Protesters gathered at Place de la Bastille in the scorching summer sun for a march, the route of which has been cut short at the request of authorities fearing more violence.
More than 2,000 police were deployed, and around 100 people were barred from taking part in a bid to avoid the kind of violent scenes that marred a similar protest last week.
Unions claimed that some 60,000 marchers turned up in Paris for a march that for the most part passed off off peacefully. Police however estimated only around 20,000 protesters were present.
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Earlier all protesters had been subject to searches as they arrived at Bastille for a protest called by trade unions opposed to labour reforms.
Even before the march began some 95 people had been arrested by police, for carrying objects that could have been used as projectiles.
However there was outbreaks of trouble in the western city of Rennes, where windows of shops were smashed.
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Thursday’s march in Paris had initially been banned by police before the Ministry of Interior agreed to allow the protest to go ahead albeit on a route of their choice – from Bastille along the basin d’Arsenal and back again.
Some who were there supported the so-called casseurs, the French name given to the hardcore rioters, who last week vandalised numerous shops and banks as well as a children's hospital.
He vowed on Thursday that his Socialist government would “go all the way” to enact controversial labour reforms.
“On this draft law, we will go all the way because it is essential not only to allow businesses to be able to hire more” but to step up training that will lead to more jobs, he said as the latest of a string of anti-reform protests was to kick off in Paris.
However the fact that Hollande has already agreed to water down the reforms at the behest of more reformist trade unions has meant that many business leaders are just as unhappy with the bill as opponents are.