On Wednesday, May 1, hundreds of thousands of people marked Labour Day by taking part in various events and rallies ranging from Soviet-style to humorous rallies and campaign for single ladies’ rights.
Moscow saw seven rallies, the biggest of them being a march of labor unions in Moscow, co-organized by the ruling United Russia party. But the biggest rally in Russia was held in St. Petersburg, where 150,000 participated in the labor unions’ marched down the central Nevsky Prospekt, local police said.
Not only pro-Kremlin but also several opposition movements rallied that day, among them the Communist Party, which maintains Labor Day traditions established in Soviet times, when the May 1 event was among the chief state holidays.
May 1 has also become a day when two so-called “Hyde Parks” were opened in different parts of Moscow. These parks are special reservations where mass gatherings can be held without special permits from authorities.
On the first day of work “Hyde Parks” failed to attract any political groups, but instead hosted a slew of eccentric events including a Single Girls Rally, a rally against rude behavior and a dance flashmob to promote European hardcore techno.
The most unusual rally on Labour Day was "Monstration" - several tongue-in-cheek events where participants tout banners with deliberately absurd slogans. The largest such gathering was held in Novosibirsk, where around 2,000 people joined the absurd extravaganza which is a fun mixture of a carnival, a demonstration and a march. The rally’s main slogan was “Forward to Dark Past!” – apparently as an opposite to Soviet-era’s “Forward to Bright Future!”
Author: Julia Alieva