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May Day rallies makes chaos in France : 18 arrested

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took part in the march in the French capital amid a heightened police presence after several recent protests against labour reforms ended in violence. Between 16,000 and 17,000 demonstrators marched in Paris on Sunday, according to police, and around 70,000 according to unions.

Paris: Eighteen people were arrested and two others injured when people took to the streets to call for the withdrawal of a labour reform during May Day rallies across France on Sunday.According to figures released in a statement, there were around 281 rallies nationwide, most of which took place “in good condition”, EFE news reported.

While most rallies were peaceful, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve underlined in particular that in Paris there were “unacceptable incidents by a marginal and violent minority” in which “projectiles were thrown at the security forces”.

Between 16,000 and 17,000 demonstrators marched in Paris on Sunday, according to police, and around 70,000 according to unions, while the interior ministry recorded a number of 84,000 demonstrators all over France.The previous protests on April 28 resulted in 214 arrests and 78 officers injured and led authorities to increase security device.

The prime minister, Manuel Valls, issued a warning on Sunday to groups of so-called casseurs (breakers) who appear on the sidelines of marches actively seeking confrontation with police, leading to violent clashes.

“We will respond with the greatest of determination to these troublemakers … the attacks and violence against security forces are unacceptable,” he said.
Sunday’s demonstrations put the labour reform again in the spotlight. It will be debated in parliament on Tuesday and the unions are demanding that it be withdrawn.

In 2015, celebration of the workers’ rights, up to 12,000 people participated in the Paris march and 76,000 across the country, police data showed while unions numbered 110,000 people in French cities.

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