The Washington Post Sunday
May Day protesters take to the streets
Workers and union leaders dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for slimmed-down but still boisterous May Day marches Saturday, demanding more labor protections amid a pandemic that has turned economies and workplaces upside down.
In France, thousands took to the streets with trade union banners and flags. Riot police clashed with demonstrators in Paris and the southern city of Lyon, while burning roadblocks threw clouds of smoke into the Paris air. Police in Paris said they made 34 arrests. Authorities also reported five arrests and 27 police officers injured in Lyon. But most of the dozens of marches across France passed without incident.
For labor leaders, the day was a test of their ability to mobilize workers in the face of the pandemic and economic challenges brought by it.
In countries that mark May 1 as International Labor Day, the annual celebration of workers’ rights produced crowds of marchers, though smaller than normal, carrying banners and standing shoulder to shoulder.
In Turkey and the Philippines, police prevented May Day demonstrations, enforcing virus lockdowns.