• Short Summary

    Violence in the West and official rallies extolling Communist in the East marked May Day, the international day of workers on Sunday (1 May).

  • Description

    Violence in the West and official rallies extolling Communist in the East marked May Day, the international day of workers on Sunday (1 May).

    SYNOPSIS: Tens of thousands of East Berliners marched through the centre of the city to mark the first East German May Day demonstration for 20 years without a military display. Normally, there's a rumble of rockets, tanks and artillery, but that always drew protests from western allies who said it violated post-war agreements barring German troops from Berlin.

    But despite the decision to keep armaments out of sight, the parade was given strong military overtones with the march-past in tightly drilled formations of some 5,000 members of the so-called factory fighting groups for internal defence. East Germany was the last Soviet bloc country to abandon the military march past.

    For four hours East Berliners strode down the Karl-Marx-Alee waving red flags and plastic carnations and carrying slogans and portraits of national leaders. Friendship with the Soviet Union was stressed as heavily as ever.

    In West Berlin, the pro-Moscow Communist party, the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin, staged a rally which attracted about 20,000 people. It was a peaceful event, as were two other rallies staged in the city on the same day. Among the people celebrating was a group of Turkish immigrants who live and work in West Berlin.

    In Athens, the Greek government had banned all gatherings except a mass rally by workers and trade unionists in the Pedio Areos Square. But rival Communist factions had organised their own rallies and there were clashes. Twelve policemen were also injured during clashes with the workers and students. Four policemen were taken to hospital and about 20 demonstrators arrested.

    In Madrid, a rally organised by Spanish Communists was relatively quiet, despite unrest earlier in the day. The Socialist, Communist and Leftist trade unions, who were granted legal status earlier this week, had called for massive rallies to mark the day. But the government forbade the gatherings, apparently fearful of upsetting the right-wing and conservative military officers who had disapproved of the government's decision to legalise the Communist Party.

    In Rome, the government had also banned all but one official May Day demonstration, but hundreds of left-wing demonstrators arrived in a central Rome square. Scuffles broke out with police and riot police fired teargas grenades to disperse the demonstrators -- many of whom were arrested. Italy's grave economic crisis, unemployment and the current wave of political violence were the main themes at the trade union rally.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8GG1VYXDK1YGR8VCF5XANXG04
    Media URN:
    VLVA8GG1VYXDK1YGR8VCF5XANXG04
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    02/05/1977
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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