France was gripped by widespread May Day protests on Monday as unions joined forces to call for “tidal wave” street marches to force the government to repeal an unpopular pensions law that was rammed through parliament by decree.
Police fired teargas at protesters in Nantes, Lyon, Rennes and Paris – where an officer was injured after being struck in the face by a Molotov cocktail that was reportedly thrown by a masked black bloc anarchist on the sidelines of the march.
By 4pm more than 40 arrests had been made in the capital.
Two police officers were injured in Toulouse, where security forces were hit by cobblestones, and banks and storefronts were vandalised.
Across the country hundreds of thousands of people across vented their anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s move to raise the retirement age to 64, waving banners and banging on saucepans as they marched through cities and towns.