French police clash with young protesters on May Day

French police use tear gas and detain youths during May Day rally against labour reform

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Youths raise their hands high to show that they are not holding bottles or stones as they pass French riot police during a protest against the French labour law proposal during the May Day labour union march in Paris.

French police on Sunday clashed with protesters during a May Day parade in Paris against an imminent labour reform.  

Police used tear gas on a group of nearly 300 youths and arrested three of them. 

The French government has insisted on the controversial bill, which has sparked vast gatherings known as "Nuit Debout" across the country since it was declared.  

The protests have spread to cities such as Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes and even exceeded the border and reached Brussels in a short time.

Clouds of smoke from safety flares and tear gas fill the air during a clash between French riot police and youths protesting against the French labour law proposal during the May Day labour union march in Paris.

The purposed bill, due to be debated in parliament on Tuesday, would bring new flexibility on recruitment and layoff processes, working time and also industrial tribunal payouts which are necessary to bring down unemployment now above 10 percent, according to the government. 

"The draft bill is fair and necessary for the country," Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri told Europe 1 radio, Le Monde and iTELE in an interview.

More than 80,000 people marched throughout France on May 1, including more than 17,000 in Paris, police said.

A French CGT labour union flag waves near employees who attend the May Day labour union march in Paris, France, May 1, 2016.

According to the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union, 70,000 protesters attended to the protests in Paris alone.

More than 100 protesters were detained throughout the country during regular marches against the reform bill.

TRTWorld and agencies