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Thousands across the world plan protests, rallies to mark May Day

Published on May 1, 2014 2:12 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Tens of thousands of people across the globe were hitting the streets on Thursday for mass rallies marking International Labour Day, with Turkey a potential flashpoint on the anniversary of clashes that spawned a nationwide protest movement.

In tense Istanbul, thousands were expected to gather at the highly symbolic Taksim Square in defiance of government orders to stay away - with a massive police presence on the streets a year after violent May Day demonstrations snowballed into a huge anti-government movement.

Rallies were also set to take place across Asia, including in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul, where the annual protest was expected to take a sombre tone in the wake of the South Korean ferry disaster.

Russian workers, meanwhile, were to parade on Red Square for the first time since 1991 - the latest Soviet tradition to be revived as a wave of patriotism sweeps the country.

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