The number of potentially violent protesters expected to show up at protest marches against a planned pensions reform has increased, Paris's police chief said on Tuesday, hours before a new round of country-wide demonstrations and strikes.
"We are talking about individuals which often are being monitored by intelligence services, (...) and we are very vigilant about their presence," Laurent Nunez, the president of Paris's Prefecture de Police told France Inter radio.
Millions of people have been demonstrating peacefully and joined strike action days since mid-January to express their anger over President Emmanuel Macron's plans to make most of them work an extra two years to 64.
The protests have intensified since the government used special constitutional powers to bypass parliament on a final vote on the pensions bill almost two weeks ago.
Public frustration over the move morphed into a wider anti-Macron sentiment, reminding many of the scenes of unrest staged by supporters of the yellow-vest movement during Macron's first term as president, with protesters blocking motorways and strikes paralysing critical infrastructure like refineries and waste collection.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Monday said authorities have recently noticed a trend towards more violence directed against the state and were anticipating a "very serious risk to public order" at Tuesday's demonstrations.
A total of 13,000 police agents will be deployed during the protests throughout the day, more than ever before, Darmanin said.