May Day Rallies Staged Around the World

May Day Rallies Staged Around the World

A demonstrator kicks a smoke canister as others try to protect themselves from the effects of tear gas, fired by riot police officers during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 1, 2015. (Photo: Emrah Gurel, AP)
A demonstrator kicks a smoke canister as others try to protect themselves from the effects of tear gas, fired by riot police officers during clashes in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 1, 2015.
(Photo: Emrah Gurel, AP)


BERLIN (AP) — Left-wing groups and trade unions were staging rallies around the world Friday to mark International Workers Day.

Most events were peaceful protests for workers’ rights and world peace. But May 1 regularly sees clashes between police and militant groups in some cities.

International Workers Day originates in the United States. American unions first called for the introduction of an eight-hour working day in the second half of the 19th century. A general strike was declared to press these demands, starting May 1, 1886. The idea spread to other countries and since then workers around the world have held protests on May 1 every year, although the U.S. celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

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