Protesters clash with police and Front National supporters at May Day workers' march in Paris

Protesters clash with police and Front National supporters at May Day workers' march in Paris

Three riot police officers have been injured in clashes between masked protesters on the fringes of May Day marches in Paris, The Telegraph reports.

Scores of hooded youth threw Molotov cocktails at security forces who fired back with tear gas during the otherwise peaceful march on Monday. Police responded by firing tear gas, making four arrests of individuals for "carrying prohibited weapons”. "Three officers have been injured, including one seriously due to burns from Molotov cocktails," said a police source. 

"These people are here to smash things up, not to protest," said the UNSA police union. Loud explosions, apparently from  large firecrackers, rang out across central Paris. Several shops and a bus shelter were vandalised.

More than 9,000 armed police and soldiers were drafted in to try to keep the peace as union members and protesters took part in annual May Day marches to celebrate workers' rights, which this year included calls to block far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen from winning the presidency during a runoff election on Sunday.

Both Ms Le Pen and her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron are holding rallies today. However, splits emerged within the major unions over what stance to adopt regarding the presidential candidates.

Some factions are going against their leadership to call for members to vote "neither (for Ms Le Pen) nor (for Mr Macron)" - seen by many leftists as an enemy of the worker. A banner of one dissenting faction of the CGT union reportedly read: "Neither plague nor cholera."

 

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