Timor-Leste Police Break-Up May Day Demonstration

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Protestors march on hotel over layoffs, low wages

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 1, 2012) – Police in the East Timorese capital Dili have fired warning shots and arrested 84 people during protests to mark the international workers' day.

Police said they were forced to intervene after May Day protesters began throwing stones and marching to a nearby hotel where some staff had recently been laid off.

Three policemen and a private security guard were injured, police said.

"It was an illegal demonstration because by law any demonstration needs permission four days in advance," Police Commander Pedro Belo said.

A witness told AFP the 500 protesters were calling for higher wages.

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