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

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."

33 PHOTOS
May Day protests 2017
See Gallery
May Day protests 2017
TOPSHOT - French CRS anti-riot police officers are engulfed in flames as they face protesters during a march for the annual May Day workers' rally in Paris on May 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Zakaria ABDELKAFI (Photo credit should read ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman wearing a costume stands during a May Day protest in New York, U.S. May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A member of riot police walks in front of a flaming barricade during a May Day rally in Gijon, Spain May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ian Kelly from Bedfordshire shelters from the rain during a Jack in the Green May Day parade in Greenwich, South London, Britain May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Coombs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A protester dressed as a clown holds an umbrella over a Swiss police officer on a motorbike during a May Day demonstration in Zurich, Switzerland May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
French CRS riot police protect themselves from flames during clashes at the traditional May Day labour union march in Paris, France, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Demonstrators wearing masks depicting Emmanuel Macron (R), head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election and his wife Brigitte walk as part of traditional May Day labour day march in Marseille, France, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
French far-right National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and his wife Jany attend a demonstration near the statue of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) as part of the National Front's annual May Day ceremonies in Paris, France, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Turkish riot police scuffle with a group of protesters as they attempted to defy a ban and march on Taksim Square to celebrate May Day in Istanbul, Turkey May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Protesters gather at McArthur Park for the May Day protest march in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot
German riot police patrols during a demonstration of leftists at May Day demonstrations in Berlin, Kreuzberg dirstict, Germany, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Protesters gather at McArthur Park for the May Day protest march in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot
A man waits for the start of a May Day demonstration in Lisbon, Portugal May 1, 2017. The sign reads "Worker". REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
German riot police detains a demonstrator during a demonstration of leftists at May Day demonstrations in Berlin, Kreuzberg dirstict, Germany, May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Mang
A demonstrator shouts slogans during a May Day demonstration in Lisbon, Portugal May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
People attend the May day rally in Union Square on May 1, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MAY 01: A woman and a girl smile during a protest as part of the International Workers Day at on May 01, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo Cris Fraga/LatinContetn/Getty Images)
An opposition activist catches fire as he fails to throw a Molotov cocktail during a march against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on May 1, 2017. Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Protesters gather at Dupont Circle before marching to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant policies May 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protests around the nation were held to coincide with May Day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 1: May Day demonstrators scuffle with counter-protestors, who defined themselves as 'anti-communist and anti-socialists' and supporters of President Donald Trump, during a May Day rally in Union Square, May 1, 2017 in New York City. Across the country and world people are protesting, marching and staying home from work on the traditional day of workers rights. This year's event has taken on extra significance due to the global surge in populist and right-wing movements. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Demonstrators shout slogans during May Day celebrations in Bogota on May 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Luis Acosta (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)
People attend the May day rally in Union Square on May 1, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - MAY 01: Leftist protesters carrying signs condemning the upcoming G20 summit march in annual May Day demonstrations on May 1, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg will host the G20 summit in July. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Workers, organized by labor unions and other labor organization take part in a rally to mark May Day, International Workers' Day in Madrid, Spain on May 01, 2016. Every year May Day is observed and commemorated as an official holiday all around Spain. (Photo by Alvaro Hurtado/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - French CRS anti-riot police officers are engulfed in flames as they face protesters during a march for the annual May Day workers' rally in Paris on May 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Zakaria ABDELKAFI (Photo credit should read ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: A protester is arrested as they try to march from New York's Union Square on May Day on May 1, 2017 in New York, New York. Across the country and world people are protesting, marching and staying home from work on the traditional day of workers rights.This year's event has taken on extra significance due to the global surge in populist and right-wing movements. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Venezuelan opposition activists clash with police during a march against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on May 1, 2017. Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
Venezuelan opposition activists protect themselves behind a makeshift shield, during clashes with police within a march against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on May 1, 2017. Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
An opposition activist clashes with the police during a march against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held on May Day, in Caracas on May 1, 2017. Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted. / AFP PHOTO / Juan BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - MAY 1: A man with his face covered during a May Day and Immigration protest in Washington, United States on May 1, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Traditional Aztec dancers from the CeAtl Tonalli group perform at a march during May Day events in Seattle, Washington, U.S. May 1, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder
Riot police in an armoured vehicle try to disperse protestors during a march against President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on May 1, 2017. Security forces in riot vans blocked off central Caracas Monday as Venezuela braced for pro- and anti-government May Day protests one month after a wave of deadly political unrest erupted. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN BARRETO (Photo credit should read JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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.

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.

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."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.