PARIS: 109 arrested for violent May Day protests


Anti-capitalist protesters torched a McDonald's restaurant and clashed with police in Paris on the fringes of a May Day rally in Paris.

On the eve of the worldwide Workers' Day, Paris police headquarters made a decision to pour 1,500 police officers into the capital to ensure safety at peacefull rally planned by labor unions after extremist groups launched a call on social media to make "a day in hell" to government officials and target "symbols of capitalism".

Collomb said 1,500 officers were deployed on Tuesday evening to protect buildings, and police used water cannon and tear gas against the youth.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 01: Protesters wear masks and light fire as thousands of people take to the streets during the May Day demonstrations on May 1, 2018 in Paris, France.

"I firmly condemn the violence and attacks carried out on the sidelines of the May 1 trade union parade", he said.

"I'm doing what I said I would", he said during a recent television interview to mark the first anniversary of his election on May 7. "We could not intervene without fear of collateral damage", he explained.

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Protesters wear black clothing cover their faces with scarves, hoods, balaclavas and motorcycle helmets to hide their identities and lessen the effects of teargas.

Opposition conservative and far-right politicians accused Macron's government of being insufficiently prepared for the violent protests and criticised it for not cracking down more heavily on anarchists. The movement has its roots in the autonomist protests of 1980s Germany where they were known as Schwarzer Block.

Police said the Black Blocs had mixed into a smaller demonstration of around 14,500 people which took place alongside the official union rally.

At least 276 people were arrested following violent clashes at May Day protests in Paris, France.

The police had warned of the risk of extremist groups using May Day to set up a rematch of the clashes seen during demonstrations previous year over Macron's labour reforms and at an anti-capitalist camp in western France that was demolished by police earlier this month.