Agence France-Presse. Paris |

Published: 12:09 am, May 03,2021

Protesters clash with police during the May Day annual rally in Paris on Saturday. – AFP photo

Police wrestled with demonstrators and fired tear gas in Paris on Saturday as thousands gathered across France for workers’ rights demonstrations on May 1st.

According to a police source, radical left-wing protesters from the “black bloc” had tried repeatedly to block the union-led march in the French capital. 34 people were arrested.

Some demonstrators broke the windows of bank branches, set fire to rubbish bins and threw projectiles at the police, who responded with bursts of tear gas and spiked ball grenades. An injured police officer had to be evacuated, an AFP journalist saw.

The CGT union said nearly 300 protests are planned across the country on May 1st. The authorities are expecting a total of around 1,00,000 demonstrators.

The crowd held posters with various requirements, from the end of the night curfew as part of the coronavirus restrictions to the halt of the unemployment reforms, which are due to come into force in July.

Members of the yellow vest anti-elite movement, which rocked Emmanuel Macron’s presidency two years ago before it largely got out of hand, could also be seen at protests across the country.

In the In the southeastern city of Lyon, five people were arrested when black block protesters clashed with police again at the demonstration, which saw some 3,000 people participate despite the rain.

“There are so many reasons for a revolt to build up – the management of Covid, the so-called reforms that affect people’s viability, job seekers who will lose their benefits, “said a Ren tner who gave her name as Patricia.

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