Thousands marched in cities around the world for a second week of rallies Saturday to support the US Black Lives Matter movement, but also to highlight problems in their own countries.

There were rallies in cities across Europe, with thousands demonstrating in several cities across France, with clashes breaking out in Paris and the southeast city of Lyon.

Police arrested several far-right demonstrators gathered in London to counter an anti-racism march following violence there.

Traore's sister Assa Traore, drew a direct parallel between Floyd's death in the United States and that of her brother Traore's sister Assa Traore, drew a direct parallel between Floyd's death in the United States and that of her brother Photo: AFP / Thomas SAMSON

This was the second weekend of international rallies as people took to the streets to back US protests over the killing last month of black American George Floyd by a white police officer.

At the end the rally in Paris, police stopped people from launching a march through the streets of the capital, firing tear gas after some protesters pelted them with projectiles.

In the southeast city of Lyon, police used water cannons and tear gas at the end of a demonstration attended by about 2,000 people.

The Paris demonstration was called by a pressure group campaigning for justice for Adama Traore, a young black man who died in police custody in 2016.

In Paris, police and protesters clashed after officers stopped demonstrators launching a march through the city at the end of their rally In Paris, police and protesters clashed after officers stopped demonstrators launching a march through the city at the end of their rally Photo: AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

Traore's sister Assa Traore, one of the driving forces of the group, called on those attending the rally to "denounce the denial of justice, denounce social, racial, police violence".

She drew a direct parallel between Floyd's death in the United States and that of her brother and renewed her call for a full investigation into what had happened.

Amnesty International called in a statement for "a systemic reform of police practices" in France.

In London, far-right protesters clashed with police in the city centre after gathering to counter an anti-racism march. In London, far-right protesters clashed with police in the city centre after gathering to counter an anti-racism march. Photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

The rallies came at the end of week when France's police watchdog revealed it had received almost 1,500 complaints against officers last year -- half of them for alleged violence.

In London, far-right protesters clashed with police in the city centre after gathering to counter an anti-racism march.

IMAGESThousands of people, gather at a far-right linked protest in London to 'guard' the statue of Winston Churchill as fears it will be vandalised grow. Some protesters clashed with police and were seen throwing projectiles at officers. The gathering was IMAGESThousands of people, gather at a far-right linked protest in London to 'guard' the statue of Winston Churchill as fears it will be vandalised grow. Some protesters clashed with police and were seen throwing projectiles at officers. The gathering was organised to counter an anti-racism march despite officials urging people not to turn out due to coronavirus restrictions. Photo: AFPTV / Nick McAVANEY

Thousands of people defied the rules to assemble in and around Parliament Square, requiring a "major" policing operation the Metropolitan Police Service.

Footage on television news channels showed some agitators throwing punches, bottles and smoke bombs at officers as well as fighting with rival protesters.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the violence, saying "racist thuggery has no place on our streets".

A London protest by the Black Lives Matter group originally planned for Saturday was switched to Friday to avoid clashes with counter-protesters. But several hundred Black Lives Matter activists nevertheless demonstrated Saturday in London.

Anti-racism protests went ahead in other British cities, including Brighton in the south and Liverpool in the north.

Thousands marched in several cities across Switzerland, with the largest in Zurich, where 10,000 people turned out. Police said one officer was hurt after a few hundred hard-left activists there began throwing projectiles. They made several arrests.

Earlier in the week, around 10,000 marched against racism in Geneva.

In Germany, around 2,000 rallied in the southern city of Stuttgart, the DPA news agency reported. In the north, another 500 turned out in Lubeck and 250 in Hamburg. There were no reports of any trouble.

In Australia, thousands turned out in several cities for the second weekend running, despite official warnings that demonstrations would undermine the country's success in suppressing the coronavirus. The biggest was in the Western Australian capital Perth.

In Asia, hundreds gathered in a Taipei park with some holding signs with slogans such as "This is a movement, not a moment". They held eight minutes of silence to remember Floyd.

Dozens also marched through the rain in Tokyo.