Violence marks some May Day celebrations

May 1, 2009 at 12:31 PM
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LONDON, May 1 (UPI) -- Annual May Day celebrations turned violent in Turkey and Germany Friday but it was relatively quiet in Moscow where 25,000 people gathered for rallies.

Masked protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police in central Istanbul, smashing bank and supermarket windows, the Telegraph reported Friday.

Istanbul's governor, Muammer Guler, said 21 police officers were injured and authorities detained 108 protesters, Anatolia News Agency reported.

In Ankara, 15 police officers were injured in clashes with protesters.

Some 200 anti-capitalist demonstrators in Berlin threw bottles and stones at police, injuring 30 officers. Forty-nine demonstrators were arrested.

In Moscow, trade unions and the Russian Communist Party held marches and rallies with only a minor incident occurring, Itar-Tass says.

As Communists were passing by the State Duma building, two marchers were arrested by police for lighting flares.

Police in St. Petersburg detained 120 people following a demonstration by nationalists, anti-fascists and anarchists.

In London, May Day protesters targeted the Bank of England in scenes reminiscent of the G20 protests, reported.

Some Oxford University students ignored a government ban and plunged off a bridge into chilly waters, the Sun reported.

Jumping off Magdalen Bridge was outlawed in 2005 after a number of students were injured.

Annual May Day rallies were held in several cities in Greece with three separate rallies taking place in Athens sponsored by competing political factions, the Athens News Agency reported.

Brief scuffles were reported in Thessaloniki when a group of youths threw objects at the president of the town's labor center.

Labor unions in France planned hundreds of marches throughout the country. This year marked the first time eight main French labor unions would march together.

Japan's Trade Union Confederation held its 80th annual May Day rally in a Tokyo Park drawing nearly 36,000 regular and temporary workers, the Japan Times reports.

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