Well over half a million marchers took to the streets of France today in protest against Jean-Marie Le Pen. However, thousands of supporters of the far-right leader marched through Paris.

There have been ongoing marches in France against the leader of the National Front since he won a surprise victory in the first round of the presidential election over a week ago.

Some 3,500 thousand police were deployed on the streets of the capital to guard against violence.

Protests by thousands of anti-capitalist demonstrators are also taking place in London today. Thousands of extra police are on duty in London's West End.

In recent years, Mayday demonstrations have seen millions of pounds worth of damage caused in central London by anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist protesters.

Around 6,000 police officers are on the streets this year and many businesses have been closed and boarded up. While police believe the majority of protesters will be peaceful, they expect a hardcore of a few hundred to be intent on violent action particularly around London's affluent Mayfair district.

Elsewhere, 25 people were arrested in Berlin overnight, as security forces and protesters clashed while flaming barricades were being set up ahead of today's Mayday demonstrations. Around 60 police officers were injured in what was reportedly the worst violence seen in the capital in three years. Police used water cannon and tear gas against demonstrators who were throwing stones and bottles in the Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood.

Russians are holding rallies across the country, but the mood is more festive than militant, as the annual Labour Day holiday is to be followed by the Russian Orthodox Easter weekend and another bank holiday marking the end of World War II. Between 90,000 and 150,000 trade unionists marched in central Moscow, followed in a separate march by supporters of the Russian Communist party.

Peaceful demonstrations have taken place in Asia, as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in marches championing workers rights, Anarchists, Trotskyists, trade unionists and anti-globalisation activists were out in force in Hong Kong, as were the army and police.

A leader of the opposition in Singapore was among dozens of individuals arrested in connection with protests across the region. In contrast, China marked the day by honouring private entrepreneurs as heroes of labour for the first time.

There have been scuffles between police and protesters in Australia, as demonstrators took part in Mayday protests. The day was marked by widespread protests at the Federal government's treatment of asylum seekers.

The Immigration Department's offices in Brisbane and Melbourne were targeted by protesters, while in Darwin protesters gathered outside the temporary visa processing centre. Mounted police charged demonstrators blockading the Australasian Correctional Management in Sydney. The ACM runs a number of detention centres.

In the Indian city of Calcutta, over 2,000 sex workers reportedly stole the spotlight, with a torchlight parade to demand legal status and social welfare benefits. The colourful march began at midnight at two separate red light areas, converging on a park near the University of Calcutta.