On Saturday, May 1, thousands rallied across Spain, Germany and France for May Day amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, May 1, thousands attended rallies across Spain, Germany and France for May Day amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. As reported in The Guardian, Police officers struggled with protesters in Paris, France, where tear gas was fired.
According to a police source, the far-left “black bloc” protesters repeatedly attempted to block the march in the French capital, led by the trade union. 5,000 police officers were deployed and 34 people were detained as protesters set fire to dustbins, smashed windows and threw projectiles at police. Police fought back with sting ball grenades and tear-gas.
In the first Labour Day demonstrations since the Covid pandemic started, more than 70 cities throughout Spain rallied. Demonstrators observed social distancing and wore masks as they marched along the streets holding banners.
The demonstration in the Spanish capital, Madrid, was limited to 1,000 people. The protesters marched from the town hall towards Puerta del Sol square, under the slogan of “Now it’s time to deliver.”
In attendance at the march in Madrid, Spain, were seven government ministers including labour minister Yolanda Diaz and representatives of three left-wing parties that will be running in the regional elections on Tuesday.
Union leaders at the rally urged the government to follow through with commitments that have been delayed by the health crises, such as approving the equal pay law and increasing the minimum wage.
Diaz said: “The crisis has made us face up to an outdated labour model, based on casual work, seasonal employment and inequality…which is exactly what the labour ministry has started to change.” She added that employment is key in overcoming the current health crises.
According to police in Berlin, Germany, around 5,000 people attended the rallies, of which more than 20 were scheduled to be held regarding issues such as rising rent and the immigration policy in Germany.