From Paris to Toulouse, tensions in several cities in France

Lille, Toulouse, Paris, Strasbourg, Dijon… Trash cans overturned and burned, barricades, throwing projectiles at the police, smoke bombs: the adoption on Monday of the pension reform after the rejection of the motion of censure caused numerous demonstrations interspersed with incidents throughout France, noted AFP journalists.

In Dijon, around 200 people demonstrated, some masked and often hooded, chanting: “we hate the police”. The demonstration was dispersed around 9:00 p.m. and the police made two arrests.

In Lyon, around 500 demonstrators, including many young people, gathered around 8:30 p.m. on Place Guichard in the 3rd arrondissement and attacked the police with throwing projectiles, before dispersing into several groups in different neighborhoods. A first assessment of the prefecture reported two arrests. Same provisional assessment of two arrests in Saint-Etienne, while in Voiron, in Isère, the permanence of the Renaissance deputy Élodie Jacquier-Laforge was vandalized, according to the prefecture.

The game of cat and mouse

In Lille, our journalist Mikael Libert covered the game of “cat and mouse” between demonstrators and police, including tear gas.

The demonstrators were several hundred in Lille in front of the prefecture, where they whistled and booed when they learned of the rejection of the motion of censure. “It’s going to blow up”, they chanted, “Louis XVI we beheaded him, Macron we’re going to start again”.

“We expected it but we are disappointed, angry”, underlines Emma Maes, a 26-year-old Lille resident, while emphasizing that “the mobilization is not over” and evoking the hope of a referendum of popular initiative.

In Bordeaux, a spontaneous demonstration gathered 150 to 200 people on the Place de la Victoire, according to the prefecture. The police then used tear gas, noted our journalist Béatrice Colin, to disperse groups of “very mobile young people”. Other gatherings took place in Limoges or Poitiers, or even in Rouen.

Damage in Strasbourg

On the side of Strasbourg, new degradations were committed on the sidelines of a demonstration in the evening and five people were arrested, three days after similar events, noted an AFP journalist. About 2,000 people according to the prefecture demonstrated at the height of the procession. They first gathered at Place Kléber, in the heart of the Alsatian capital.

Demonstrators loudly whistled and booed as a no-confidence motion against the government was voted down. They lit smoke bombs and chanted “We too will go through in force” before starting to move. There, several demonstrators committed damage to the quays along the Ill. The facade of a bank was stoned and tagged, most of the garbage cans on this quay were set on fire and advertising signs were smashed. The demonstrators, blocked by the police at the end of this pedestrian quay on which they were marching, changed their route and left in another direction.

For many very young and masked, they then tore down barriers and metal sheets on a construction site to make it a barricade in the middle of the street and set fire to other trash cans. Several bus shelters were smashed. The police, who used tear gas on several occasions, made five arrests, the prefecture said around 10:30 p.m., while the demonstrators had dispersed.

101 arrests in Paris

Garbage fires, barricades, processions pacing the streets: sporadic points of tension punctuated several arteries in the center of Paris on Monday evening. Shortly before 10:30 p.m., 101 people were arrested during these incidents, according to a police source.

A few hundred people, joined by deputies from France Insoumise (LFI), first gathered, not far from the National Assembly, Place Vauban (7th arrondissement), before being channeled by the forces of the order. Then, garbage fires and clashes with the police were spotted in the Saint-Lazare station district (9th), around the Place de l’Opéra, where many CRS buses were parked.

A procession of a hundred people, mostly young, then walked shortly after 9 p.m. rue Réaumur and rue Montmartre, overturning the trash cans of traders. They were followed by BRAV-M police officers on motorcycles. A hundred people, according to an AFP journalist, were also at the Châtelet, not far from the Hôtel de Ville. Throughout the evening, in small groups, the demonstrators wandered in the center of the capital, overturning electric scooters and bicycles in their path, or setting fire to garbage cans. They were not looking for confrontation with the police, according to AFP journalists on the spot, but rather to engage in a game of cat and mouse.

“We hear that young people are not mobilized. Here we are. It is for pensions and for the rest. It’s a whole, an accumulation, ”explained to AFP a student wishing to remain anonymous, the demonstration not being declared. In an attempt to dissuade them from continuing their journey, the police repeatedly used tear gas.

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