In Paris, detained more than 200 participants in may day demonstrations

May Day labour union march in Paris France

French police arrested over 200 people as masked protesters smashed shop windows and hurled petrol bombs in Paris.

The announcement on Wednesday corrected an earlier figure of 209 given by Interior Minister Gerard Collomb.

"There will be more number of security forces. who will separate those who wish to demonstrate from those who wish to vandalize", Collomb told France 2 television.

The report said the Black Blocs tried to hijack the protest march and smashed shop windows, put vehicles and a auto dealership on fire and also torched a McDonald's outlet.

Four people, including a police officer were injured.

Protestors dressed in black and with the face covered hold smoke bombs as they take part in a march for the annual May Day workers' rally, in Paris, on May 1, 2018.

"Even with 21 police units mobilised, we can not keep up with movements that appear all of a sudden on a scale we've never seen before". The police used teargas and water cannons to bring the crowd under control. "We could not intervene without fear of collateral damage", he explained. "These individuals were motivated by the desire to disrupt this parade", he said.

Macron, on a visit to Sydney, deplored the violence.

Officials said about 1,200 masked and hooded protesters took to the streets, swarming local shops, smashing windows and even torching a McDonald's near Austerlitz station.

Black bloc has become a generic term for ultraradical, highly mobilised leftwing groups often associated with anti-capitalism, anti-globalisation, anti-fascism and anarchism.

'Those who wear hoods are the enemies of democracy'.

"There were other protesters in front of them, ". There may be more than one bloc at a protest with different aims and tactics. This month also marks the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 civil unrest when millions poured onto the streets in demonstrations and strikes that ground France to a halt.

A auto burns in Paris.

The leader of the far-left France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, said he believed far-right groups were responsible for the violence.

Trade unions had set out to try rally workers on May Day against Macron s reforms of state rail operator SNCF and public universities, which they see as part of a rollback of France s cherished public service.

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