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May Day 2012 Demonstrations

A national holiday for more than 80 countries worldwide, International Workers Day, also known as “May Day,” is a celebration of the global labor movement. Around the turn of the 20th century, the movement saw the establishment of an eight-hour workday and an improvement in workers rights. Around the globe, May Day has traditionally seen organized demonstrations and marches attended by working-class individuals and unions to press for workers’ rights.

This year, the May Day celebrations have a new resonance with the U.S. and global populations, after last year’s highly publicized “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations sparked similar “occupy” protests around the world. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) stood against wealth disparity, government corruption and expressed general dissatisfaction with today’s economic and financial landscape. Organizers of OWS promised a revival of protests in parallel to the May Day demonstrations, lending added visibility to the events.

The following is a sampling of this year’s May Day events in major countries. Click ahead for scenes.

By Paul Toscano
Posted 1 May 2012

Photo: Josep Lago | AFP | Getty Images