May Day vandalism in France: Over 100 people held; govt calls protesters “enemies of democracy”
Lawkeepers in France held several people in the wake of the violence that rocked Paris on Tuesday, May 1, observed as International Workers' Day.
One hundred and nine people were held in custody after the police arrested several people in connection to arson and damage which occurred on the streets of the French capital as May Day protests, BBC reported.
Far-left anarchists called Black Blocs hijacked a peaceful rally against President Emmanuel Macron's controversial public sector reforms that saw widespread strikes recently.
According to police, 1,200 protesters with masks and hoods on participated in the May Day demonstrations by the labour unions who are extremely displeased with Macron's reforms. Unions said the total number of peaceful protesters at the rally was 55,000 while the police said the number was 20,000, the BBC report said.
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.
The police hurled tear gas at the protesters and also dispersed them with water cannons.
The report said the Black Blocs tried to hijack the protest march and smashed shop windows, put vehicles and a car dealership on fire and also torched a McDonald's outlet.
The government criticised the protesters, especially their act of demonstration with faced hid behind masks and hoods and called them "enemies of democracy".