Rennes, the day after. The day after an ultra-violent demonstration in the streets of the old center, the Breton capital woke up with a hangover this Friday morning. Thursday evening, around 700 people marched in a wild procession in the historic heart of Rennes to shout their opposition to the pension reform and the use of 49.3. To make their rage and anger heard, they didn’t just shout. For several hours, some protesters attacked businesses in the city, smashing windows, tagging facades, even going so far as to loot an independent clothing store.
In this night of chaos, we probably came close to tragedy when individuals threw flaming garbage cans on the wooden doors of the Town Hall. The firefighters intervened for 45 fires, when the police made 14 arrests. Thirteen people were taken into custody, four of whom are suspected of looting the K-Way store. According to the prefecture, five employees of the Mama Shelter in the Place des Lices were injured. On Wednesday, the new 4-star hotel had already been targeted, its security guards had been targeted.
The day after this rampage, everyone was talking about it in the streets of the city. With each broken window, passers-by stop, chat, sigh, take a picture. On the step of the smashed door, the manager of the K-Way store is annoyed. During the night, the window was smashed and the store was partly looted. “They even came back several times. Look, there is a bag with clothes. There is even one who left his beer. The pint still filled sits in the middle of the devastated store. ” I don’t understand. I am independent, I have a loan on my back, employees to pay. I am not a multinational, I have nothing to do with it. All they’re doing by attacking like that is screwing people up.” The manager will file a complaint and contact his insurance. He does not know when his store will be able to reopen.
Next door, the Foncia real estate agency located at the corner of the parliament was ransacked. His manager does not want to speak. “I’m not ready,” he says. Anger can be seen in his eyes. “It’s sad,” laments a woman, scrutinizing the anarchist tags affixed to the facade of the convention center in Place Sainte-Anne. “I understand the anger. But why go after traders? What did they do in there, ”laments a craftsman who came to repair the damage.
“Our city cannot be abandoned”
This morning already, the city had been largely cleaned by the teams of the city. On the Town Hall Square, there were hardly any traces of the violence of the previous day. Only a few broken windows are there to testify to the crazy night that the building spent. “Our city is the scene of staggering urban violence tonight,” denounced PS mayor Nathalie Appéré. “Our city cannot be abandoned to the violence of the thugs,” she added, again asking for police reinforcements.
Asked about the multiple degradations suffered on the sidelines of the demonstrations in Rennes, the prefect Emmanuel Berthier assured that there was “no impunity” for the thugs. “We are facing a mass of young, fast, mobile and rather well organized people, which complicates the intervention of the police,” explained police boss Luca Togni. Another demonstration is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m.