Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) rallies took place nationwide on Saturday, a year after they first erupted.
Tear gas and water cannon were used by police in Paris, where thousands of protesters thronged the streets.
Rioters unleashed some of the worst violence the city has seen in months.
With many clad in black and wearing masks to hide their faces, rioters in parts of the city burned barricades, vandalised banks, set rubbish bins on fire and hurled cobblestones at police.
By Saturday evening, Paris police said 147 people had been arrested across the capital.
The nationwide protests were intended to send a message to French President Emmanuel Macron, whose government has been accused of ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens.