May Day Protests Around the World


In many countries, workers will gather and protest this Sunday April 30th and Monday May 1st for May Day, also known as the International Workers’ Day. Although these demonstrations are generally peaceful, some low-level acts of violence are possible. Attacks against police forces, surrounding buildings and cars are common in some European countries, especially in major city centers. Authorities expect higher risks of violence for this year’s May Day due to the current political environment.

While it is hard to predict the exact location and time of each protest, some organizations did announce their plans ahead of May 1st:
  • France: Protests are expected in each major city. In Paris, people will assemble at 2:30 p.m. Place de la Republique and walk toward the Place de la Bastille.  
  • Germany: Protests are expected in each major city with the largest demonstrations being in Berlin at 1:00 p.m. starting in Lausitzer Platz and at 2:00 pm in Oranienplatz. Anarchist and anti-fascist rallies where violence is likely will likely start late on Sunday in other neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg.
  • Greece: The Pan-Hellenic Seamen's Federation announced its plan to strike for 24 hours on May 1st, likely halting all ferry services nationwide. Protests are expected in Athens, around Pedion Tou Areos, Syntagma, Karaiskaki and the University Campus.
  • Italy: A national demonstration will be held from 9:00 a.m. at Portella della Ginestra, near Palermo, Sicily. Large-scale events are expected in Rome (Piazza San Giovanni) and will certainly attract thousands of people.
  • Netherlands: A large protest is scheduled at 1:00 p.m. in Amsterdam, starting under the De Dokwerker statue and heading to Museum Square.
  • Spain: A protest is schedule in Barcelona at 11:00 a.m. at Placa de L'angel. Other demonstrations are expected in other major towns (Madrid, Valencia, Sevvila). Clashes between protesters and police are possible.
  • United Kingdom: A marche is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at Clerkenwell Green, London and would head toward Trafalgar Square for a large scale gathering at 1:00 p.m. Roads on the march’s path will be closed for traffic.
  • Turkey: Although Turkish authorities have denied permission for the usual May Day protest in Taksim Square, Istanbul, it could take place regardless, resulting in high levels of tension, security and potential violence.
  • United-States: Demonstrations are scheduled in most main citiesthroughout the country on either April 30th or May 1st. A list of announced protests is available here:


If you are traveling to a major city in the following days, follow these safety tips:
  • Prior to leaving, check if protests are to be expected at your destination and prepare your itinerary accordingly.
  • Avoid the areas listed above and ask your hotel or a local about other neighborhoods to avoid.
  • Avoid driving in major city centers.
  • Chose a secure parking building over street parking when possible.
  • Do not park in streets near the protests’ itinerary.
  • Plan more time to arrive at your destination as transportation will likely be disrupted.
Posted: 4/28/2017 1:40:15 PM