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May Day Protests In Seattle, Paris, Istanbul Erupt In Violence

As thousands across the world rallied for workers and immigration rights in celebration of May Day, some protests in Seattle, Paris and Istanbul went from peaceful to violent as protesters clashed with police

The Huffington Post reports:  Protesters gather on May 1 each year to focus attention on labor and immigration issues, but demonstrators in cities across the United States also used the occasion to rally against police violence.

In Seattle, Washington, what began as peaceful protests for immigration and workers rights turned ugly when anti-capitalist demonstrators began throwing rocks and bottles, the Seattle police department said.

As reported, two Seattle police officers were injured, and at least seven protesters were detained after a group of unruly demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles, and Molotov cocktails and broke windows. The newspapers have reported that the police was using “blast balls” and pepper spray to keep the demonstration under control.

“In Los Angeles, California, hundreds of people marched in a May Day rally that took aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his anti-illegal immigration platform that includes building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Protesters have been holding ‘Dump Trump’ signs and called for immigration reform and an end to deportations.

The demonstration in America’s second most populous city, which has a large immigrant population, came just days after protesters smashed the window of a police car and blocked traffic outside a Trump campaign event in Costa Mesa, California, 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Los Angeles,” continues the author of the article.

An LA Police Department said that no arrests were made.

In Paris the protesting groups have performed a rally against labor reforms; more than 80,000 people marched throughout France on Sunday, including up to 17,000 in Paris, police said. That is far fewer than in the first rallies against the reform which started two months ago. The activists have called for cancelling the planned changes, claiming that the reforms will lead to poorer working conditions and more sackings.

“Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon and detained more than 200 people after scuffles broke out at May Day celebrations in Istanbul and some anti-government protesters tried to breach a ban on access to the main Taksim square,” assumes the author of the article.

“Some illegal groups who want to damage the peace and safety of our people attempted illegal marches and demonstrations primarily around Taksim square ... under the pretext of May Day celebrations,” the governor’s office said. “A total of 207 people have been detained, and some 40 Molotov cocktails, 17 hand grenades, 176 fireworks ... and lots of illegal posters have been seized,” it continued.

“Nobody has guns or bombs. People will come and express themselves, but the state prevents them even from coming to the area they allocated,” an activist said.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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