Violence in Paris erupts in May Day protests criticizing Macron

Violence in Paris erupts in May Day protests criticizing Macron. 

During May Day rallies against freshly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron’s policies, police used tear gas to beat back black-clad anarchists who trashed company premises in Paris on Sunday.

Thousands of thousands marched across France on May Day, demanding pay raises and a halt to Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age.

Most of the protests were peaceful, but violence erupted in the capital, where police detained 54 individuals. 

It includes a lady who attacked a firefighter attempting to put out a fire, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. He went on to say that eight police officers were hurt.

At the outset of the march near La Republique Square and when it reached La Nation Square in eastern Paris, there were clashes with police.

Anarchists from the “Black Bloc” attacked a McDonald’s on Place Leon Blum and wrecked several real estate offices, smashing windows and setting garbage bins on fire.

Police retaliated with tear gas.

A total of 250 rallies were held in Paris and Lille, Nantes, Toulouse, and Marseille. According to the interior ministry, 116,500 people demonstrated around the country, with 24,000 in the capital.

Political figures, mainly from the left, and climate campaigners, joined trade unionists in Paris.

The cost of living was a central theme in the presidential election campaign, and it is expected to be a significant theme again ahead of the June legislative elections. 

Macron’s party and allies must win if he can carry out his pro-business policies, such as raising the retirement age from 62 to 65.

“It’s critical to demonstrate to Macron and the rest of the political world that we’re willing to preserve our social rights,” Joshua Antunes, a 19-year-old student, said. He also accused Trump of being “inactive” on environmental concerns.

“Retire Before Arthritis,” “Retire at 60, Freeze Prices,” and “Macron, Get Out” were among the banners held by marchers.

Before the marches, Philippe Martinez, the head of the hardline CGT union, told Reuters, “The government has to deal with the purchasing power crisis by raising wages.”

Macron was re-elected to a new five-year term after defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a runoff election last Sunday.

The march in Paris was attended by far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who finished third in the first round of the presidential election.

He wants to form a left-wing coalition, including the Greens, to take control of parliament and push Macron into an embarrassing “cohabitation,” but this has yet to materialize.

Before the march began, Melenchon stated, “We will not make a single concession on pensions.”

He expressed optimism that an agreement to form a new left-wing union might be reached by Sunday evening.

Unlike in previous years, Marine Le Pen did not leave a wreath at the Joan of Arc statue in Paris, which her party exploits as a nationalist icon.

Instead, she was succeeded by Jordan Bardella, the interim president of the Rassemblement National, who stated that Le Pen was preparing for legislative elections.