The city of Paris is on fire as hundreds of masked protestors, draped in hoodies, smashed shop windows, torched cars and hurled objects at riot police during today’s May Day rally.
According to Reuters the ‘anarchists’ were throwing ‘cobblestones at riot police’ as they hijacked a May Day rally by labour unions, who were protesting economic reforms put forward by France’s President, Emmanuel Macron.
Riot police are said to have deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters.
Michel Delpuech, Paris’s chief of police, claims more than 200 protesters have been arrested, while four people sustained light injuries during clashes between protesters and police, including one officer.
Macron, who is currently in Australia, tweeted his condemnation of the riots with ‘absolute firmness’.
The French President wrote:
I condemn with absolute firmness the violence that took place today and derailed the May Day processions.
Everything will be done so that the perpetrators are identified and held responsible for their actions
Je condamne avec une absolue fermeté les violences qui ont eu lieu aujourd’hui et qui ont dévoyé les cortèges du 1er mai. Tout sera fait pour que leurs auteurs soient identifiés et tenus responsables de leurs actes.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 1, 2018
According to a report from The Guardian, police were warned a day before the rally of possible confrontations with a far-left anarchist group known as ‘Black Blocs’, after the group put out an alert on social media to turn May Day into a ‘Revolutionary Day’.
It’s also reported an estimated 1,200 masked and hooded protesters, decked out in black, showed up on the sidelines of the annual demonstration by labour unions.
Marcon’s condemnation of the protesters was echoed by Government spokesman, Benjamin Griveaux, who criticised the protestors for covering their faces.
When you have sincere convictions, you demonstrate with your face unmasked. Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy.
Reuters also claims the rioters raided shops and spray-painted ‘anti-capitalist graffiti on walls’ before police presence made them disperse.
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