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Pensions: return in images to the violence and looting on the sidelines of the demonstrations


Breakers swept through the streets of many cities this Thursday, including Paris, Rennes, Bordeaux, Lorient and Lyon.

Countless looting, violence and fires were observed throughout France on Thursday, on the sidelines of demonstrations against the pension reform, which brought together between 1.08 million and 3.5 million protesters, according to the Ministry of Interior and the CGT.

We saw a tipping point in violence this Thursday

,” a police source told Le



The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, denounced him "thugs

who want to kill police officers


LIVE - Demonstration against pension reform: more than 200 arrests in France, thugs "want to kill police officers", according to Darmanin

In Paris, 1,500 radicals set fire to the Opera district

In Paris, the clashes started in the middle of the afternoon, a few hours after the start of a gathering of a hundred thousand people in Place de la Bastille in Paris, according to the authorities.

Despite 2,000 checks carried out prior to the demonstration, nearly 1,500 radical elements were present there.

The violence on the sidelines of the Parisian procession, this Thursday.

Go to slideshow (7)

The thugs quickly seceded at the head of the peaceful procession, pushed by the police who wanted to isolate them.

They then sowed in their wake, from the Place de la République (east of the capital) to the Grands Boulevards (center), ransacking and degradation.

Windows were smashed, including those of a McDonald's restaurant and a Burger King.

Facades of bank branches were also targeted, tags were painted on shops.

The CRS and mobile gendarmes responded by using tear gas and making defensive leaps and charges.

It was during these maneuvers that a police officer was seen collapsing, then evacuated by his colleagues in the field, who dragged him to the ground.

The images have gone viral on social media.

The violence then reached a new level at the end of the afternoon, when the "

black bloc

" reached the place of arrival of the procession, place de l'Opéra.

Under construction, the Opéra Garnier was covered with huge scaffolding, a source of concern for the authorities, who feared that the thugs would climb there to dismantle it.

Nothing happened: the clashes took place below, with many mortar fireworks and garbage fires.

A booth was set on fire.


Death to the king, death to Darmanin

", could be read on shop windows.

The violence in Paris this Thursday evening.

Go to slideshow (5)

When the demonstrators from the union procession arrived, and while the Place de l'Opéra was cordoned off by hundreds of CRS and around fifty vans, the thugs escaped into the surrounding streets, turning back to find a new place of wild gathering.

Fires in Paris this Thursday evening.

Go to slideshow (5)

The violence continued into the evening, first in the small streets of the 9th arrondissement district.

Trash fires were started, and flames licked apartment buildings.

The demonstrators then moved in front of the Saint-Lazare station, where they erected a roadblock which they set on fire, across the road.

The manager of a cafe in front of which garbage cans were on fire was taken to task, insulted and then beaten, while they complained about the ambient mess.

Residents came out of their homes with buckets of water to put out the fires.

A little further, the rue de Madrid, in the 8th arrondissement, was ransacked, with piles of rubbish strewing the ground.

A building caretaker, who was trying to prevent a group of thugs from setting trash cans on fire, was insulted as "

dirty bourgeois

", according to our journalists on the spot Amaury Coutansais-Pervinquière and Hugues Maillot.

Residents angry because of a barrage of garbage cans near Saint-Lazare.

Amaury Coutansais-Pervinquière / Le Figaro

Calm gradually returned around 10 p.m.

At least 77 individuals were arrested Thursday in the capital, and seven police officers injured.

And at least one injured protester was taken care of by firefighters.

"Scenes of Chaos" in the West

In the west of France, the violence and clashes between the police and demonstrators have also escalated compared to previous mobilizations.

In Rouen (Seine-Maritime), a protester in her thirties, who works with disabled children, had a thumb torn off, according to LFI deputy Alma Dufour.

As in Paris, trash cans were set on fire, and tear gas clouded the atmosphere.

In Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), demonstrators broke into the administrative court, ransacking the reception and breaking windows and doors.

Several businesses were also damaged.

People on the terrace had to be evacuated after thugs tried to take refuge among them.

Several clashes erupted with the police.

The violence on the sidelines of the demonstrations this Thursday in Nantes.

Go to slideshow (4)

In Lorient (Morbihan), the city police station and the police were targeted by demonstrators, mostly young people with concealed faces.

Windows of the building, close to the sub-prefecture, were broken by throwing projectiles and fires lit against the gate.

In Rennes, the day after a day of clashes between fishermen and the police, tear gas canisters fired in response to the throwing of projectiles and trash fires, plunging the inter-union procession, caught in a vice, in a thick cloud of acrid smoke.

Mayor Nathalie Appéré denounced "

scenes of chaos


A police water cannon against a barrage of garbage cans in Rennes.


In Bordeaux, tear gas was used by the police at the end of the procession, when groups left in wild demonstrations


It was in the early evening that the events degenerated: the porch of the town hall was set on fire, damaging the massive wooden door of the building.

The intervention of firefighters prevented further damage.

The town hall is to welcome King Charles III on Tuesday.

According to the prefect of Gironde Étienne Guyot, "

investigations are underway

" and "

a person has apparently been arrested



You have a number of activists who attacked street furniture

" after the Bordeaux demonstration and "

who are in ambush

in the city, the state representative added.

Toulouse also burned on Thursday, despite a generally calm demonstration.

Many fires were observed.

The police used the water cannon.

In Toulouse this Thursday.


In Lille, spontaneous processions swept through the streets on Thursday evening, but without particular violence.

During the day, however, the head of public security in the North was hit by a stone in the head.

In Lille this Thursday.


In Lyon too, violence broke out in the middle of the afternoon.

58 police officers and 9 demonstrators were slightly injured, and 11 individuals arrested around 8 p.m.

The damage continued later in the evening, however, since individuals armed with iron bars and glass bottles were seen stoning the town hall of the 1st arrondissement.

The police responded with tear gas.

In Lyon this Thursday.


Medium-sized towns have also experienced tensions between the police and demonstrators, such as in Bayonne.

In Tulle, the police dispersed demonstrators, including high school students, using tear gas, as a dissociated part of the procession approached administrative buildings after the end of the official demonstration, according to testimonies collected by a correspondent from the AFP.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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