Compared to the rest of the world, the May Day celebration in San José was pretty sedate.
French and Turkish police fired tear gas at protesters as tensions erupted in both of those countries, according to wire service reports, which added:
Police estimated some 17,000 protesters marched throughout the French capital for a rally riding a wave of anger against planned labor reforms set to come before the French parliament Tuesday. Ten people were arrested.
Turkish police and protesters clashed in Istanbul as several dozen people tried to reach the city’s Taksim Square, where festivities were banned.
In Chile’s capital, Santiago, demonstrators held marches days after the country’s constitutional court struck down a bill that would give workers more rights to negotiate with employers, one of the key issues of labor reforms that President Michelle Bachelet has been pushing. Some protesters later clashed with riot police, who used tear gas and a water cannon truck to disperse the crowd.
In Costa Rica, unions were protesting government plans to reduce some benefits and impose new taxes.
But there also was music from a band and marchers who had their own agendas, such as a man who brought a rooster to emphasize his opposition to a bill that would eliminate cock fights. Animals rights organizations support the bill, but some in congress see these activities as Costa Rican culture.