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What May Day Looks Like Around The World

Demonstrators try to protect themselves from water, sprayed by a police water canon truck during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
Demonstrators try to protect themselves from water, sprayed by a police water canon truck during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP

Demonstrators took to the streets around the world to commemorate May Day and demand greater protections and opportunities for workers. The event was founded in the United States to demand that the work day be restricted to eight hours. Also known as International Workers’ Day, May Day demonstrators adapt marches and protests to highlight various socio-economic issues and political grievances.

Protests became particular violent in Istanbul, Turkey, where police fired tear gas and water cannons at hundreds of protesters who gathered and threw stones. Hundreds took to the city’s Taksim Square during a months-long protest in 2013 after demands to maintain a park transformed into public outcry against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. May Day protesters returned to the Square despite a day-long government ban on entering the area. Nearly 140 people have been detained, although activists claim the number is nearly double that.

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions struggle with riot policemen as they march toward the presidential house after a May Day rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions struggle with riot policemen as they march toward the presidential house after a May Day rally in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP

Protesters also clashed with police in South Korea where thousands of riot police created barricades and shot water cannons laced with chemical irritants to prevent about 10,000 workers from marching towards the offices of the country’s president. The workers threatened an “all-out general strike” if Preisdent Park Guen-Hye’s government pushes through reforms that it argues would create flexibility in the labor market. Workers see the legislation as a move to diminish their rights on the job.

A women delivers a speech as she stands on a chair of the public art project “Anything to Say?” at the Alexander Square in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 1, 2015. The sculpture of the Italian artist Davide Dormino shows the whistleblowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, from right, to honour their courage. CREDIT: AP
A women delivers a speech as she stands on a chair of the public art project “Anything to Say?” at the Alexander Square in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 1, 2015. The sculpture of the Italian artist Davide Dormino shows the whistleblowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, from right, to honour their courage. CREDIT: AP
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Several thousand people marched in anti-capitalist protests in Berlin, Germany, where, at noon, activists unveiled statues of the government whistleblowers and free speech activists Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning. The statues, which were all posed atop chairs, were presented as part of a project called “Anything to Say,” and included one empty chair for people to stand on and express their own views.

FEMEN activist with “Le Pen Top Fascist” painted on her body appears as France’s far-right National Front president Marine Le Pen places a wreath at Joan of Arc statue during its annual May Day march, in Paris, France, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
FEMEN activist with “Le Pen Top Fascist” painted on her body appears as France’s far-right National Front president Marine Le Pen places a wreath at Joan of Arc statue during its annual May Day march, in Paris, France, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP

In France, activists with the controversial FEMEN activist group stormed a May Day rally staged by the far right Front National party. Two topless women with the words “Heil Le Pen” and “Le Pen TOP fascist” painted across their bodies in a move to liken the party’s president, Marine Le Pen, to a Nazi.

Below are more images from May Day protests around the world.

Protesters from various Labor unions and their children hold balloons in the shape of a number eight, representing the 8 working hours a day with a float of a mock clock that advises people work only one third of a day during a march to mark May Day in Hong Kong Friday, May 1, 2015. Hundreds of people staged a rally to demand better workers’ rights and call for standard working hours. CREDIT: AP
Protesters from various Labor unions and their children hold balloons in the shape of a number eight, representing the 8 working hours a day with a float of a mock clock that advises people work only one third of a day during a march to mark May Day in Hong Kong Friday, May 1, 2015. Hundreds of people staged a rally to demand better workers’ rights and call for standard working hours. CREDIT: AP
Protesters, mostly workers, set on fire to an effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during a rally near the Presidential Palace in Manila to mark May Day Friday, May 1, 2015, a national holiday in the Philippines. Thousands of workers converged near the palace to call for the resignation of Aquino, demand higher wages, better working conditions, fair export labor policies and a halt to contractualization. CREDIT: AP
Protesters, mostly workers, set on fire to an effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III during a rally near the Presidential Palace in Manila to mark May Day Friday, May 1, 2015, a national holiday in the Philippines. Thousands of workers converged near the palace to call for the resignation of Aquino, demand higher wages, better working conditions, fair export labor policies and a halt to contractualization. CREDIT: AP
Bangladeshi garment workers and activists gather on a road during a May Day rally, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
Bangladeshi garment workers and activists gather on a road during a May Day rally, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
Cubans hold a representation of their national flag as they march in the rain in Revolution Square, marking May Day in Havana, Cuba, Friday, May 1, 2015. Thousands of people converged on the plaza for the traditional march, led this year by President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. CREDIT: AP
Cubans hold a representation of their national flag as they march in the rain in Revolution Square, marking May Day in Havana, Cuba, Friday, May 1, 2015. Thousands of people converged on the plaza for the traditional march, led this year by President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. CREDIT: AP
People protest during a May Day rally in the center of Barcelona, Spain, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP
People protest during a May Day rally in the center of Barcelona, Spain, Friday, May 1, 2015. CREDIT: AP