October 5, 2022

Balkan Travellers

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Incidents in Paris, arrests in Istanbul

Posted on Sunday, May 01, 2022 at 9:48 pm.

With inflation, demands for purchasing power were at the center of traditional May Day protests around the world on Sunday, including incidents in France and arrests in Turkey.

Incidents in Paris

In Paris, several clashes between mobile groups of black-clad youths have provoked police.

According to an AFP reporter, about twenty brands, mostly McDonald’s, insurers, real estate agencies or banks, were damaged and the car was wrecked. They also fired tear gas and fired shells at police who tried to disperse them. Eight firefighters were injured, the interior minister said.

Following the re-election of President Emmanuel Macron on April 24, one million people marched across France in a highly politicized environment to confront the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen.

Numerous arrests in Istanbul

Dozens of people were arrested in Istanbul, and six days later, host Usman Qawala and seven civil society members were accused of plotting to overthrow the regime.

The governor’s services announced the arrest of 164 people who wanted to join the popular Taksim Square, the epicenter of major anti-government protests in 2013, closed to traffic and marches.

Boose to the South African president

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa rushed out of the May Day celebrations as angry miners stormed the podium at the Royal Bofoken Stadium in Rustenberg (north). The protesters chanted, “Cyril must leave,” and demanded a pay rise.

The President of Sri Lanka must resign

Opposition parties in Sri Lanka, which have been hit hard by the severe economic crisis, have unanimously demanded the resignation of President Gotabhaya Rajapakse during mass rallies.

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Tens of thousands of activists chanted in Colombo.

Several months of power cuts, inflation and severe shortages of food, fuel and medicine have sparked widespread anti-Rajapakse protests since mid-March.

Purchasing power is the key word in Athens

As inflation in Greece rose to 9.4% in April, thousands of people protested in Athens, demanding additional measures to support purchasing power.

If the minimum wage was increased by 50 euros on May 1 to 713 euros per month, the move would be deemed inadequate by the unions, who are demanding 825 euros.

… Madrid

In Madrid, about 10,000 protesters marched demanding action against wages and inflation, according to a government spokesman. A large banner read, “May Day. Solution: Raise wages, keep prices and expand equality.”

Other demonstrations took place across Spain and in Andorra, where rising costs of living, rising house prices and the loss of purchasing power were central to the demands.

… and in Argentina

Two rallies took place in Buenos Aires: at the initiative of a Peronist group close to the government, which showed its support for the current policy, while at the same time calling for a more pronounced social focus on tackling inflation.

The other is the demand for a radical social change and better wages at the initiative of organizations on the left of power that do not repay the debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

… and in Honduras

In Honduras, as never before, President Xiomara Castro, in power for nearly 100 days, took part in a march of several thousand workers in San Pedro Sula, 180 km north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

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Crowds chanted his name and burned an effigy of his predecessor, Juan Orlando Hernandez, who was deported to the United States on April 21 to respond to drug trafficking after eight years as head of state.

Working for Peace in Italy “

In Italy, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, major trade union federations have called for a rally in Assisi (center), the patron saint of Italy, in St. Francis. Maurizio Landini, leader of the Cgil union, declared in front of several hundred activists, “We must work tirelessly to put an end to this absurd war that Putin wants.”

Laying eggs in Berlin

Berlin Mayor Francisco Kifi was speaking at a rally of 7,500 people in Berlin when, according to media reports, a protester threw eggs at him. Her security service was able to protect her with an umbrella.

Somewhere else

Thousands marched in London at the call of trade unions and environmental or social organizations such as Black Lives Matter (Black Lives Matter).

In Cuba, at the invitation of the government, hundreds of thousands of Cubans, masked, marched on major cities, during which time the island faces severe shortages and rising prices. After two years in prison in connection with the Govt-19 epidemic, the Communist government organized bus transportation and called on workers to take part in the march. The rally was held in Havana in the presence of President Miguel Diaz-Connell and revolutionary leader Raul Castro.