200 arrested as chaos erupts at May Day rally in Paris

Xinhua
A total of 200 members of far-left anarchist groups were arrested on Tuesday after they violently clashed with police in Paris in a traditional march.
Xinhua
AFP

A protestor lights a flare during a demonstration on the sidelines of a march for the annual May Day workers' rally in Paris on May 1, 2018. 

A total of 200 members of far-left anarchist groups, called as Black Blocs, were arrested by police on Tuesday after they violently clashed with riot police and seriously damaged properties in Paris during a traditional march to mark the International Workers' Day, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said.

"We have been able to arrest 200 individuals stranded on Buffon street," he told reporters, adding that 94 of them will face legal proceedings.

Seven other individuals were detained. Three of them were suspected of throwing projectile at police officers and the rest for carrying prohibited arms, according to the prefect.

TV footages showed masked men set fire on vehicles and threw incendiary objects at a Macdonald's restaurant, where windows were totally smashed. Flames appeared also at a construction equipment and Renault office. Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Some 1,200 hooded and masked protesters had turned up, earlier on Tuesday, on a rally of 14,500 of so-called radicals, quite apart from the march planned by labor unions, which gathered 20,000 persons, according to the prefect.

"These individuals were motivated by the desire to disrupt the union meeting, to derail the day," he said.

"When we saw this violence and the attackers' determination, I immediately gave an order to stop the march," he added.

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."

Other May Day protests were largely peaceful in French cities where between of 143,500 and 210,000 workers and students took the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron's reform drive.


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