On April 30th, Turkish officials announced publicly that they would use force if need to be to thwart a May Day demonstration planned to be held in the center of the capital city of Istanbul.
"We will use force as the law permits...It is natural that an illegal demonstration will be stopped," Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said
The demonstration is jointly planned by Turkey's three largest workers' unions, and if carried through would include over half a million people. However, past demonstrations such as the one planned have led to serious problems and because of that precedent the Turkish government has banned such mass demonstrations.
"There are necessary reasons for this, and this has to be understood. Taksim Square has a lot of traffic, and it's difficult to control," according to Interior Minister Besir Atalay.
In a parallel political development, in Bangalore, India, the Election Commission on April 30th told political outfits in the region of Karnataka not to fly party flags during May Day celebrations and forbade the use of the celebrations for a "political platform" by any party.
The cause behind the concern is the inflammatory nature that May Day is capable of bringing out in people, especially people who feel they have been repressed or oppressed, and entire masses of people can act out irrationally, destructively, and violently.
Maryam Namazie exemplifies this stand:
May Day, the day of international solidarity and struggle of the working class, is at the same time the day of unity of repressed humanity to change this inverted world. We call on the people of the world to stand up on May Day to capitalism and the catastrophes it causes, to starvation and war, terrorism, ignorance and domination of religion, to deprivation and inequality and in support of freedom, equality and human identity.
In the West, May Day has become a day to celebrate the onset of the warmer days and nights of Spring and Summer and the blossoming of flowering plants and trees.
However, further back in Western European cultural history May Day was a day that celebrated fertility and its accompanying sexual release--which could, at times, take the form of what are today unacceptable public displays. The May Pole that is danced around is, originally, nothing other than a symbolic and iconic erect penis.
However, for many other parts of the globe May Day is also called "Workers' Day".
Namibian senior researcher at the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRi), Herbert Jauch, writes
that on May Day in his nation, "The labour movements need to consult the workers to make the day exciting. The day should be a platform where the workers themselves can raise their issues." Workers' unions in that nation this year plan to focus on the economy and the creation of jobs.