Brazil Prepares for May Day
by Sharat G. Lin
reporting from São Paulo
A week before May First, the scaffolding for the sound stage for a huge celebration of International Workers' Day is already being erected in a huge park in the heart of São Paulo.
A team of trade union activists begins training from professional mountain climbers to rappel down from a bridge over the Vale do Anhangabaú. It will be part of the opening celebration of May Day in Brazil's largest city of over 20 million people.
The elaborate preparations show what is possible when a celebration enjoys official support by the trade union federations and the federal government. Brazil has been governed by the Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores or PT) ever since Luís Inácio Lula da Silva was first elected president in 2002. His successor, Dilma Rousseff, continues the policies of PT, including suppport for trade unionism and labor rights.