Macron responded to the riots in Paris

04 May, 2018, 09:27 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Masked protesters throw stones during clashes with French CRS riot forces at the May Day in Paris

According to French police, the arrested protesters are now cooling their heels in detention after the annual May Day rally held by labour unions for better workers' rights led to chaos in the streets of Paris.

The interior minister, Gérard Collomb, promised to send more police to future gatherings.

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".

Police pushed back against the rioters, peppering the crowd with tear gas grenades from behind riot shields and hitting the crowd with water cannon.

Four people, including a police officer, were lightly wounded, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech told a news conference.

About 1,200 hooded youths attended the rally, many of whom torched a McDonald's restaurant and several vehicles along the route of the procession.

Emmanuel Macron condemned the violence but said his government was not overly anxious about the incidents.

Unions put the number of peaceful protesters at the main rally in Paris at about 55,000, though police put it at around 20,000.

Macron responded from Sydney: "There is a government. There is a government, there is a state, there are leaders, and it will continue to be so". "Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy".

Masked protesters hold safety flares during the traditional May Day labor union march in Paris, France.

Olivier Faure of the Socialist party accused Macron's government of feeding radical behaviour by pursuing what he called "all-out victory" over trade unions opposed to his public sector overhaul.

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.

French President Emmanuel Macron also weighed in, saying the violent acts of some misrepresented the spirit of the parades.