Paris police officers set on fire by Molotov cocktail after May Day protest turns violent

Paris police officers set on fire by Molotov cocktail after May Day protest  turns violent
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

May Day protests took a violent turn in Paris on Monday, leaving both citizens and officers injured.

Tension in France was already at an all-time high before the annual trade union demonstration got underway, thanks to a particularly tumultuous presidential election that has deeply divided the nation. Many of the protesters who took to the streets Monday were reportedly there to show their distaste for both far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron.

A protestor simply identified as Sophie told Le Monde, "I am against Macron, but the most urgent thing is to stop the Front National from winning. So I will vote for him. After the second round, we'll fight against Macron."

At the protest, the Independent reported, police deployed both water cannons and tear gas against demonstrators before they fought back with Molotov cocktails, resulting in several officers being engulfed in flames.

French anti-riot police officers are engulfed in flames during demonstrations in Paris on May 1, 2017.
Source: 
Zakaria Abdelkafi/Getty

In total, six riot police officers were injured, the Guardian noted, one with third-degree burns to his hand and face.

Just prior to the violent demonstrations in Paris, thousands of Le Pen's supporters gathered just north of city for her final rally before the vote on May 7. At the event Le Pen compared Macron to U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and accused him of being a puppet of the finance world, the Guardian reported. 

"Today, the enemy of the French people is still the world of finance," she said. "Form a barrage against finance, arrogance, money as king."

In another eerily familiar statement for American voters, Macron told his supporters at his own rally, "Don't boo her! Fight her. Make Le Pen lose next Sunday!"

If that phrase sounds familiar, it's because it is. It is nearly identical to what President Barack Obama told Clinton supporters to do to Trump at a July 2016 rally.


In reaction to hearing about the protests, Le Pen simply tweeted, "I pay tribute to the two CRS [riot police officers] injured in Paris. It's this chaos and permissiveness I don't want to see any more in our streets."

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Stacey Leasca

Stacey Leasca is a news writer with Mic. Her byline has appeared in Travel+Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, GOOD Magazine and more. When not writing you can find her surfing in Southern California.

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.