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Thousands turn out in Puerto Rico at May Day demonstration

Demonstrators holding wooden shields were confronted by police during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board, as part of the May Day celebration, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Demonstrators holding wooden shields were confronted by police during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board, as part of the May Day celebration, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Carlos Giusti/AP)

(AP) — Thousands of Puerto Ricans marched to the rhythm of traditional music and tambourines while opposing austerity measures, with many demanding the ouster of a federal control board overseeing the U.S. territory’s finances.

Protesters in San Juan also called Wednesday for much faster federal help in the island’s recovery from September 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Many in the crowd waved Puerto Rican flags made in black and white rather than red, white and blue to symbolize mourning for the territory’s plight.

Participants also urged the local government to save a public pension system that faces nearly $50 billion in payments it doesn’t have funds to cover.

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A protester dressed as comic book superhero Superman was arrested after jumping over a street barrier and hugging a police officer.

A protester carried a Puerto Rican flag during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board, as part of the May Day celebration, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A protester carried a Puerto Rican flag during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board, as part of the May Day celebration, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Carlos Giusti/AP)
A protester dressed as Spiderman exercised civil disobedience when crossing the perimeter established by the police during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A protester dressed as Spiderman exercised civil disobedience when crossing the perimeter established by the police during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Carlos Giusti/AP)
Protesters in San Juan also called Wednesday for much faster federal help in the island’s recovery from September 2017’s Hurricane Maria.
Protesters in San Juan also called Wednesday for much faster federal help in the island’s recovery from September 2017’s Hurricane Maria.(Carlos Giusti.AP)
A protester shouted during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A protester shouted during a protest against the Federal Fiscal Control Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Carlos Giusti/AP)