May 1, 2018 / 2:40 PM / 7 months ago

Far-left anarchists smash windows in Paris during May Day rally

PARIS, May 1 (Reuters) - Hundreds of hooded protesters held up an annual May Day demonstration in eastern Paris on Tuesday, with some smashing the windows of a McDonald’s restaurant and hurling petrol bombs inside, Reuters television images showed.

French police warned on Monday of possible clashes with far-left anarchist groups, known as Black Blocs, after a call on social media for a “Revolutionary Day”.

Authorities said some 1,200 hooded and masked protesters had turned up on the sidelines of Tuesday’s planned demonstration by labour unions.

Images also showed the smashed windows of a Renault garage on a road near the Austerlitz station and a construction vehicle in flames.

The protesters moved towards riot police chanting anti-fascist slogans, waving Soviet flags and anti-government banners and throwing firecrackers. Some started to build barricades. The police used water cannon against some of the protesters.

President Emmanuel Macron, elected last May on a promise to shake up France’s creaking economy and spur jobs growth, is locked in a battle with the trade unions over his plans to liberalise labour regulations.

Railway staff have begun three months of nationwide rolling strikes in a dispute over the government’s planned overhaul of state-run railway SNCF. (Reporting by John Irish Editing by Gareth Jones)

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