The AFP news agency reported clashes at a rally in Paris in the afternoon. Police fired tear gas and blamed the violence on the crowd after several people leading the protest, dressed in black with their faces covered, burst into a grocery store and then set a fire as the march neared its destination , Place de la Nation to the east capitals. Demonstrations in France are sometimes infiltrated by “black blocs” – a loose coalition of protesters who often have little to do with the organizers of the rallies or their goals.
At least 22 people had been arrested in Paris at noon, according to the Parisian police. Around 13,000 police are expected to be deployed in France in protests throughout the day. Law enforcement said 516,000 people participated in the rallies across the country as of 5 p.m. (6 p.m. Moscow time). In Paris, 93,000 people were counted on the fields of demonstrations against the pension reform on Tuesday, according to the police headquarters. The unions had announced a little earlier the figure of 450,000 demonstrators in the French capital.
In Nantes, western France, the condemned facade of a BNP Paribas bank branch was set on fire, while protesters in Rennes blocked the ring road surrounding the city and torched an abandoned car. The Frontignan oil depot, near Montpellier (Hérault), was blocked by demonstrators on Tuesday. According to the national union of the CGT (General Confederation of Labour), a fire broke out along the road leading to the base. The situation was brought under control after the use of a tear gas canister by the police. TGV trains linking Paris to southeastern France were halted on Tuesday due to rail intrusion and a major signaling failure, likely caused by a “malicious act”, SNCF said.
The CGT union announced that the waste pickers’ strike would end on Wednesday. Thousands of tonnes of rubbish have piled up on the streets of Paris and other cities after garbage collectors went on strike against pension reform plans. Garbage collectors and drivers can currently retire at 57, but they still have two years on the job before Macron’s reform plans. Early retirement is an option for professions facing difficult working conditions. Garbage collectors say it would be unfair to force them to work longer, as their life expectancy is 12 to 17 years lower than the French average, according to the CGT.
Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.
For the latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Help us continue our mission to deliver the latest news and stories by becoming a supporter of our newspaper. Your support will help us to continue to provide high-quality journalism and to ensure that our content remains free and accessible to all. Click here to show your support. Thank you!