Anti-austerity is a theme that has been running through traditional May Day rallies across Europe.
In Madrid, labour activists voiced their opposition to reforms and jobs cuts in health and education. The Spanish government is aiming to slash public spending by ten billion euros a year.
Elsewhere, Istanbul’s Taksim Square has been the focus for Turkish May Day events. An Islamist group called ‘Anti-Capitalist Muslim Youth’ joined in for the first time.
Hundreds of thousands of workers filled the streets of Havana. Cuban President Raul Castro, who looked on, has launched a series of economic reforms. He has said his goal is not to replace communism, but to take steps to strengthen it for the future. In Asia, workers marched through the streets of Seoul, to demand better employment conditions.
International Workers’ Day, as the May Day holiday is officially known, is meant to be a celebration of working people around the globe.