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French Minister Pledges to Boost Security for Rallies After May Day Clashes

04 May 2018

The clashes came against a backdrop of union discontent with the president, Emmanuel Macron, over his plans to stimulate France's economy and spur jobs growth by.

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.

A group of masked anarchists dressed mostly in black clothing hijacked a May Day rally in Paris on Tuesday, torching a vehicle, a McDonald's, looting stores, and throwing cobble stones at riot police, according to Reuters.

After trying to hold up the march a group of protesters ran amok along the route, destroying a McDonald's restaurant near Austerlitz station, east of the city centre, and setting it ablaze.

The police on Wednesday, May 2, rectified the earlier figure of over 200 arrested by France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, the BBC report said.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux criticised the protesters for covering up their faces. "Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy".

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They chanted anti-fascist slogans and waved anti-government banners.

The minister further explained that "We know it (about Black Blocs gathering), but we cannot arrest people who come in civilian clothes and then suddenly they got dressed in black and infiltrated in the crowd".

This video shared by eyewitness Conny Myhrberg shows protesters fleeing from police along Rue Lacépède in Paris. "When you come with Molotov cocktails, it's to burn cops", he said, pointing to clashes on 1 May past year that saw one police officer seriously burnt.

Protestors destroy shop windows during a demonstration on the sidelines of a march for the annual May Day workers' rally in Paris on May 1, 2018.

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

French Minister Pledges to Boost Security for Rallies After May Day Clashes