Anarchists hijack May Day rally

May 1st in Lyon 2017                  JEFF PACHOUD  AFP

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

Unions put the number of peaceful protesters at Tuesday's main May Day rally in Paris at about 55,000, though police put it at around 20,000. This month also marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 civil unrest when millions poured onto the streets in demonstrations and strikes that ground France to a halt. About it reports Reuters. "When you come with Molotov cocktails, it's to burn cops", he said, pointing to clashes on 1 May previous year that saw one police officer seriously burnt.

About 1,200 people in black outfits and masks were among the demonstrators, according to the police.

French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux criticised the black-bloc protestors for having covered their faces.

"When you have honest convictions, you demonstrate with your face unmasked", he said."Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy". "Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy".


"May 1 is Workers' Day, not the day of the hooligans", he told a press conference.

Students have previously occupied several universities across France, protesting Macron's move to reform the education system, including introducing new admissions criteria and ranking young people who apply to public universities.

Paris saw gangs of masked and hooded anarchists smash shop windows, torch cars and hurled cobblestones at riot police, hijacking a May Day rally by labour unions against President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms.

Around 1,200 hooded and masked anarchists took part in the riot, police told the BBC.

Heated demonstrations on Tuesday noticed automobiles torched, a McDonald's restaurant smashed up and vandalism at vehicle retailers. He adding that 94 of them will face legal proceedings.

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