More than 3.5 million people are reported to have taken to the streets in France to protest the government's decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. Paris is hardest hit by the unrest, but other cities are also affected.

Overturned garbage heaps

Among other things, the state house in Bordeaux was set on fire on Thursday. Government buildings in the city of Lorient were also reportedly attacked.

"During the night, a group of about 200 young people have been pulling around Paris overturning cars and scooters, throwing things around and overturning the large piles of garbage you've seen in pictures over the past week," says Jennifer Paterson.

She describes some parts of Paris as a war zone with a strong smell of smoke and shattered storefronts.

State visit with royalty

An increased number of police officers have been deployed in several cities. In Paris alone, 5,000 police officers were on the scene on Thursday.

"According to information this morning, there are no more police officers to deploy now, which should be the natural consequence. I actually don't know how the police choose to proceed now," Jennifer Paterson said.

Amid the turmoil, President Macron is also due to receive a state visit from the British royal family this weekend, something he has also been criticised for.

Hear more about the situation in France in the clip.