Violence erupts in May Day protests in Paris, marchers criticise re-elected Macron

PARIS (REUTERS) – Police fired tear gasoline to push again black-clad anarchists who ransacked enterprise premises in Paris on Sunday (May 1) throughout May Day protests in opposition to the insurance policies of newly re-elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Thousands of individuals joined May Day marches throughout France, calling for wage will increase and for Macron to drop his plan to boost the retirement age.

Most had been peaceable however violence broke out in the capital, the place police arrested 54 folks, together with a girl who attacked a fireman making an attempt to place out a hearth, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin mentioned on Twitter. Eight police had been injured, he added.

Clashes with police broke out in the beginning of the march close to La Republique Square and when it reached La Nation Square in jap Paris.

“Black Bloc” anarchists ransacked a McDonald’s restaurant on the Place Leon Blum and trashed a number of actual property businesses, breaking their home windows and setting rubbish bins on fireplace.

Police responded by firing tear gasoline.

About 250 rallies had been organised in Paris and different cities together with Lille, Nantes, Toulouse and Marseille. Overall 116,500 folks demonstrated throughout the nation, together with 24,000 in the capital, the inside ministry mentioned.

In Paris, commerce unionists had been joined by political figures – principally from the left – and local weather activists.

The price of dwelling was the primary theme in the presidential election marketing campaign and appears set to be equally distinguished forward of June legislative elections that Macron’s get together and its allies should win if he’s to have the ability to implement his pro-business insurance policies, together with growing retirement age to 65 for 62.

“It is important to show Macron and the whole political world that we are prepared to defend our social rights,” Joshua Antunes, a 19-year-old pupil mentioned. He additionally accused the president of “inactivity” on atmosphere points.

‘Retirement before arthritis’

Marchers carried banners studying “Retirement Before Arthritis”, “Retirement at 60, Freeze Prices” and “Macron, Get Out”.

“The government has got to deal with the purchasing power problem by raising wages,” Philippe Martinez, the pinnacle of the hardline CGT union, advised Reuters earlier than the rallies.
Macron gained a brand new five-year presidential time period after beating far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in final Sunday’s runoff vote.

Far-left chief Jean-Luc Melenchon, who got here third in the primary spherical of the presidential vote, attended the Paris march.

He needs to rally a union of the left, together with the Greens, to dominate parliament and power Macron into a clumsy“cohabitation”, however up to now this has not materialised.

“We will not make a single concession on pensions,”Melenchon mentioned earlier than the march began.

He mentioned he nonetheless hoped an settlement to construct a brand new union of the left may very well be reached by Sunday night.

Unlike in earlier years, Marine Le Pen didn’t lay a wreath in Paris on the statue of Joan or Arc, whom her get together makes use of as a nationalist image. She was changed by the Rassemblement National Interim President Jordan Bardella, who mentioned Le Pen was getting ready for the legislative elections.

Le Pen urged voters in a video message to elect as many deputies from her get together as attainable in June in order that she may “protect your purchasing power,” and stop Macron from carrying a “harmful project for France and the French people”.

The parliamentary elections will likely be held on June 12 and 19.

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