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May Day protests around the world

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Protests and pro-labour marches cropped up across the globe May 1 to mark May Day and keep alive the tradition's rich history of standing up for workers' rights.

  • An opposition demonstrator with her face painted colours of the Venezuelan flag listens to a speech during a May Day march in Caracas. Pro-government and opposition workers measured forces in the streets of the capital with separate marches that took place to commemorate the first of May — all in the midst of political and economic crisis prevailing in the country.

    Fernando Llano / The Canadian Press

    An opposition demonstrator with her face painted colours of the Venezuelan flag listens to a speech during a May Day march in Caracas. Pro-government and opposition workers measured forces in the streets of the capital with separate marches that took place to commemorate the first of May — all in the midst of political and economic crisis prevailing in the country.

  • Brandon Sun Local labour supporters marched from the Provincial Exhibition buildings at the Keystone, south along 13 Street to Richmond Avenue, then south along 10 Street, to mark May Day on Thursday evening.

    Bruce Bumstead / Brandon Sun

    Brandon Sun Local labour supporters marched from the Provincial Exhibition buildings at the Keystone, south along 13 Street to Richmond Avenue, then south along 10 Street, to mark May Day on Thursday evening.

  • Montreal protesters march during an annual May Day anti-capitalism demonstration on Thursday.

    Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

    Montreal protesters march during an annual May Day anti-capitalism demonstration on Thursday.

  • People help a child affected by tear gas as riot police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands of people trying to reach the city's main Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. Clashes erupted between May Day demonstrators and riot police as crowds determined to defy a government ban tried to march to the city's iconic Taksim Square and were pushed back with water cannons and tear gas.

    Emrah Gurel / The Associated Press

    People help a child affected by tear gas as riot police use water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands of people trying to reach the city's main Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday. Clashes erupted between May Day demonstrators and riot police as crowds determined to defy a government ban tried to march to the city's iconic Taksim Square and were pushed back with water cannons and tear gas.

  • An elderly man marches in front of an amateur band while local citizens gather to mark May Day in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Russian state news media were quick to dismiss the protests as the work of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, a particularly loaded accusation because Ukrainian nationalists collaborating with the Nazis are blamed for horrific reprisal attacks during the Second World War.

    Alexander Zemlianichenko / The Associated Press

    An elderly man marches in front of an amateur band while local citizens gather to mark May Day in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine on Thursday. Russian state news media were quick to dismiss the protests as the work of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, a particularly loaded accusation because Ukrainian nationalists collaborating with the Nazis are blamed for horrific reprisal attacks during the Second World War.

  • Thousands file through a street during a May Day march to Revolution Plaza in Havana, Cuba. Cuba marks each May Day not with protests but with massive marches organized by workplaces, schools and government.

    Ismael Francisco / Cubadebate

    Thousands file through a street during a May Day march to Revolution Plaza in Havana, Cuba. Cuba marks each May Day not with protests but with massive marches organized by workplaces, schools and government.

  • Cuba's President Raul Castro waves to workers as he watches the May Day march in Havana. Cuba marks each May Day not with protests but with massive marches organized by workplaces, schools and government. Thousands of islanders filed through Havana's Revolution Plaza on Thursday to a soundtrack of congas, drums and cries of

    Ismael Francisco / Cubadebate

    Cuba's President Raul Castro waves to workers as he watches the May Day march in Havana. Cuba marks each May Day not with protests but with massive marches organized by workplaces, schools and government. Thousands of islanders filed through Havana's Revolution Plaza on Thursday to a soundtrack of congas, drums and cries of "Long live the revolution!"

  • An anarchist smashes a store window during a May Day march by anarchists in Mexico City. Thousands of people, many calling for greater worker rights and protections, participated in various marches around the city centre.

    Rebecca Blackwell / The Associated Press

    An anarchist smashes a store window during a May Day march by anarchists in Mexico City. Thousands of people, many calling for greater worker rights and protections, participated in various marches around the city centre.

  • Demonstrators burn an effigy of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli during the annual May Day parade in Panama City on Thursday. Hundreds of Panamanians, teachers and union workers marched through the streets demanding better salaries and protested against the high cost of living.

    Arnulfo Franco / The Associated Press

    Demonstrators burn an effigy of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli during the annual May Day parade in Panama City on Thursday. Hundreds of Panamanians, teachers and union workers marched through the streets demanding better salaries and protested against the high cost of living.

  • Tourists take a 'selfie' picture as demonstrators burn a trash container during a May Day rally in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday. Tens of thousands of workers marked May Day in European cities with a mix of anger and gloom over austerity measures imposed by leaders trying to contain the Eurozone's intractable debt crisis.

    Manu Fernandez / The Associated Press

    Tourists take a 'selfie' picture as demonstrators burn a trash container during a May Day rally in Barcelona, Spain on Thursday. Tens of thousands of workers marked May Day in European cities with a mix of anger and gloom over austerity measures imposed by leaders trying to contain the Eurozone's intractable debt crisis.

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