May Day protesters demand more job protections amid pandemic

Virus_Outbreak_Germany_May_Day_97482 Participants demonstrate on May 1 "For the revival of the cultural and club scene, through the creative use of public space." in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Virus_Outbreak_Belgium_May_Day_03130 A woman stands next to a flag as people gather at the Bois de la Cambre park for a party called "La Boum 2" in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police put on extra patrols Saturday to monitor the gathering which is being held in defiance of Belgium's current COVID-19 regulations.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_11280 Demonstrators watch riot police officers during May Day march scuffles Saturday, May 1, 2021 in Paris. Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
Virus_Outbreak_Belgium_May_Day_94893 Police patrol as a woman rides her bike carrying balloons at the Bois de la Cambre park, during a party called "La Boum 2", in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police put on extra patrols Saturday to monitor the gathering which is being held in defiance of Belgium's current COVID-19 regulations.
Virus_Outbreak_Belgium_May_Day_39545 Police in riot gear and on horseback form a line at the Bois de la Cambre park during a gathering called "La Boum 2" in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police put on extra patrols Saturday to monitor the gathering which is being held in defiance of Belgium's current COVID-19 regulations.
Virus_Outbreak_Belgium_May_Day_58911 Police patrol in a van as people gather at the Bois de la Cambre park for a party called "La Boum 2" in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police put on extra patrols Saturday to monitor the gathering which is being held in defiance of Belgium's current COVID-19 regulations.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_88787 Riot police officers face demonstrators during May Day march incidents Saturday, May 1, 2021 in Paris. Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_81461 Riot police officers stand behind a banner reading "authoritarianism" during May Day demonstration, Saturday, May 1, 2021 in Paris. Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
Virus_Outbreak_Germany_May_Day_11979 Supporters of the right-wing extremist NPD move through the city with a strong police presence in Greifswald, Germany, Saturday, May 1, 2021. In addition, according to the district and the police, 14 vigils are registered.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_93223 A worker raises his fist during May Day demonstration, Saturday, May 1, 2021 in Paris. Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_77965 GGT leftist union leader Philippe Martinez gestures during May Day demonstration, Saturday, May 1, 2021 in Paris. Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
Russia_Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_61649 Communists party supporters gather with red flags to mark Labour Day, also knows as May Day near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Russia_Labour_Day_33883 Communists party supporters gather with a red flag decorated with Soviet Union Emblem to mark Labour Day, also knows as May Day near Red Square with the Historical Museum in the background in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
France_May_Day_94139 Workers demonstrate with placards reading "Peril" on May Day in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
South_Korea_May_Day_02862 Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions stage a May Day rally demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The signs read: "Let's solve inequality."
Serbia_May_Day_46767 A man wearing a shirt with the image of former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin attends a May Day rally on International Workers Day in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Activists marked May Day with defiant rally.
Taiwan_May_Day_15471 Taiwanese workers shout and hold slogans during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Thousands of protesters from different labor groups protest on the street to ask for increasing salary and securing annuity.
Bosnia_May_Day_25029 Coal miners hold Bosnian flags and march during a May Day rally on International Workers Day in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Some hundreds of Bosnian coal miners protest demanding better wages and working conditions.
Spain_May_Day_87240 People march past the City Hall during the traditional May Day rally in Madrid, Spain, Saturday May 1, 2021. The May Day or International Workers Day marches are commemorated as unions push for better rights for workers. Banners reads 'Now to keep your promises'. 'A country in debt with the workers'
Virus_Outbreak_Germany_May_Day_63520 Numerous participants march at a rally of the German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB) under the motto "Solidarity is the Future" in Munich, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
France_May_Day_38998 Workers demonstrate on May Day with a banner reading "Together against the jobless reform" in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
France_May_Day_50979 Workers of the leftist union CGT (General Work Confederation) demonstrate on May Day in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Turkey_May_Day_73622 Police officers detain protesters after they tried to push through a police barricade towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey_May_Day_71359 Police officers detain protesters after they tried to push through a police barricade blocking acceaa towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey_May_Day_85880 Police officers arrest protesters after they tried to push through a police barricade blocking acces towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
South_Korea_May_Day_92940 Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions stage a May Day rally demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 1, 2021. The signs read: "Let's solve inequality."
South_Korea_May_Day_33800 Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions scuffle with police officers during a May Day rally demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
APTOPIX_Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_68756 A protester is detained by police after he and others tried to push through a police barricade towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Turkey_May_Day_95807 Protesters chant slogans as they walk towards a police barricade blocking Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_88875 A protester reacts as police officers detain her after she and others tried to push through a police barricade towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Taiwan_May_Day_41488 Taiwanese workers hold slogans reading "Increase Salary" during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Thousands of protesters from different labor groups protest on the street to ask for increasing salary and securing annuity.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_34564 A protester yells as a police officer detains her after she and others tried to push through a police barricade towards Taksim Square in central Istanbul during May Day protests, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Police in Istanbul detained several demonstrators who tried to march toward Istanbul's symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of the protests ban and the strict lockdown imposed by the government due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Taiwan_May_Day_05285 A worker wearing a costume of a god of wealth pretends to be crying during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Thousands of protesters from different labor groups protest on the street to ask for increasing salary and securing annuity.
Taiwan_May_Day_49437 Taiwanese workers shout and hold slogans reading "Increase Salary, Secure Annuity" during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Thousands of protesters from different labor groups protest on the street to ask for increasing salary and securing annuity.
Taiwan_May_Day_16973 Taiwanese workers shout and hold slogans reading "Secure Annuity" during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Thousands of protesters from different labor groups protest on the street to ask for increasing salary and securing annuity.
Virus_Outbreak_Brazil_-_May_Day_96467 People gather on Copacabana Beach in a demonstration backing President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-coronavirus-lockdown stance, marking May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Brazil has seen over 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, a toll second only to the United States.
APTOPIX_Virus_Outbreak_Brazil_-_May_Day_87386 A demonstrator with the Brazilian flag painted on his face, shouts slogans during a caravan backing President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-coronavirus-lockdown stance, marking May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Virus_Outbreak_May_Day_44708 Thousands of protestors attend a May Day rally at the Hermannplatz square in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Virus_Outbreak_Belgium_May_Day_85392 Two men throw a bicycle onto a bonfire at the Bois de la Cambre park during a party called "La Boum 2" in Brussels, Saturday, May 1, 2021. A few thousand people gathered for an illegal party in a Brussels park Saturday to protest COVID-19 restrictions, only to be met with a big police force who used a water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowd. It was the second such open-air gathering in a month.
Virus_Outbreak_Brazil_-_May_Day_07802 A woman holds an umbrella marked with pro-military phrases in Portuguese, during a rally backing President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-coronavirus-lockdown stance, marking May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Virus_Outbreak_Brazil_-_May_Day_45322 People gather along Copacabana Beach in a demonstration backing President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-coronavirus-lockdown stance, marking May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Brazil has seen over 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, a toll second only to the United States.
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PARIS (AP) — Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed down but still boisterous — and at times violent — May Day marches on Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.

