Hundreds of thousands of people joined May Day marches across the world yesterday, as police and protesters clashed in debt-riven Greece.
Thousands join May Day protests in Europe
ATHENS // Hundreds of thousands of people joined May Day marches across the world yesterday, as police and protesters clashed in debt-riven Greece and a bomb killed a veteran of the Second World War in Russia. In Athens, several dozen youths, charged a line of anti-riot forces, prompting police to respond with tear gas as thousands of protesters swarmed the city to protest budget cuts forced by the debt crisis. Police said about 15,000 people joined the Athens marches to vent anger at deep budget cuts which will hit public sector workers particularly hard. There were also clashes at a march in the Chinese gambling capital Macau, where police used a water cannon and pepper spray against hundreds of protestors who fought back with stones and bottles. Tens of thousands filled a central square in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul for the first May Day celebrations at the site after dozens were killed there 33 years ago. In Russia, diehard Communists hoisted red flags and portraits of wartime leader Joseph Stalin in a throw-back to Soviet-era parades and joining unionists to bemoan the economic crisis and call for a return to communism. An event in the country's restive North Caucasus region of Kabardino Balkaria was marred by a bomb blast that killed a 94-year-old veteran of the Second World War and injured nearly two dozen other people, according to news agencies. May Day rallies also drew hundreds of thousands of people in several French cities although the turnout disappointed unions who had called for a massive show of force against pension reform. Agence France-Presse