Recognizing the contributions and struggles of laborers on May 1 has roots in late 19th-century Chicago, but there was a timeless quality to some International Workers’ Day observances held around the world Wednesday.

The labor unions behind the first May Day considered an 8-hour work day a cause worth striking for during the second industrial revolution. In 2019, workers marched through Hong Kong to demand a maximum work week of 44 hours, in Jakarta for a higher minimum wage, in Taiwan for more time off and in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, for maternity leave and protections against sexual abuse in the workplace.

Socialist parties picked May 1, 1889, as labor day to commemorate a Chicago rally three years earlier that brought a police crackdown, a mysterious bomb, at least 11 deaths and the subsequent executions of the rally’s anarchist organizers.

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions hold up their banners during a May Day rally in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands of trade union members and activists are marking May Day by marching through Asia's capitals and demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights. The signs read
Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions hold up their banners during a May Day rally in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands of trade union members and activists are marking May Day by marching through Asia’s capitals and demanding better working conditions and expanding labor rights. The signs read “Let’s win the wage struggle.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

On Wednesday in France, clusters of people wearing the black hoods and masks of modern-day anarchists pelted riot police with rocks and set trash cans on fire while darting in and out of a May Day march in Paris. France deployed 7,400 officers to protect the capital and other protesters from the violence.

Protesters and police officers also clashed in Turin, Italy; Istanbul and St. Petersburg, Russia.

And like the trade unionists of old who championed the rights of working classes off the job, activists in Europe, Africa and Asia this year promoted political platforms, opposed construction projects and looked ahead to the next elections.

Balloons and flags fly over the crowd as people prepare to walk on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, with the St. Basil's Cathedral in the background. As in Soviet times, people paraded across Red Square on May Day, but instead of red flags with the Communist hammer and sickle, they waved the Russian tricolor. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Balloons and flags fly over the crowd as people prepare to walk on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, with the St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background. As in Soviet times, people paraded across Red Square on May Day, but instead of red flags with the Communist hammer and sickle, they waved the Russian tricolor. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Pope Francis offered a May Day prayer for people experiencing the “global tragedy” of unemployment.

Workers wear masks during a May Day rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands of workers attended the rally urging the government to raise minimum wages, ban outsourcing practices, provide free health care and improve working condition for workers in the country. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Workers wear masks during a May Day rally in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Thousands of workers attended the rally urging the government to raise minimum wages, ban outsourcing practices, provide free health care and improve working condition for workers in the country. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
Riot police officers patrol during a May Day demonstration in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. French authorities announced tight security measures for May Day demonstrations, with the interior minister saying there was a risk that
Riot police officers patrol during a May Day demonstration in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. French authorities announced tight security measures for May Day demonstrations, with the interior minister saying there was a risk that “radical activists” could join anti-government yellow vest protesters and union workers in the streets of Paris and across the country. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party attend a May Day Rally in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. In South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party used the day to rally voters a week before the country's national election. Wearing their signature red shirts and berets, members gathered at a stadium in Johannesburg in cheering support of populist stances that have put pressure on the ruling African National Congress to address issues like economic inequality and land reform. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party attend a May Day Rally in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. In South Africa, the Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party used the day to rally voters a week before the country’s national election. Wearing their signature red shirts and berets, members gathered at a stadium in Johannesburg in cheering support of populist stances that have put pressure on the ruling African National Congress to address issues like economic inequality and land reform. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Demonstrators confront police officers as scuffles broke out during a May Day rally in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Demonstrators confront police officers as scuffles broke out during a May Day rally in Turin, Italy, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
A man, his face covered in blood, is helped to leave during a May Day demonstration in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. French authorities announced tight security measures for May Day demonstrations, with the interior minister saying there was a risk that
A man, his face covered in blood, is helped to leave during a May Day demonstration in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. French authorities announced tight security measures for May Day demonstrations, with the interior minister saying there was a risk that “radical activists” could join anti-government yellow vest protesters and union workers in the streets of Paris and across the country. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
People carry communist flags during a May Day rally in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Spain's workers are marching in its major cities to make their voices heard days before acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez starts negotiating with other parties to form a new government. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
People carry communist flags during a May Day rally in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Spain’s workers are marching in its major cities to make their voices heard days before acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez starts negotiating with other parties to form a new government. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
An injured demonstrator is helped during a May Day rally in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Brief scuffles between police and protesters have broken out in Paris as thousands of people gather for May Day rallies under tight security measures. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
An injured demonstrator is helped during a May Day rally in Paris, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Brief scuffles between police and protesters have broken out in Paris as thousands of people gather for May Day rallies under tight security measures. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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