Thousands of people had began marching peacefully in Paris when the clashes erupted between police and pockets of protesters, most dressed in black and their faces covered. Some used hammers to break up paving stones.
The protesters were denouncing police brutality and President Emmanuel Macron's security policy plans which the demonstrators say would restrict civil liberties.
In one incident, police charged after fireworks were launched at their lines. Hooded youths smashed one store window. There were violent clashes between protesters and police in a similar protest last week.