In many parts of the world May Day was marked by parents of workers, separatist, those threatened by redundancy and many other interest groups.
In many parts of the world May Day was marked by parents of workers, separatist, those threatened by redundancy and many other interest groups. One of the biggest demonstrations was in Iran.
SYNOPSIS: In Teheran hundreds of thousands of rival left-wing and Islamic groups held separate demonstrations. There were some minor scuffles between supporters of the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini and members of the pro-Moscow Tudeh (Communist) party, but Teheran remained mainly peaceful.
Spain saw its first May Day parades since the country became a full constitutional democracy. The Spanish Communist leader Santiago Carrillo, and the Socialist leader Felipe Gonzalez were prominent in a Madrid demonstration concerned mainly with unemployment and workers' right.
Sr Carrillo told the crowd that the rally was not a threat to anyone. But he did demand that terrorists who he said do not have ideas but who do have guns and dangers must suffer the full weight of justice. He stands with the government against the use of political violence, which in recent months has become common in the Basque country.
But in the Basque country this separatist demonstration in Bilbao passed peacefully, although there was evidence of strong feelings among those who took part. There were vehement banners and raised arm salutes. This demonstration was different from the others held in Spain, where most of the estimated million marchers in 400 parades were organised by trade unions.
Rain in Paris meant there were as many umbrellas as banners. These trade unionists demonstrated peacefully, although there had been fears of violence after another trade union-organised march six weeks ago ended in rioting and looting. Here again he main concern was about unemployment which remains a major issue while the French government pursues its policy of rationalisation, especially in the steel industry.
The police were also expecting trouble in Longwy in easter France, an area severely hit by unemployment. Those who marched were angry about the government's employment policies and their May Day parade deteriorated into a street battle with police.
The demonstrators used stones petrol bombs and burning barricades, and the police used tear gas.
May Day in Longwy left clouds of tear gas and palls of smoke from the fires in the streets.