Across the globe Wednesday, millions of demonstrators took to the streets to promote workers' rights, with demands reflecting the pressing labor and economic issues facing each nation. Occupy Wall Street activists returned to Manhattan; police in Istanbul, Turkey, fired tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators; and anti-austerity demonstrators held a general strike in Greece, crippling the nation's transit system.
Though the U.S does not observe May Day — President Eisenhower, concerned about the holiday's perceived communist overtones, renamed May 1 "Law Day" in 1958 — organizers held demonstrations in many U.S. cities. Take a look at these May Day photos from around the world:
A rally in Moscow organized by the Russian Communist Party.
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt's May Day speech fails to impress the crowd.
(AP Photo/Polfoto/Daniel hjort)
Police detain a demonstrator in Santiago, Chile, after protests there turned violent.
An estimated 32,000 took to the streets of Tokyo.
Taiwanese workers attempt to remove a road block during a protest over pension cuts.
(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Germans express their discontent with a universal gesture.
A man carries a huge caricature of billionaire tycoon Victor Li during a protest over working conditions and pay.
(Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Union Square, site of Occupy Wall Street's second encampment.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A demonstrator and possible Star Wars fan in London.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- 10 burning questions you've always wanted to ask about investing
- What these custom, 3D-printed earphones say about the future of consumer technology
Subscribe to the Week