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May 04, 2010

 
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Belgian policemen monitor the May Day parade. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/5 || 1/500s || @146mm || ISO400 || Canon 5D || Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Embed Code

Belgian policemen monitor the May Day parade.

May 1st in Europe (& Asia) is the equivalent of the America's first Monday in September. Much like in the US, labor day in Antwerp is a lot of hubbub about workers and unions but the greatest impact is felt among the proletariat who enjoy a day off from work in order to drink excessive amounts of beer and overeat, not hot dogs but kebabs and Belgian fries.

In case you're curious "Werkloos is niet ..." is translated to "Unemployed is not ...". Unfortunately, I didn't capture the rest of the sign but a kind demonstrator parade participant explained the parade's purpose in English which I was completely unable to understand due to his drunken, slurred speech. Then he proceeded to tell me how much he loved his visit to the Adirondacks before he stumbled away.

Marchers are seen between policemen on duty to monitor the parade. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/6.3 || 1/500s || @200mm || ISO400 || Canon 5D || Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Embed Code

Marchers are seen between policemen on duty to monitor the parade.

Although the parade was mostly a show of support for workers, it had a bit of a tense feel to it, particularly with the number of police at every corner. These two men in blue were doing little more than blocking automobile traffic from crossing the parade path. I was, however, surprised to see these policemen carrying sidearms simply for traffic duty alone.

A drummer leads crosses paths with a policeman. - Antwerp, Belgium - Daily Travel Photos
(Antwerp, Belgium)
f/6.3 || 1/500s || @200mm || ISO400 || Canon 5D || Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 Embed Code

A drummer crosses paths with a policeman.

Luckily the drummer brought a bit of comic relief. Whether it was intentional, I'll never know.

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