As they did last year, in waves of demonstrations, many thousands of protestors and workers across Europe went onto the streets against government spending cuts, unemployment and increasing burdens for low wage earners to pay for the folly and economic and political mismanagement of the very few very rich.
Many people in Europe will be protesting unemployment and at the same time protesting against austerity measures which make ordinary people pay for the stupidity and avarice of the rich. In Asia laborers are demanding higher wages, better working conditions and equality.
In the US the ‘Occupy’ movement was on the streets. Stinging gas caused ‘May Day’ demonstrators to vacate downtown Oakland and in New York police detained people when ‘Occupy’ demonstrators along with labor and immigration activists participated in May Day celebrations. May Day protests and traffic jams quickly turned into chaos in the centre of Seattle resulting in some arrests,and an emergency order from the Mayor.
People behind these protests wanted workers and students to take May 1st off as Labor Day in the rest of the world and thereby show their solidarity against income inequality and corporate avarice and corruption. They wanted to show the “1 %” what life would look like if this “99 %” were to with-hold their services.
In Cuba today Cubans marched through Havana’s Revolution Square in a huge May Day parade that re-affirmed the country’s a communist future
President Raul Castro viewed hundreds of thousands of workers in red shirts and waving red flags underneath a huge statue of Cuban independence hero José Julián Martí , as they passed by in a vast rally of support for the revolution.
He spoke of the need for greater productivity from Cuban workers and the need of economic reforms to communism’s future. He said that the country of 11 million people needs reforms including plans to reduce the government’s bloated payrolls and, encourage small businesses.
The reforms include plans to slash a million jobs from the government’s bloated payrolls and, in a break from the past, to encourage people to start their own small businesses – more than 371,000 people now work for themselves.
However one very large sign read – ‘To Capitalism We Will Never Return’- and -‘Our revolution and socialism is the same thing’ – meaning they intend change and at the same time move the nation and the economy to a higher level.
In the Philippines some left-wing workers burned an effigy of President Aquino in Manila near the presidential palace, blaming him directly for the problems in the country depicting him as a flunky of big business and the US.
In Indonesia today protesting workers demanded higher wages paraded through traffic-clogged streets in the capital, Jakarta, where 16,000 police and soldiers were deployed. Across the rest of Asia protest and May Day rallies were held in Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
In Moscow, about as 100,000 people took part in the main May Day march. Communists held their own May Day rally in Moscow that attracted about 5,000 people. Party leader Zyuganov high-lighted that international economic troubles are a result of capitalism which does not respect working people ‘who create all the main value in this land’ and said that only socialism could get Russia out of this capitalist crisis.
In Athens Greece, circa 3,000 people marched May Day protests dealing with both the proposed and newly implemented harsh austerity measures.
In France, about 100 of thousand workers and students and union members marked May Day in a party atmosphere – in the expectation of a Socialist win in the Presidential runoff vote Sunday , putting a Socialist , Francois Hollande , at the head of France for the first time since 1988.
French voters see Sarkozy as another Berlusconi-type loser who has over the last 5 years eroded the much of France’s welfare and workers’ rights – they rightfully see him as a friend of the rich.
In Madrid amid a dark national mood, demonstrators mocked the Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy trying to explain to the many unemployed young people -24.4 percent jobless rate- who fear the country will soon need a bailout like Greece.
For a history of May Day read my previous blog article – http://www.ota-berlin.de/blog/04/30/from-berlin-happy-may-day-2012-by-ota-berlin-constituency-blog-contributor-mr-emil-hoogensteyn/
In London In London today the ‘Occupy movement’ took over parts of the London Stock Exchange as activists joined in demonstration at LSE and Paternoster Square as part of May Day protests. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/may/01/occupy-movement-london-stock-exchange
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin but of the contributor – in this case Mr Emil Hoogensteyn.
Blog articles and subsequent comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of OTA-Berlin but only of the comment writer. We repeat last years blog article celebrating May Day which gave a historical look at the holiday and its significance for all progressive peoples of the world. We also include below that some links to both ‘Spiegel’ for events specifically in Germany and the ‘International Business Times ’ for reports and photo’s from around the globe.
We wish all workers of the world a happy 2012 May Day!
May Day around the World – May 1st, 2012 – Debt crisis & crisis of Capitalism by OTA-Berlin Constituency Blog Contributor Mr Emil Hoogensteyn from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.
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