Published: Fri, May 04, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Drew Collins

Paris Burns as May Day Protests Turn to Riots

Paris Burns as May Day Protests Turn to Riots

Tear gas and water cannons were used against the protesters in an effort to disperse them. It has faced a wave of public sector strikes, the occupation of universities by students opposed to changes to admission procedures and calls for a concerted national protest to mark the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 uprising.

The minister further explained that "We know it (about Black Blocs gathering), but we cannot arrest people who come in civilian clothes and then suddenly they got dressed in black and infiltrated in the crowd". Every year, people across the globe take to the streets on International Workers' Day, or May Day.

Paris Police Prefect Michel Delpuech said far-left anarchist groups, known as Black Blocs, hijacked a peaceful protest against reforms by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Authorities said around 1,200 protesters, many garbed in black, had turned up on the sidelines of the annual May Day demonstration.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux criticised the protesters for covering up their faces.

"When you have honest convictions, you demonstrate with your face unmasked", Mr Griveaux said.

Police said about 109 people were being held in custody after attacks on police and property along the route of the Paris rally.

'Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy'. Amid May Day demonstrations, hooded individuals have been throwing smoke bombs and setting vehicles on fire in the French capital.

French trade unions and left-wing groups are now protesting President Emmanuel Macron's proposals to loosen labour protections.

Masked protestors, loot a MacDonald's fast food outlet during a demonstration on the side lines of the march for the annual May Day workers' rally, in Paris, on May 1, 2018.

Riot police in Paris had warned on Monday of possible clashes with far-left anarchist groups, after a call on social media to make Tuesday a "Revolutionary Day". He adding that 94 of them will face legal proceedings.

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