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Pensions: in several cities, the demonstrations degenerate into clashes and fires


IN PICTURES – Since the final adoption of the pension reform in the Assembly, opponents of the text gather every evening all over the country.

When violence sets in.

After the failure of the motions of censure in the Assembly, synonymous with the final adoption of the pension reform on Monday, the protest continues in the street.

Yesterday, in Paris and in several cities of France, spontaneous demonstrations degenerated, giving rise to clashes with the police and scenes of chaos.



, fires and mortar fire

In the capital, a rally, originally organized by unions in the early evening on Place de la République, turned into a tense face-to-face between a few hundred demonstrators and the police, throwing projectile against tear gas canisters.

According to the journalist from


present on the spot, a trade unionist harangued the crowd last night: “

It seems that Macron does not hear us!

We have to invade the Place de la Republique!

We are the majority in this country, democracy is ours!

(...) We must develop the strike in all sectors!

The social explosion is coming!

The Prefecture counted 3,500 people at the height of the rally.

Place de la République caught fire around 8 p.m.

According to a police source, "

the organizers left the scene but a group of individuals threw projectiles in the direction of the firefighters and then tried to set off in a wild procession before being prevented by the police

" .

They carried out several charges by drowning the Place de la République under a cloud of tear gas.

Firefighters tried to intervene on various fires of garbage cans and an electric scooter, but they were repelled by demonstrators.

According to a provisional report from a police source, at midnight there were 46 arrests in Paris.

Protesters throw tear gas canisters back at the police, Place de la République in Paris, March 21, 2023. GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS

Police and demonstrators face each other, near Place de la République in Paris, March 21, 2023. LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Garbage cans are set on fire near the République metro station in Paris on March 21, 2023. GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS

Later in the evening, demonstrators and police continued to face each other in Place de la Bastille and its surroundings.

Reduced processions also formed rue de Rivoli and at Châtelet.

Police officers near Place de la Bastille in Paris on March 21, 2023. GONZALO FUENTES / REUTERS

In Lille, the Series Mania festival disrupted

In Lille

, about 900 people had first taken part in a calm demonstration on the Place de la République, according to the Nord prefecture, then scuffles opposed the police to some 250 people, "especially young


“, According to a police source.

Strikes, blockages, wild demonstrations!

“, chanted the demonstrators, mostly students and high school students, accompanied in particular by trade unionists from the CGT and the South.

The procession dispersed peacefully around 8:00 p.m.

About 250 people, "

mostly young people

" then "

crisscrossed the city center, going right and left

," said a police source.

This is the first night that groups have been playing cat and mouse in town, trying to confuse law enforcement

,” the source continued.

These demonstrators overturned and set fire to a few garbage cans near the Grand-Place, or used projectiles against the police, such as cans or cobblestones, she said, reporting "two light injuries" among the forces


the order.

A few dozen demonstrators even tried to burst onto the red carpet at the Series Mania festival, including shouting anti-Macron slogans, but were quickly repelled by a police charge.

According to several witnesses on the spot, the demonstrators tried to raise the security barriers and disrupted the show, while the American actress Marcia Cross had just paraded on the red carpet.

In Nantes, Rennes and Grenoble, torchlight parades degenerate

In Grenoble

, nearly 5,000 people took part from 7:00 p.m. in a torchlight parade through the streets of the city, according to the Isère prefecture.

Also in Nantes

, a demonstration took place at the foot of the Brittany tower, in the city center, according to the journalist from


present on the spot.

Participants wait until nightfall to start this “

torchlight march


The 10,000 demonstrators according to the unions, 4,100 according to the police, some of whom were carrying torches, chanted during tonight's demonstration: “

Hashed careers, shitty pensions!


The first tear gas was fired shortly after the start of the demonstration by the police, who came under heavy firework mortar fire.

On the sidelines of the procession, degradations were committed, in particular ransacked businesses and tags like "

49.3 it will not pass

" or "

Macron only understands the riot


Police stand next to a burnt tram line, in Nantes, on March 21, 2023. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

Police officers come under mortar fire in Nantes, March 21, 2023. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

In Rennes

, 4,000 people, 1,200 according to the prefecture, were present.

Around 8:30 p.m., the demonstrators released paper lanterns in the sky, chanting slogans hostile to Emmanuel Macron and the police, before dispersing.

A few hundred however continued on their way for a “

wild demonstration

”, separating into small groups to thwart the police device.

A few hundred of them, however, continued on their way for a "

wild demonstration

", separating into small groups to thwart the police device.

Around 11:00 p.m., the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine reported eleven interventions by firefighters on fire starts, including a vehicle set on fire by a nearby garbage bin fire, and "four arrests for fire and rebellion



Riot police protect the “republic” bus stop, which is on fire during clashes in Rennes, March 21, 2023. DAMIEN MEYER / AFP

At Le Mans, a 49.3 burned down

In Le Mans

, about 300 demonstrators gathered around a "

fire sculpture

" representing a "


", in reference to the article of the Constitution used by the government to pass the pension reform without the vote of the National Assembly.

On Thursday, the unions called for a new day of protests.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced the mobilization of 12,000 police and gendarmes throughout France.

5,000 of them will be deployed in Paris.

He also called on the police to "

not respond to provocations from the far left

" which, according to him, seeks "

to destabilize the state


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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