El primero de mayo (the first of May) has long been a pro-workers celebration holiday. In Chile, continual struggles on the part of the CUT (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores), a workers’ movement, to raise the minimum wage to approximately $500 US per month have failed. When Arturo Martínez, the president of the group, got on stage this year, he was booed and whistled at.
The march started at around 11AM and proceeded peacefully for ten blocks until around 12:20, when a group of encapuchados (hooded protesters) started pulling back barricades, uprooting street signs, and throwing rocks at the police. The march was called off, but a small group eventually made their way to Plaza Brasil, where a stage had been set up to read letters to the government detailing workers’ demands.