Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin reported that 175 police officers were injured and 201 arrests were made across the country.
Demonstrations in France turned more violent during the 10th day of protests against the controversial pension reform, which will raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 as approved this month by Emmanuel Macron’s government.
In Paris, tensions between protesters and police sparked as the crowd neared its destination at the Place de la Nation, east of the city center, and black-clad activists they set fire to garbage cans, looted a business of Leclerc and they damaged street furniture, collect local media. The police responded with batons and tear gas to “dissolve” the block, allow “the intervention of the firefighters” and “facilitate the progress of the march,” said the local police headquarters.
Images shared on social networks show officers beating the first rows of protesters, who responded by throwing stones and other objects.
Several videos show men on the ground during the clashes, apparently after being assaulted by officers.
At least five people were treated by emergency services and three injured were treated by volunteer rescuers.
The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) estimates that only in Paris the participation was 450,000 people, while the Parisian authorities calculated about 93,000. At the end of this day, at least 70 arrests in the city.
Clashes also broke out in other cities, including Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse.
In Nantes a bank branch was set on fire and another was attacked. The prefecture reported 49 arrests. Meanwhile, in Rennes, there was damage in the center of the city, where an insurance agency was looted and six people were arrested.
The prefecture of the Ardennes denounced a “serious violence”, on the sidelines of the demonstration that brought together 4,000 people, and reported on the launching of projectiles at the police, including “acid bottles” and “firecrackers”. Eighteen people were arrested.
Incidents also occurred in Toulouse, after the police used a water cannon and tear gas against protesters wearing masks and goggles and who allegedly started a fire on the road.
The prefect of Herault, Hugues Moutouh, denounced “acts of vandalism” committed in Frontignan, where four buses were set on fire after a day of tension between police and protesters near a fuel depot. “No claim on the public highway can legitimize this type of conduct, which constitutes delinquency“, he wrote on Twitter.
🔥🚌 The prefect of the#herault Hugues Moutouh judges the acts of vandalism unacceptable commis ce soir à #Frontignan à l’encontre d’un depôt de bus. No revendication sur la voie publish ne peut legitimer de tels comportements qui relevent de la delinquance. pic.twitter.com/m5E3Mt3fhu
— Prefet de l’Herault 🇫🇷 (@Prefet34) March 28, 2023
The CGT reported that “more than two million” people took to the streets during this day throughout the country, while the Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, spoke of a total of 740,000. In addition, he pointed that 175 police officers were injured and 201 arrests were made across France.