International Workers' Day Celebrated Around the World
Havana, May 1 (RHC)-- Workers around the world showed their support for labor rights by participating in numerous May Day marches and rallies. In a number of countries, protesters clashed with police as anti-riot clad forces attempted to defend the status quo.
In the United States -- called by the Occupy Wall Street Movement -- demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil disobedience were planned, including the country's most visible Occupy rallies since the anti-capitalist encampments were torn down last fall. Organizers called for people to stay home from work and school on Tuesday, urging them to refrain from spending money on consumer goods.
Marches and rallies also took place across Europe over government-imposed austerity measures. Europeans hit the streets to protest against the measures that are being blamed for a big increase in the number of jobless, particularly in Spain where one in four people is unemployment.
In Asia, thousands of May Day protesters in the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan demanded hikes in pay that they say has not kept up with rising consumer prices, while also calling for lower school fees.
In the Philippine capital, Manila, about 8,000 members of a huge labor alliance, many clad in red shirts and waving red streamers, marched to the heavily barricaded Mendiola Bridge near the presidential palace, which was surrounded by thousands of riot police.
In Taiwan, several thousand anti-government protesters marched through downtown Taipei, demanding higher wages, lower school tuition and better conditions for foreign workers.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, hundreds of people rallied in the capital, calling for a higher minimum wage than the one announced Monday by the government. The protesters marched from a market to the headquarters of Maybank, the nation's largest financial institution.