Labor Day/ May Day/ International Workers’ Day falls on the May 1st every year in most countries across the globe. It is a day to recognize the contribution of the working classes that dates back to the late 19th century.
While it is a public holiday in most countries, May 1st is also marked with rallies. These protests not only touch on the welfare of the workers but the general well-being of a country as a whole. Labor day 2017, was no different with protests in major cities globally from Asia to Africa to Europe. These protests were mostly peaceful where the biggest risk for travelers was traffic delays.
Before May 1st, SAFEY issued alerts about the upcoming protests to users in at least 44 countries. The alerts sent highlighted possible risks to travelers. Alerts were sent to travelers in:
Besides the advanced warning, the team of SAFEY analysts also continued to monitor the situation in cities where the protests have turned violent, to prevent travelers from physical harm. The cities that witnessed such incidents include Istanbul and Paris where tear gas was used.
A similar situation was also experienced in Caracas, Venezuela where clashes between police and rioters, resulted in injuries and damage.
In the USA, Labor Day falls on September 1st, but violent protests including those in the city of Portland resulted not only in chaotic scenes on the streets but also damage in properties in the downtown area.
Our advice for travelers during times of civil unrest is to:
1) Remain aware for signs of increased tensions in your vicinity.
2) Avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential for escalation.
3) Be aware of the risk of traffic disruption in your vicinity.
4) Monitor local media outlets and SAFEY regularly for updated information.