france protest
Hire bicycles are set alight outside the Hotel de Ville in Paris during a demonstration after the French constitutional court approved the key elements of the controversial pension reform.
On Friday evening the Constitutional Council ruled in favour of the majority of Emmanuel Macron's planned pension reform - representing the last step on the legal and political process to challenge the highly controversial reform bill.

Within hours manifestations sauvages (unplanned or unlicenced demonstrations) erupted in French cities including Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, Rennes and Nantes.

In Paris there were some, isolated violent moments, with barriers and waste bins set alight while police used tear gas and baton charged demonstrators.

There were clashes in the Marais area after a spontaneous demo at the town hall, at which Vélib' hire bikes were set alight, and later trouble flared near Bastille.

In Nantes police used water cannon to prevent protesters from reaching the préfecture building, while tear gas was used by police in Lyon.

One union leader has called for a "popular tsunami" of protest on May Day, the traditional day for marches and demonstrations.

Sophie Binet, newly elected leader of the hardline CGT union, called for "a popular tsunami - a historic, massive, family-friendly and festive day of protest" against the pension reform on Monday, May 1st.