May Day – or ‘Labour Day’ – is observed all over the world on the first day of May to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers and fight for labourers rights.
In Italy, violent scenes erupted in the northern city of Turin, as demonstrators clashed with police during the traditional Labour Day march.
Riot officers were deployed after more than 200 people gathered in the Via Cesare Battisti in an attempt to divert the authorised march route.
Three people were arrested after a group began pelting law enforcement officials with eggs.
Police say a number of items used in the violence, including umbrellas and sticks, were confiscated during the protest.
Meanwhile, in France, horrfying images of police being attacked with Molotov cocktails emerged.
In Paris, riot police attempted to control the crowds at the city’s traditional labour union march.
Police fired tear gas at rowdy protesters on the sidelines of a May Day workers’ march in Paris but hooded youth attacked security forces.
The annual march to celebrate workers’ rights this year included calls to block presidential candidate Marine Le Pen from winning the presidency during a runoff election on Sunday.
Video showed riot police surrounding the protesters disrupting the march after isolating most of them from the rest of the crowd near the Place de la Bastille.
However, some continued to lob firebombs that exploded into flames in the street.
A policeman was seriously burnt and two others injured in the clashes.
Television pictures showed policemen trying to shake flames from their riot gear, and of tear gas enveloping the streets around Paris’ Bastille monument.
Around 250 events were planned across the country for May Day – a traditional day of protesting – with thousands of people and trade unions demonstrating in cities including Lyon, Toulouse and Strasbourg.
In Turkey, police were forced to use tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse protesters seeking to defy a ban and march to Istanbul’s Taksim square to celebrate May Day.
More than 200 protesters in the Gayrettepe district on the European side of Istanbul attempted to walk to the famous square in spite of the ban by city authorities.
The protesters - made up of left-wing groups - unfurled anti-government banners against the result of the April 16 referendum, which handed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expanded powers.
Turkish authorities imposed a ban on any demonstration at Taksim square, with police sealing off the avenue with barricades and halting traffic.
According to the Dogan news agency, police detained two women who attempted to unfurl banners at the square.
Reports from the state-run Anadolu news agency claim 13 people were arrested during yesterday’s protests in Taksim, while AFP reported a further 60 people were detained in the Besiktas district.
Around 30,000 police officers were on duty in Istanbul alone, with the governor’s office urging citizens not to heed calls for protests in non-official areas.