In countries that mark May 1 as International Labor Day, the annual celebration of workers’ rights produced a rare sight during the pandemic: large and closely packed crowds, with marchers striding shoulder-to-shoulder with clenched fists behind banners.

In Turkey and the Philippines, police prevented the May Day protests, enforcing virus lockdowns and making hundreds of arrests. In France, some marchers battled with riot police.

For labor leaders, the day was a test of their ability to mobilize workers in the face of the profound economic disruptions.

In France, thousands took to the streets with union banners and flags, hemmed in by and sometimes scuffling with riot police. The face masks worn by many marchers were a reminder of how much life has changed since the last traditional May Day celebrations — in 2019, before the spreading coronavirus wrecked lives and livelihoods and eroded civil liberties, often including the right to demonstrate.

Riot police clashed with some demonstrators in Paris and the southern city of Lyon, while burning roadblocks threw clouds of smoke into the Paris air. Police charged crowds to catch suspected troublemakers and fired small amounts of tear gas. Police in Paris said they made 34 arrests. Authorities also reported five arrests and 27 police officers injured in Lyon. But most of the dozens of marches across France passed off without incident.

Some demonstrations, constricted by coronavirus restrictions, were markedly less well-attended than those before the pandemic. Russia saw just a fraction of its usual May Day activities amid a coronavirus ban on gatherings. The Russian Communist Party drew only a few hundred people to lay wreaths in Moscow. For a second straight year in Italy, May Day passed without the usual large marches and rock concerts.

But in France, Germany other places where rallies were allowed, workers vented their concerns over jobs and protections. In Bosnia, coal miner Turni Kadric said he and his colleagues are “barely surviving.”

In Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, thousands voiced anger at a new jobs law that critics fear will reduce severance pay, lessen restrictions for foreign workers and increase outsourcing as the nation seeks to attract more investment. Protesters in the capital of Jakarta laid mock graves on the street to symbolize hopelessness and marches were being held in some 200 cities.

In the Philippine capital of Manila, where a monthlong coronavirus lockdown has been extended by two weeks amid a surge in infections, police prevented hundreds of workers from demonstrating at a public plaza, protest leader Renato Reyes said. But protesters did gather briefly at a busy Manila boulevard, demanding pandemic cash aid, wage subsidies and COVID-19 vaccines amid rising unemployment and hunger.

“Workers were largely left to fend for themselves while being locked down,” labor leader Josua Mata said.

In Turkey, a few labor leaders were allowed to lay wreaths in Istanbul’s Taksim Square but riot police stopped many others from reaching the plaza. The Istanbul governor’s office said 212 people were taken into custody for breaching coronavirus restrictions. Turks are barred from leaving home, except to collect essential food and medicine, under a lockdown until May 17 that aims to halt a surge in infections.

In Germany, where previous May Day demonstrations have often turned violent, police deployed thousands of officers and warned that rallies would be halted if marchers failed to follow coronavirus restrictions. Protests in Berlin called for lower rents, higher wages and voiced other concerns. Also marching were far-right coronavirus deniers and opponents of anti-virus measures.

Later Saturday, one of the bigger leftist rallies in Berlin turned violent with protesters throwing bottles and rocks at police and burning garbage containers and wooden pallets on the streets, news agency dpa reported. An unknown number of officers and protesters were injured and several demonstrators were detained.

In Italy, police faced off against a few hundred demonstrators in the northern city of Turin. In Rome, Italy’s head of state paid tribute to workers and health care workers.

“Particularly heavy has been the impact from the crisis on female labor and on the access of young people to jobs,’’ Italian President Sergio Mattarella said.

Across the Atlantic in Brazil, thousands of demonstrators backing President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-lockdown stance rallied at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Copacabana beach — one of several such gatherings across the country.

Bolsonaro’s office said he flew in a helicopter over a similar rally in the capital, Brasilia, where some demonstrators carried banners urging him to call in the military. There were also protests in Brasilia and other cities against Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic. Brazil has seen over 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, a toll second only to the United States.

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Karmini reported from Jakarta, Indonesia, and Leicester from Le Pecq, France. AP journalists around the world contributed.

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Follow more of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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