Paris Burns as May Day Protests Turn to Riots


Almost 300 protesters were arrested Tuesday after May Day riots in central Paris, where hooded youths torched a McDonald's restaurant and several vehicles during a march against President Emmanuel Macron's public sector reforms.

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

But they ended in violence and police firing tear gas canisters into crowds who had come up against their barricades.

Shouting "Rise up, Paris", "Everyone hates the police", and "Macron puts us in a black rage" the protesters, apparently from the far-left Black bloc movement, hurled stones, molotov cocktails and other projectiles at security forces who responded with teargas and water cannon. Delpuech said "the extremely violent incidents" left one injured police officer and three people suffered minors wounds, adding that 1,500 police officers were deployed in French capital after a call on social media for a "Revolutionary Day".

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

Tear gas fills the air as a masked protester throws a rock during clashes at the May Day labor union rally in Paris, France.

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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.

Macron, on a visit to Sydney, told a press conference the vandals had misappropriated May Day.

'Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy'.

The worst unrest in months in Paris comes at a time of heightened tensions over Macron's reform of the public sector and follows a showdown between police and anti-capitalist squatters at a sprawling commune in western France. "There is a state that's being run and it will continue to react".

The violence marred a planned peaceful demonstration by French unions and supporters against the government's economic programme.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 01: A vehicle is burning as thousands of people take to the streets during the May Day demonstrations on May 1, 2018 in Paris, France.