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22 Apr, 2017 15:03

Tear gas, smoke grenades & flares: Violence erupts at Paris protest day before election (VIDEO)

Members of dozens of French unions and civil groups have taken to the streets of Paris ahead of Sunday’s presidential vote, protesting what they call a “political masquerade.” Police deployed tear gas after protesters used smoke grenades and flares.

While France is observing pre-election silence on Saturday ahead of the first round of the voting, crowds have been marching through the streets of Paris rejecting the policies of all the candidates leading in the polls.

Some 2,000 people took part in the protest, according to estimates from the organizers, which included some 70 groups and organizations, TASS reported.

The protesters demand that more attention be paid to the needs of French society’s lower income people, TASS reported.

People set off from Place de la Republique and marched towards Place de la Bastille.

France's largest trade union, the General Confederation of Labor, is among the organizers of the Saturday march.

READ MORE: Police wives march through Paris to protest violence against officers (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

More marches took place in the French capital on Saturday. Around 200 wives of police officers gathered at the Eiffel Tower to protest attacks on the police in Paris. Others took part in the worldwide March for Science as part of this year's Earth Day celebrations.