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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: International | Labor & Workers
100,000 march in Moscow and thousands march around the world for labor
100,000 people marched in Moscow for May Day, International Workers Day, a worldwide labor holiday except in the USA where it originated in 1886 in the struggle for the 8 hour day. Elsewhere in the world, thousands demonstrated for labor issues, including the 8 hour day.
Marchers in Europe used May 1, a national holiday in more than 80 countries around the world, to protest against government-imposed austerity measures.
Thousands of May Day protesters in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan demanded raises in pay that they say has not kept up with rising consumer prices, while also calling for lower school fees and expressing a variety of other grievances.
Indonesian workers held Asia's biggest rally, watched warily by a heavy police and army presence.
Carrying banners saying "raise our salaries" and "stop outsourcing contracts", more than 9,000 workers gathered at Jakarta's main roundabout before marching to the state palace.
About 16,000 police and soldiers were deployed to guard the protest, Rikwanto, Jakarta police spokesman, said.
"Living costs have gone up but our salaries remain unchanged," Muhamad Rusdi, a protest leader, told the AFP news agency.
"We only make enough to eat but there is no money in the bank, no money for our children's education."
In the Philippine capital, Manila, about 8,000 members of a huge labour alliance, many clad in red shirts and waving red streamers, marched towards the presidential palace, Alex Gutierrez, Manila police chief, said.
Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine president, rejected their calls for a pay rise, which he said could worsen inflation, result in layoffs and turn away foreign investors.
In Moscow, about 100,000 people, including President Dmitry Medvedev and president-elect Vladimir Putin, took part in the main march through the city centre.
Trade Unions organised the rally, demanding the rights of workers be respected.
A few thousand Greeks gathered in capital Athens' Syntagma square protesting against government’s austerity measures.
A video is at the above website.
Among sailors, the cry Mayday, Mayday, is a distress call. The world is certainly in distress caused by the capitalist profit motive. It is time, long overdue, for labor to end the capitalist profit motive forever and establish a worldwide socialist, planned economy, run by and for labor, which creates all wealth.