Workers and union leaders have dusted off megaphones and flags that had been kept rolled up during coronavirus closures during the May Day marches reduced but still bustling, demanding more labor protection amid a pandemic that has turned economies and economies upside down. work places.
In countries that mark May 1 as International Labor Day, the annual celebration of workers’ rights produced an infrequent view during the pandemic: large, crowded crowds, with protesters walking shoulder to shoulder with their fists closed behind banners.
But in Turkey and the Philippines, police stopped the May Day protests and imposed virus blockades.
In Istanbul, some labor leaders were allowed to lay wreaths in Taksim Square, but riot police prevented many others from reaching the square. The Progressive Lawyers Association said more than 200 people were arrested.
In France, BFM-TV reported that French riot police fired small amounts of tear gas at two of the dozens of rallies called across the country. Paris police said he made ten arrests.
For labor leaders, the day was a test of their ability to mobilize workers in the face of deep economic disruptions.
The face masks worn by many recalled how much life has changed since the last traditional May Day 2019 celebrations, before the coronavirus epidemic tore down lives and livelihoods and eroded civil liberties, including the right to protest. se.
Some marches, restricted by coronavirus restrictions, were less crowded than traditional before the pandemic. But they still served as a way out for workers ’concerns about jobs and protections.