• Short Summary

    A bomb blast in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon brought death and destruction to mar worldwide May Day celebrations on Saturday (1 May).

  • Description

    A bomb blast in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon brought death and destruction to mar worldwide May Day celebrations on Saturday (1 May).

    Several hours before a march by Portuguese trade unionists was due to start the bomb exploded, killing a 17-year-old youth and seriously injuring another six people.

    But the march still went ahead despite the blast and thousands of chanting demonstrators marched to the 1st May Stadium to hear rousing messages by union leaders.

    In Moscow, USSR, the international workers' holiday, was celebrated by a huge and colourful parade in Red Square. From early morning thousands converged on the square and at 10 a.m. General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, Leonid Brezhnev, President Nikolai Podgorny, Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin, mounted the steps of Lenin's Mausoleum to review the parade.

    A display of military and air strength was focal point of the celebrations in the East German capital, East Berlin - the only Soviet bloc state to demonstrate its martial might on May Day. The display was similar to those held there eight years in succession.

    Nato envoys in East Berlin boycotted the parade and three western allies in West Berlin - the United Sates, Britain and France - lodged a protest on the grounds that military demonstrations violate the demilitarised status imposed on Berlin after World War Two.

    Across the West German border in West Berlin the city's Governing Mayor Klaus Schuetz told a labour union rally he welcomed the western allies' protest against East Berlin's show of military power. "Berlin should be a city of peace in both parts" he said.

    There were angry scenes in Athens, Greece, as communist and socialist demonstrators held an illegal rally in the City Hall Square. The Greek government has banned all such demonstrations and their ruling was hotly disputed by May Day marchers. The crowd also demonstrated its anti-NATO and anti-U.S.A. feelings at the rally.

    However recognised labour organisations in Athens adhered to the government ruling and held a meeting in a sporting club ground where they listened to speeches and chanted pro-government slogans.

    Italy saw a large and well organised march by trade unionists in
    the city of Milan. One group of marchers carried large letters spelling out UNITA the workers' newspaper.

    In Suez City in Egypt the country's president, Anwar Sadat received a rousing welcome from tens of thousands of people who lined the streets to watch his motorcade go by. Later, in a televised May Day message, the president praised China's military aid to Egypt. He also said that Egypt was reluctant to escalate differences with the USSR and hoped that one day relations would be normalised.

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