Throughout the world thousands of people celebrated May Day, The international day of the workers on Sunday (1 May).
Throughout the world thousands of people celebrated May Day, The international day of the workers on Sunday (1 May). In the East, violent demonstrations in the Philippines were in direct contrast to serene celebrations in China and Japan.
SYNOPSIS: There was a festive atmosphere in Peking, marked by traditional dancing and costume. Last year Chairman Mao Tse-tung's widow held the spot light. But this year posters of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng were carried along side those of Mao Tse-tung.
As comedians performed on open air stages, singers sang the praises of Mr. Hua. There was more emphasis on industrial and agricultural production with new side shows displaying ingenious working models of communes and factories.
In the Philippines the scene was less tranquil. Although thousands gathered for the festivities to hear President Marco's speech, violence marred the occasion. In Manila about 100 youths demonstrated against martial law.
Police used batons and fire-hoses to the disperse the crowd. But the violence was worldwide. Riot police also clashed with demonstrators in Madrid, Rome and Athens. Fifty people were detained and 20 injured in Madrid alone.
In Japan as well as China the day reflected a great deal of pageantry and colour. This too however was in direct contrast to the disruption and chaos in the country only a week ago when a nationwide strike by the Japan's 290,000 railway workers shut down most of the nation's public rail services for two days. The railwaymen walked out after failing to get a minimum wage increase. In spite of this, thousands participated in the annual May Day parade.