Page last updated at 20:58 GMT, Thursday, 1 May 2008 21:58 UK

In pictures: May Day protests

Workers in Donetsk, Ukraine, demanding  better living conditions

The first day of May brought workers and unionists on to the streets in Ukraine and around the world to mark May Day or Labour Day.

May Day in Havana

The communist island of Cuba rallied thousands in Havana under the gaze of portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Che Guevara. It was the second May Day march not attended by Fidel Castro.

Serb with flag in Belgrade

A man looks out from among red flags in Belgrade. Serbian President Boris Tadic attended to show solidarity with the workers and was reportedly berated by some, but clapped by many.

May Day rally Karachi

Issues and grievances ranged from country to country - in Pakistan, a fisheries worker chants slogans behind her nets in Karachi.

May Day in Jakarta

In Jakarta, labour activists dressed as slaves serving the "King of Corruption" as they marched to the presidential palace.

United Russia supporter in St Petersburg

But the May Day holiday meant different things to different people in Russia - where pro-Putin supporters held separate rallies to those carrying the hammer and sickle flags of the Soviet era.

Police and protesters in Zurich

Many marches were heavily policed - sometimes as a precaution, like in Zurich where protesters blew only bubbles...

Protester arrested by police in Istanbul

... and sometimes to make a point. In Istanbul, police used tear gas and water cannon to break up a banned May Day rally.

Protesters in Hamburg

In Hamburg, left-wing activists clashed with German police protecting a far-right march, resulting in damage to property and arrests.

Afghan worker in Kabul

And while those who were able to march marched, there were many who had to keep on working, like this man in Kabul.

Huge rally in Cuba marks May Day
01 May 08 |  Americas
Police break up Turkey marchers
01 May 08 |  Europe

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