The Washington Post Sunday

May Day protesters take to the streets

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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.

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