Thousands of police and demonstrators have squared off on the streets of Paris amid huge May Day protests in the French capital. Violence has erupted as black-clad protestors hailed missiles and tried to break through police cordons in the heart of the city. Waves of heavily armoured police can be seen confronting the angry crowd as authorities struggle to contain the chaotic street violence that has swept the country.
Footage of the clashes in Paris appears to the line of riot police being forced back by the crowd of marked demonstrators.
Hooded protestors can be seen hurling glass bottles and other missiles at the police.
May 1 traditionally sees the largest trade unions in France take to the streets in a show of strength on Labour Day.
This year demonstrators are also expressing outrage at Emmanuel Macron’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as attempt to force through a new controversial security bill.
The violent scenes in Paris echo similar clashes today in Lyon where a large number of trade unions and left-wing activist have attempted to march through the city.
Footage from Lyon showed chaos on the streets as riot police repeatedly attempted to force the march back with tear gas and baton charges.
Meanwhile, water canon, as well as tear gas, has been deployed as authorities attempt to reimpose order in the city.
The May Day clashes come as Mr Macon faced an open revolt from leading figures in the French military.
Earlier this week 20 retired french general penned a letter to Mr Macron in which it was claimed “Islamism” was threatening to spark a civil war in France.
The letter read: “There is no time to waffle, or tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and the dead, for whom you will bear responsibility, will be counted in the thousands.
The former army officers have blamed “Islamists” in France for “detaching large parts of the nation” and turning into parts of the country into “territory subject to dogmas contrary to our constitution.”
In the letter, they also blamed the French President for worsening tensions by ordering the police to crackdown on the anti-macron “yellow vest ” movement.