an empty porch --
Washington Post: "Europeans rally on May Day amid economic worries" (by Jenny Barchfield)
"Hundreds of thousands of European workers feeling the pinch of the economic crisis rallied at May Day protests Friday from Moscow to Berlin to Istanbul….
"But overall participation fell short of what many countries' unions had hoped for on May Day, a public holiday in many countries that has long celebrated the social and economic achievements of labor movements. Many of the protesters complained about rising unemployment and lost benefits, but few specifics appeared to emerge from the demonstrations about what governments should be doing to fight the global crisis….
"In Italy, union leaders shifted May Day rallies from major cities to the earthquake-stricken town of L'Aquila as a sign of solidarity with thousands who lost their jobs when businesses crumbled in last month's quake.
"Spain — which has gone from being one of Europe's strongest economies to having its highest unemployment rate — saw tens of thousands of people demonstrate….
"In Turkey, which only last week declared the international labor day a public holiday, unionists rallied at a previously banned site where dozens died during a May Day demonstration three decades ago….
"A protest in the German capital turned violent as leftists hurled bottles and burning objects at police….
"In neighboring Austria, officials said five people were arrested and more than 20 injured in clashes between protesters and police at a rally in the northern city of Linz, organized by the local branch of the Communist Party.
"Greek officers used flash grenades to disperse violent protesters in Athens after attacks on banks and traffic cameras….
"It was the first May Day since the advent of the global financial crisis, and Russia police were out in force as Communists and liberals gathered to criticize the government…"
…. Many porches were empty today, International Labor Day. The boulevards and plazas of protest were the day’s porches. Around the world today, along with the European workers, millions more gathered to voice their aspirations for a fairer deal, a better life, and ultimately -- in spite of some violent confrontations with the authorities -- a peaceful world.
In fact, the Labor Day rallyists were sending a common message to the rest of the world: “…never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee….”