NEW YORK • Labour unions and immigrant advocacy groups were due to lead May Day rallies in cities across the United States yesterday, with organisers expecting larger- than-usual turnouts to protest against the immigration policies of President Donald Trump.
The demonstrations could be the largest by immigrants since Mr Trump's inauguration on Jan 20, activists say, and some immigrant- run businesses plan to shut down for some or all of the day to protest against the administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants.
May Day has typically been a quieter affair in the US than the rest of the world, where it is a public holiday in many countries.
Turkish police yesterday used tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse protesters seeking to defy a ban and march to Istanbul's Taksim Square to celebrate May Day. More than 200 people were detained.
Chaos also disrupted a May Day rally in Bloemfontein, South Africa, prompting President Jacob Zuma to cancel a speech. He was about to speak at the rally when he was booed by opponents who had earlier clashed with his supporters.
Venezuela was also bracing itself for rough protests marking a month since deadly clashes erupted in a political crisis with no end in sight.
Protests were more peaceful in other parts of the world. Thousands marched in Dhaka, Bangladesh, demanding a reduction in working hours as well as wage increases.
Revellers in Oxford, Britain, also took part in the festivities. In Cuba, the traditional May Day parade was set to be the last to be overseen by President Raul Castro - and the first without his late brother and revolutionary predecessor Fidel.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, XINHUA