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Jakarta, Indonesia

Laborers from various unions rally to mark the May Day (International Workers’ Day) in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 1, 2018. (Photo: Eko Siswono Toyudho/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Activists, workers mark May Day with protests

International Workers’ Day on May 1 is a public holiday in many countries, though some governments have clamped down on rallies and protests.

Anti-capitalist protesters torched a McDonald’s restaurant and clashed with police in Paris on the fringes of a May Day rally in Paris. Shouting slogans such as “Rise up, Paris” and “Everyone hates the police”, over 1,000 youths with black jackets and face masks joined the traditional union-led demonstration for worker’s rights.

More than 100,000 people came out on the streets on Moscow to march in the traditional May Day parade. Moscow’s Federation of Trade Unions said about 120,000 people marched from the Red Square on the main streets of the Russian capital to mark May Day.

Police detained dozens of demonstrators during May Day events around Istanbul, most of them protesters who tried to march toward the city’s symbolic main square in defiance of a ban. Turkey declared Taksim Square off-limits to May Day demonstrations citing security concerns. Police blocked roads leading to the square but allowed small groups of labor union representatives to lay wreaths and flowers at monuments there.

In the Philippines, an estimated 10,000 workers marched in the capital, Manila, to protest against short-term employment contracts. Protestors burned an effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte labeled “Liar King,” a reference to the president’s 2016 campaign promise to stop employers hiring workers on short-term contracts without sufficient benefits. Trade unions say the practice has continued.

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