Hundreds of masked anarchists and black bloc affiliates were arrested in Paris on Tuesday, Reuters reported, after rioters burned cars and smashed shop windows during the city’s May Day rally.
What was once an event with roots as a spring festival in European pagan cultures has evolved into an international day of marches in the name of worker rights. But these May Day celebrations have been regularly marred by violence since at least the 19th century, as The Washington Post noted on May 1 last year.
Paris got the worst of it this year. Somewhere between 20,000 and 55,000 marchers gathered in the capital, according to Reuters, intending to march peacefully against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to roll back labor protections. But about 1,200 “masked and hooded protesters” dressed in black stood on the sidelines, according to the news agency.