Demonstrators marching in Paris to mark International Workers’ Day have been met with tear gas, images from the French capital show, with reports of over 350 people detained.
The procession was scheduled to start at 2:30pm local time but clashes have already erupted between riot police and protesters who have turned out in their thousands. Huge plumes of smoke can be seen rising from tear gas canisters or smoke grenades along the protest route.
Some 380 protestors were arrested on Wednesday and more than 17,700 “preventive checks” carried out by police, according to French reports.
Meanwhile, France Info reports that a group of between 200 and 300 protesters tried to break into a police station in Besançon, eastern France. Local authorities said efforts were made to break into the station via the car park behind the building, but were repelled by police using tear gas.
In Paris, protesters in some parts of the city have begun erecting barricades to block the advance of charging riot police. According to the latest media reports, 14 police officers sustained injuries.
Journalists at the scene reported seeing protesters throwing projectiles at police, who continued to charge the crowd and fire gas canisters. Several protesters and at least one policemen have reportedly been injured in the clashes.
Demonstrators including Yellow Vest protesters, labor unions, pensioners, and students are marching through the streets of Paris to celebrate International Workers’ Day. Each year, May 1 is marked by large demonstrations of workers and labor activists who organize marches to campaign for improved working conditions and other social issues.