Fighting broke out between riot police and firefighters who were trying to break down security screens during anti-government protests in Paris today.
Videos of the astonishing violence were posted online during demonstrations close to the centre of the capital.
They clearly show baton-wielding CRS (Republican Security Companies) officers involved in bitter fighting with firefighters, who were demanding better pay and conditions.
'The firefighters were very militant, and at one stage tried to push down police barriers,' said an eyewitness.
'The police responded with tear gas, and then went in with their batons. The fighting got very ugly.'
The worst trouble took place soon after 4pm in the Avenue de la Republique, between Republique and Nation squares.
The fire fighters had tried to tear down the barriers close to the Paris ring road, because they wanted to expand their marching route.
Unions organised the Paris protest for fire service workers all over the country. They set off noisy firecrackers in the capital's Place de la Republique to bring attention to their cause.