1 May 2014, 11:54

More than 100 thousand people are taking part in the May Day demonstration of trade unions in the centre of Moscow, the press service of the city’s main interior department reports. "The festive procession of trade unions from Vasilyevsky Spusk down Tverskaya Street has begun in the Russian capital," the police department said.

The column of the procession participants is led by Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, head of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FITUR) Mikhail Shnakov, head of the Moscow Trade Union Federation Sergei Chernov. Young people and students make the majority of the demonstration’s participants, but elder people are also present.

The column of demonstrators will march from the place of execution in the Red square to the State History Museum carrying slogans "Unity! Solidarity! Rights of Working People!", "Decent Work — Fair Pay!" Chairperson of the "unions" party Labor Union, FITU Secretary Alexander Shershukov said that the party members would carry antifascist slogans at the May Day procession.

"In addition to socio-economic slogans, we also regard this year's May Day demonstration as an antifascist event," he said.

Members of the procession from the A Just Russia party will also call for 'decent wages for decent work'. This column will march from Trubnaya Square along the Boulevard Ring Street to Pushkin Square, where a public meeting will take place.

Thousands attend trade unions rally in downtown Moscow

Nearly 80,000 people gathered for a march of trade unions in central Moscow on Thursday to mark Labor Day, the city police said in a statement.

"Around 80,000 people gathered on Vasilievsky Spusk and nearby streets just half an hour before the beginning of the festive demonstration of labor unions. Citizens willing to take part in the event continue arriving," the statement said.

The demonstration started at 10:00 am Moscow time (06:00 GMT).

Moscow will see several dozen rallies on Thursday, including the one on Tsvetnoy Bulvar, attended by around 2,500 people.

May 1 has been a public holiday in Russia since the early years of the Soviet Union.

Now known as Spring and Labor Day, the holiday is marked by trade unions and other groups, which traditionally march to protest against labor grievances and other issues.

More than 40,000 take part in May 1 procession in Russia's Far East

More than 40,000 residents of Russia's Primorsky Krai have taken part in the May 1 procession in Vladivostok. Last year, 35,000 people participated in the procession on the city streets, the press service of the regional administration told the Russian news agency.

This year the procession route, the same as in 2013, ran on the bridge across the Zolotoi Rog Bay that just in two years after its building has become a recognisable symbol of the Primorsky Krai capital. Then the procession participants marched along the city’s most picturesque streets where the city dwellers welcomed them.

Primorsky Krai governor Vladimir Miklushevsky said that the Zolotoi Rog bridge festive procession is becoming a new good tradition of Vladivostok.

"The bridge across the Zolotoi Rog Bay is a new symbol of Vladivostok. Today, thousands of people of different professions and age have again marched shoulder to shoulder over it. Only together we can make our region even better and more beautiful. Only on us the future of Primorsky Krai depends," the region's head stressed.

It is noteworthy that the Zolotoi Rog bridge, built for the APEC summit in 2012, linked the city's centre with the district where the first ever May Day meeting in the Primorsky Krai capital was held in 1901.

The May Day procession ended in the city’s central square where artists from all over the region will be performing till late night.

Several interaction zones have been organised here.

The May Day craftsmen's foundry includes mater classes on painting wooden handcrafted item, while clay figurines, and a press wall for taking pictures against the background of the Olympic and Paralymic flames is installed at the sports exhibition ground of the Fetisov Arena,TASS news agency reports.

Russia celebrates Labor Day on Thursday

Labor Day is celebrated on Thursday. This holiday, which is celebrated in Russia, the United States, some countries in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia on the first day of May, is known by several names, such as International Workers' Solidarity Day, Spring and Labor Day, Labor Day and Spring Day. In Soviet times, the majority of Russians called this holiday May 1 Day or May Day, referring to the date on which it was celebrated.

The May 1 celebrations date back to events that took place in Chicago in the 19th century. Large-scale rallies and demonstrations of workers demanding an eight-hour workday began in Chicago on May 1, 1886. The rallies ended in clashes with the police.

On May 3, at the Cyrus McCormick harvester thresher factory, police opened fire on strikers, killing at least two workers.

On May 4, at a protest rally in Haymarket Square, someone threw a bomb at police, who fired back at the crowd. Sixty police officers were injured, and eight died. The exact number of workers who died has not been determined. Police arrested hundreds of people. Seven anarchist workers were sentenced to death.

In July 1889, at the suggestion of the French delegate Raymond Lavigne, the Paris Congress of the Second International decided to hold an annual May 1 workers' demonstrations as a sign of solidarity with the Chicago workers.

On May 1, 1890, May Day rallies were held for the first time in Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, the United States, Norway, France and Sweden.

In the UK, the holiday was held on May 4. Their main slogan was the demand for an eight-hour workday.

On May 1, 1891, the Social Democratic group led by revolutionary Mikhail Brusnev held the first illegal May Day gathering in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). After the October Revolution of 1917, it became an official holiday.

On May 1, 1933, the first air parade was held on Red Square. Air parades were then held regularly as part of May Day demonstrations to display Soviet military might until the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

During the war, no May Day events were held.

In 1970, the USSR labor legislation gave the holiday a new name: May 1 and 2 officially became International Workers' Solidarity Day.

On May 1, 1990, the official May Day demonstration was held for the last time.

In 1992, International Workers' Solidarity Day was renamed Spring and Labor Day.

Spring and Labor Day is celebrated in Russia with mass demonstrations and rallies for social and labor justice, folk festivals and concerts.

In 2013, marches and rallies were held in more than a thousand Russian cities. Moscow hosted 14 events, the largest of which was attended by 90,000 people under the flags of trade unions, the National People's Front and United Russia Party.

In 2014, a May Day trade unions' demonstration will be held on Red Square in Moscow.

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