Monday, May 3, 2021

May Day protests and clashes in the world

Turkey arrests hundreds as rallies sweep globe

Turkish riot police officers scuffle with demonstrators in Istanbuli
Protesters skirmished with riot police during a May Day protest in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish police have arrested more than 200 people for holding unauthorised protests on May Day, which has seen rallies across the world despite the continued spread of Covid-19.

The protesters in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, were caught breaching restrictions imposed to curb a third wave of coronavirus.

Marches led by workers and unions are held on 1 May every year as part of International Labour Day celebrations in many countries.

This year, the rallies took place once again against the backdrop of a pandemic that has destroyed livelihoods and upended economies worldwide.

Riot police take position next to a burning barricade during a protest on May Day in Berlin, Germany
German riot police stepped in to break up rallies in Berlin that were deemed to be in breach of Covid-19 restrictions

In many countries, police were deployed in large numbers to deal with possible disorder and ensure coronavirus restrictions were observed.

Scaled-back rallies were held in Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, Cuba, Colombia, the Philippines, Indonesia and many other countries. Most demonstrations were peaceful.

Police officers take a protester into custody in Stockholm, SwedeniSwedish police officers take a protester into custody in Stockholm
French anti riot Police forces face protesters as clashes erupt during the annual May Day march in ParisTensions were high in many cities, such as Paris, as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt

But Turkey was among several countries where police were embroiled in May Day protests that turned violent on Saturday.

The office of Istanbul's governor said 212 people had been arrested after they broke away from marches and tried to enter Taksim Square, a symbolic area of protest.

Pictures showed chaotic scenes in which police used their shields to push back crowds and dragged some protesters away from the square.

The country went into its first full pandemic lockdown earlier this week, in a bid to curb a surge in infections and deaths.

Riot police officers detain demonstrators as they attempt to defy a ban and march on Taksim SquareRiot police detained demonstrators as they attempted to march on Taksim Square in Istanbul
Turkish riot police officers scuffle with demonstratorsScuffles between riot police and demonstrators broke out in the Turkish city

In France, at least 46 people were arrested in the capital, Paris, after some marchers clashed with riot police, threw stones, smashed windows and set fire to rubbish bins.

French government agencies condemned one protester who was pictured assaulting a firefighter as they attempted to extinguish a blaze in the capital.

The Interior Ministry said more than 106,000 people marched at almost 300 rallies organised in Paris and other cities, including Lyon, Nantes, Lille and Toulouse.

The protesters voiced their opposition to government plans to change unemployment benefits and demanded economic justice.

French riot police stand in formation during clashes with protesters in FranceRiot police were out in force in the French capital
A "Yellow vest" protester gestures near a fire during the traditional May Day protests in FranceBarricades were set alight in the streets of Paris

Similar demands were heard in Germany, where May Day protests were held nationwide despite the introduction of tougher Covid-19 rules last week.

In the capital, Berlin, thousands of police were deployed to monitor multiple demonstrations, including one organised by a group that opposes the government's coronavirus strategy.

An estimated 10,000 cyclists staged a peaceful anti-capitalist protest in the city.

But as darkness fell, the mood grew more tense as protesters set barricades alight and confronted police who were trying to enforce Covid-19 regulations at a left-wing demonstration.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionWorkers of the wheels united for an anti-capitalist protest in Berlin
People gather for a protest on May Day in BerlinLarge crowds were seen in Berlin, where protests were held in defiance of Covid-19 restrictions
Police arrest protesters during demonstration against the German government Coronavirus measuresGerman police were pictured dragging some protesters away in the capital
Berlin police broke up a left-wing demonstration, prompting a reaction from some protesters

Coronavirus was on the agenda in Indonesia as well.

At one rally, protesters in the capital of Jakarta laid mock graves on the street to symbolise the human toll of the pandemic.

A member of an Indonesian labour organization lies down during a May Day rallyMock graves were laid in the street at one May Day rally in Indonesia
Members of Indonesian labour organizations join a May Day rally in Karawangimage Rallies were held in multiple cities across Indonesia

In Brussels, Belgium's capital, officers trying to clear a dance rave from a park used water cannon, pepper spray and batons as some of the partygoers pelted them with eggs.

During the commotion, one demonstrator was knocked unconscious after they were struck by a water cannon truck, local media said.

Police used water cannon to clear the park of revellers in Brussels
Protesters and police clash during a gathering to protest against the government-imposed anti-Covid measures in Brusselsimage copyrightEPA
image captionThe Brussels event was organised in part as a protest against the government's coronavirus measures

Meanwhile, a proposed law that would give police extra powers to curb protests was one of the main subjects of grievance at protests in the UK.

Demonstrators during a march through central London during a "Kill the Bill" protest in LondoniThe "Kill the Bill" protest saw thousands of demonstrators march through London
Demonstrators let off flares during a march through central LondonSome protesters set off red flares during the London march against the policing bill

No comments:

Post a Comment