Police in several European countries battled May Day demonstrators who
rallied Friday as workers around the world marked the traditional labor
Turkish police used water cannons to prevent hundreds
of workers from marching into a main Istanbul square (Taksim) as
authorities permitted a small group led by union officials to hold
commemorations there. News media report a number of injuries and
Turkey's parliament reinstated May Day as a public
holiday last week. The date had been removed from Turkey's calendar
after a 1980 military coup.
In Athens, Greek police used tear
gas against several hundred demonstrators who broke away from a
peaceful march and burned at least one car.
Meanwhile, police in
Berlin say protesters threw bottles and stones at officers. German
authorities report at least 48 people detained.
pro-Kremlin United Russia party organized marches in major cities.
Several thousand communists gathered at a statue of Karl Marx waving
red banners, criticizing official economic policies and calling on the
government to step down. Police reported several arrests. Authorities
also detained more than 100 people at a rally in St. Petersburg.
in the western Austrian city of Linz report five people injured and 20
arrested in clashes with police at a communist organized rally.
marched in May Day rallies in Spain, and in many French cities workers
protested President Nicolas Sarkozy's economic reform policies. In
Italy, union leaders moved their rallies to the town of L'Aquila in a
show of solidarity with the victims of last month's earthquake there.
Day is traditionally marked by union rallies in many European countries
and the global economic downturn is expected to swell the crowds this
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.