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May 01, 2013

May Day Rallies Held Around the World

Workers around the world took to the streets Wednesday to mark International Workers Day, also known as May Day, with marches and calls for higher pay and better working conditions.

In Istanbul, Turkey, demonstrators attempting to reach Taksim Square, the usual site of May Day rallies, clashed with police who attempted to deny them access to the square. Protesters hurled stones and other objects, while riot police fired tear gas and water cannon.

A May Day labor union strike in Greece halted ferry service to the Greek islands and public transportation in Athens, where demonstrators protested prolonged economic austerity policies.

Workers across Spain, where the unemployment rate has climbed to 27 percent, held rallies for economic policy changes.

In France, the far-right opposition National Front party held its traditional May Day march to highlight what leader Marine Le Pen called the "failing politics of France's Socialist government."

In the Philippines, demonstrators marched in Manila to demand the government protect their jobs.

In Cambodia, garment factory workers demanding higher wages and better working conditions rallied in Phnom Penh.