New gatherings in several major cities, clashes in Paris

The evenings remain tense in many cities in France. New rallies were organized on Tuesday evening against the pension reform, with in some places like Paris, clashes between police and demonstrators.

In the capital, 46 arrests took place, according to a provisional report established shortly before midnight, from a police source. A rally, originally organized by unions in the early evening on the Place de la République, turned face-to-face between a few hundred demonstrators and the police, throwing projectiles against tear gas canisters.

Clashes in the Place de la République

At the height of the inter-union rally which ended around 8:30 p.m., around 3,500 people were present at Place de la République, according to the Paris police headquarters. Then, 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 forces of the order”.

They carried out several charges by drowning the Place de la République under a cloud of tear gas. The metro station of the same name was also invaded by tear gas, even on the platforms and in the trains circulating underground. The station was temporarily closed around 9 p.m.

Shortly before midnight, demonstrators played cat and mouse with the police on the Place de la Bastille and its surroundings. Firefighters had to put out many trash fires.

Other rallies and demonstrations were organized in several metropolises. In Lille, the Series Mania festival was briefly disrupted when a few dozen demonstrators tried to burst onto the red carpet, notably shouting anti-Macron slogans, before being quickly repelled by a police charge. Some 900 people had first participated in a demonstration calmly, according to the North prefecture, then scuffles opposed the police to some 250 people, “especially young people”, according to a police source.

Events in Grenoble, Nantes, Rennes and Le Mans

In Grenoble, nearly 5,000 people participated from 7 p.m. in a torchlight parade, according to the Isère prefecture. Around 9:30 p.m., the authorities had not noted “notable incidents”. In Nantes, 10,000 demonstrators according to the unions, 4,100 according to the police, took part in a procession. In Rennes, 4,000 people according to the organizers, 1,200 according to the prefecture, strolled calmly in the city center. A few hundred, however, continued on their way for a “wild demonstration”. Around 11 p.m., the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine reported “four arrests for fire and rebellion”. Finally, in Le Mans, around 300 demonstrators gathered around a “fire sculpture” representing a “49.3”.

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