The first May Day protests originated in several countries throughout Europe including Stockholm, Madrid, London, Brussels, and Geneva in 1890. While the demand for an 8-hour workday was the primary concern that protesters were protesting for, other demands included improved working conditions, universal suffrage, peace among nations, and international solidarity. While it originally started as a labor movement in protest for improved wages and working conditions, protesters - who are primarily from working class backgrounds - now demonstrate for celebratory purposes and tradition while many others do it to create change.
Over the decades, the May Day protests and demonstrations have expanded globally and internationally to other countries including Canada, Indonesia, and Taiwan. The protests are also a part of the Occupy Movement, a movement dedicated to protesting against capitalism and the corruption of corporations and to finding solidarity within labor unions and other activist groups.
Protesters in Canada demonstrated to bring awareness about the impact that federal government budget cuts had on employment and job loss. The protest in Montreal also turned violent as more than 100 people were arrested during the protest.
Protests were held from coast to coast in major cities including New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. Protests were often organized by Occupy movement. Turnout was lower than that of other countries because the protests were held on a work day.
Thousands of protesters marched through the capital demanding higher wages and better working conditions. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono responded by announcing a higher tax-free income ceiling and additional subsidized housing.
Protesters gathered in Manila to demand higher wages and policies to prevent workers from termination.
Protesters in Taiwan marched through the streets of downtown Taiwan to demand for a number of things including higher wages, lower school tuition, and better conditions for foreign workers.
The 2009 May Day protests were a series of international protests that took place across Europe, Asia and in the other parts of the world over the current global economic crisis. Several May Day marches, which are traditional events, had turned violent in Germany, Turkey and Venezuela as riot police battled protesters in their respective countries. Banks and shops had been attacked in Turkey.Further marches had taken place in Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong, Cuba, Italy and Spain.Financial crisis of 2007–2008
The financial crisis of 2007–2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.It began in 2007 with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States, and developed into a full-blown international banking crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008. Excessive risk-taking by banks such as Lehman Brothers helped to magnify the financial impact globally. Massive bail-outs of financial institutions and other palliative monetary and fiscal policies were employed to prevent a possible collapse of the world financial system. The crisis was nonetheless followed by a global economic downturn, the Great Recession. The European debt crisis, a crisis in the banking system of the European countries using the euro, followed later.
In 2010, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in the US following the crisis to "promote the financial stability of the United States". The Basel III capital and liquidity standards were adopted by countries around the world.
Protests in the 21st century