May Day celebrations turned ugly in Paris as small groups of black-clad protesters used the occasion to burn cars, vandalise businesses, and clash with police.

In total police say over 1000 so-called “Black Bloc” anarchists were involved in the violence after calls on social media for them to assemble for a “revolutionary day”.

The protesters were on the sidelines of trade union and other marches, whose organizers condemned their actions.

Demonstrators attempted to taunt the riot police, moving towards them chanting anti-fascist slogans, waving Soviet flags and anti-government banners and throwing firecrackers. Some started to build barricades. The police used water cannon to up the crowds.