A total of 540 people were arrested in France, including 305 in Paris, during the May Day protests, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Tuesday, adding that 406 police officers and gendarmes were injured on national territory.

In the capital, 259 police officers and gendarmes were injured, said the minister, interviewed on BFMTV. “We must have the strongest criminal sanctions against those who attack the police,” he added, calling for an “anti-thug law”.

In France, “61 demonstrators were injured, including 32 in Paris”, then added Gérald Darmanin.

Among the injured police and gendarmes, “three are in an extremely difficult situation, even if their vital prognosis is not engaged”, detailed the minister. The policeman who received a Molotov cocktail in the Parisian demonstration “was burned in the face, he is still hospitalized”, he added.

“Where is the conviction of Mr. (Jean-Luc) Mélenchon against the attack of this policeman?”, then launched Gérald Darmanin, attacking the leader of France Insoumise several times, accusing him of not not enough to condemn the violence. “His silence makes him an accomplice,” said the minister again.

Among the police injured in Paris, 31 were hospitalized, said Laurent Nuñez on France Info.

“There was a level of violence in the pre-procession, among the thugs, among the ultra individuals which greatly exceeded the level of violence that we had seen over the last twelve demonstrations”, estimated the prefect of police of Paris .

Laurent Nuñez also welcomed the use of drones during the demonstration which made it possible to note the presence “within this pre-cortege of four violent nebulae, of four constituted black blocks”.

The use of drones by the police during the Paris procession on May 1, decided by the police headquarters in the wake of a recent decree, had been authorized by the Paris administrative court after the rejection of an appeal brought by organizations for the defense of freedoms.

02/05/2023 16:15:38 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP