The Guardian May 10, 2000

May Day international roundup

May Day demonstrations around the world were the focus for strong 
protests against the attacks on the working people of all countries by the 
big corporations and the consequences of economic rationalism. On all 
continents workers and communities were out on the streets.

In Berlin and Hamburg May Day demonstrators were attacked by Nazi skinheads 
and racists. In Hamburg protesters threw stones at banks, broke shop 
windows and set fire to cars in the city centre.

In Turkey demonstrators directed their fury at the International Monetary 
Fund. "IMF: This nation is not for sale" was the slogan on one huge banner 
carried by the crowds marching through Istanbul.

In Gdansk, Poland, left-wing marchers were at a monument commemorataing 
those who died in the city's defence during WW2, when they were attacked by 
Nazi skinheads.

Thousands marched in Sofia, Bulgaria, to protest against the poverty 
imposed on the people since the overthrow of socialism. Their slogans 
called for "Bread, work, security."

In Britain thousands gathered in central London for anti-capitalist 

In South Korea, trade unions held rallies together with students demanding 
that the Government scrap its plan to sell the Daewoo Motor Company to a 
foreign buyer. They called for pay rises, shorter working hours and an end 
to the Government's corporate reform drive.


In Indonesia, the newly free trade union organisations staged protests 
calling for greater freedom for trade unions and better pay and welfare. 
Police shot dead one student.

In Burma, the National League for Democracy called for the military 
Government to end the use of forced labour and recognise the result of the 
country's last election 10 years ago. Their statement said that the 
country's economy had collapsed since the military came to power.

In the Philippines police broke up protest rallies outside the Presidential 
palace. About 3,000 protesters waving red flags marched to denounce 
economic globalisation and the policies of the Estrada Government.

In Japan an estimated 1.7 million people took part in rallies calling upon 
the Government to alleviate the country's worst unemployment crisis since 
WW2. They called for job security and better employment conditions.

In Bangkok about 1,000 workers marched demanding an end to the wage freeze.

In Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Russia and other countries across the globe 
tens of thousands celebrated workers day this year.

One million assembled in Revolution Square in Havana with the demand that 
Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez be returned by the US to his homeland together 
with his father.

Across Latin America many more tens of thousands made May Day this year 
remarkable for its international character.

"Workers of the World, Unite!" is becoming more and more a reality.

Back to index page