The Labor Day march in Paris suddenly turned violent when protesters vandalized commercial and financial institutions and fought Parisian police on Sunday.
A group of protesters dressed all in black broke away from the main parade at Boulevard Voltaire and vandalized commercial establishments, broke shop windows, and set fires in the process.
The protesters clashed with authorities which involved objects flung at security personnel, while riot-equipped police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
According to a French TV report, roughly 20 properties and shops were destroyed, which included McDonald’s, an insurance company, real estate agencies, and banks.
Trade unions and student organizations organized the main parade to demand improved working conditions and greater salaries, as well as to protest Macron’s proposed pension reform, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 65.
The General Confederation of Labour (CGT), one of the rally’s key organizers, said that 50,000 people took part in the march, which started at the Place de la Republique.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Twitter that a total of 8 individuals were injured in the protest while 45 protesters were arrested.
Darmanin also criticized the violence-fueled protest and said, “I condemn, once again, the unacceptable violence committed by these thugs.”
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