French police have been accused of using excessive force, both by protesters and rights bodies, further fueling the anger of demonstrators.
Fresh clashes have erupted in France between protesters and police as tens of thousands took to the streets to show their anger against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform that has sparked a major domestic crisis.
Tuesday's nationwide protests and strikes called by unions is the tenth since mid-January against the law, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
The movement has turned into a major challenge to Macron who won a second term in elections last year and presents the biggest crisis of his second mandate.
Some 13,000 police deployed nationwide after last Thursday saw the most violent clashes yet between protesters and security forces.
French police have been accused of using excessive force -- both by protesters and rights bodies -- and this has further fueled the anger of demonstrators.
In eastern Paris, police fired tear gas and launched a charge after some protesters, dressed in black with their faces covered, raided a grocery store and started a fire as the march closed in on Place de la Nation.
Police said at least 27 people were arrested in the capital by the afternoon.
READ MORE: Protests turn violent in France as pensions fury rages against Macron
'Show of solidarity'
Protesters delayed trains at Gare de Lyon, one of the busiest stations in Paris, walking on the rails and lighting flares in what they called a show of solidarity for a railway staffer who lost an eye in a previous protest.
In the western city of Nantes, protesters threw projectiles at security forces who fired back tear gas, an AFP reporter said. A bank was set on fire as were rubbish bins around the city.
Police deployed a water cannon in the southeastern city of Lyon and tear gas in the northern city of Lille after protesters caused damage including smashing a bus stop.
Rubbish collectors in Paris are from Wednesday suspending a three-week strike that has seen thousands of tonnes of garbage accumulate in the capital, the CGT union said.
But it said the move was to allow workers' coordination to "go on strike again even more strongly" as fewer workers were now striking.
Nearly two weeks after Macron forced the new pensions law through parliament using a special provision, unions have vowed no let-up in mass protests to get the government to back down.
A state visit to France by Britain's King Charles III, which had been due to begin on Sunday, was postponed because of the unrest.
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'Nothing is changing'
The French interior ministry put Tuesday's turnout at around 740,000 protesters nationwide, down somewhat on the 1.09 million who took to the streets last Thursday.
The CGT union said over two million protested, also down in its estimation of 3.5 million on March 23.
Young people were prominent in Tuesday's protests, with many blockading universities and high schools.
Jo Zeguelli, 19, a student at the Sorbonne university in Paris said: "Nothing is changing. Macron does not seem like he is listening to us."
In Toulouse, Paul Castagne, 26, a doctoral student in ecology said he feared "what the government is trying to do is let the situation deteriorate and play on people's weariness."
Mass transit in Paris was heavily affected, with traffic both on metros and suburban trains disrupted.
On Monday, workers blocked entry to the Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum, forcing its closure.
As on previous strike days, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Palace of Versailles outside the capital were also shut on Tuesday.
READ MORE: Hundreds injured, arrested in violent France protests over pension reform