demonstrated against capitalism.
  • In Lichtenberg, 200 protesting pandemic restrictions, per CNN. In one spot, people gathered "to revitalize the culture and club scene."
  • In Paris, at least 17,000 people demonstrating, many against a change in government unemployment benefits.
  • In Sarajevo, hundreds of Bosnian coal miners seeking better working conditions and pay.
  • In Taiwan, hundreds calling for better pay and more secure pensions, per USA Today.
  • In Istanbul, Turkish authorities clashing with protesters who were defying pandemic restrictions. More than 200 were arrested, per the BBC.
(Read more protests stories.)

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