Violence during May Day in Paris : six police officers injured

The May 1st bank holiday turned violent in France during the traditional workers’ union demonstrations organised by the CGT and the Force Ouvriere.

The protest was aimed against Marine Le Pen and to make a statement for the workers’ rights and gathered over 30,000 people according to the police. The march started Place de la Republique and was going towards Bastille where the violence started. A group masked protesters, describing themselves as anti-fascist, anarchists and autonomous, took the lead of the protest and were caught in violent confrontations with police forces with use of molotov cocktails. Six police officers were hurt in the clashes and two suffered serious burns on the hand and faces, according to Interior Minister Matthias Fekl, who seriously condemns the violence. He declared that five protesters had been arrested at 6pm.

The security forces responded to the violence by using tear gas and flashball as some people shared on social media.

Photo reporter Louis Witter shared a picture of his broken camera that he was using during the protests. “It was my working tool. A policeman just fired a flashball at me as I was taking pictures of the protest, even though I was 1 metre away #Mayday.” The legal distance needed to be able to use a flashball has to be above 7 metres.

Macron and Le Pen condemned the confrontations

Both presidential candidates reacted to the news on their social media. National Front candidate, Marine Le Pen, who was speaking at a party convention in Villepinte, paid tribute to the police officers who were injured and condemned “the violence and the mess that I no longer want to see in our streets.

Emmanuel Macron also condemned the violence done to the police officers saying that “surveillance is important but there is a change that needs to be done for the officers’ equipment.

“Yesterday, many police officers were badly injured and one is suffering from severe burns. I am keeping them in my thoughts.”

The candidate was also speaking at a convention centre in northern Paris and told his supporters that he would defend “free democracy” and that Le Pen “had fed off worry and hate for years.”

The events of yesterday are only reflecting the very complicated and tense atmosphere in France at the moment, after a police officer was killed during the attack on the Champs Elysees on Thursday 20th April and after clashes occurred on Sunday as the results of the first round were being revealed.



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