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May 25 2018, 02:59 | Irvin Gilbert
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On Monday, police warned of possible clashes with far-left anarchists, after calls to make it a "revolutionary day" appeared on social media.
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 liberalize labor regulations.
The May Day demonstration in Paris started from the Place de la Bastille. Paris police chief Michel Delpuech said more than 200 demonstrators had been arrested and four people were lightly injured in the clashes, including a police officer.
French police arrested over 200 people as masked protesters smashed shop windows and hurled petrol bombs in Paris.
Riot police responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
Protestors dressed in black and with the face covered hold smoke bombs and a banner reading "The Black bloc colours our lives" and depicting the Anarchist symbol as they take part in a march for the annual May Day workers' rally, in Paris, on May 1, 2018.
Over Twitter on Tuesday, Macron condemned the violence and pledged to hold the perpetrators responsible.
A protestor throws a missile towards unseen police officials as teargas clouds rise during a demonstration on the sidelines of a march for the annual May Day workers' rally in Paris on May 1, 2018.
Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux criticised the protesters for covering their faces. "When you come with Molotov cocktails, it's to burn cops", he said, pointing to clashes on 1 May previous year that saw one police officer seriously burnt. He said: "When you have honest convictions, you demonstrate with your face unmasked..."
Under a union campaign to foil Macron's reforms, railway staff have begun three months of nationwide rolling strikes aimed at halting a planned overhaul of state-run railway SNCF.
Collomb defended how the police had handled the demonstration on Tuesday, although opposition politicians criticized the government for not having done enough to prevent the violence.