Paris mayhem: RT reporter tear-gassed amid fierce clashes during labor reform protests (VIDEO)
An RT crew has been caught in clashes and tear gas in Paris during a protest against unpopular labor reforms, a live feed on Periscope shows. Thousands of people have taken to the streets across France to protest the legislation proposed by the government.
"There is complete chaos and panic, and I have breathed in tear gas," reported RT's Jonathan Moadab, as he continued to broadcast.
Protesters in Paris could be heard shouting “Resistance!” before plumes of smoke broke out.
“To dream of a job or to dream of unemployment?” read one of the banners carried by the demonstrators.
The Paris rally started in the Montparnasse area of the city. The French Council of Ministers was due to discuss the new labor reform Thursday.
Ten people were injured in Paris in clashes with police, while 45 were arrested, TASS reported in the evening citing Bernard Cazeneuve, French Minister of the Interior.
“According to the information I have received, 10 people have been injured, 45 have been detained. I consider these numbers absolutely unacceptable,” he told a press conference.
In Toulouse, southern France, dozens of demonstrators were seen blocking roads.
The rallies against labor reforms are trending on Twitter under the hashtag #Manif24mars.
The protests have swept the whole of France. Photos of the demonstrations have been posted on social media from Rennes, Toulouse and Nantes.
New labor law reforms were proposed by Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri earlier in March. The French government is trying to battle high unemployment and has suggested cutting overtime pay for work over 35 hours a week.
According to the proposed reforms, employers would pay only 10 percent of overtime bonus, instead of the current 25 percent.
Previous protests were partially organized by a Facebook community called "Loi travail: non, merci" (Labor reform: No, thanks). Arguing that the reforms concern all French citizens, the group has started a petition that has so far been signed by over 1.2 million people.
According to an Odoxa survey for Le Parisien conducted Thursday, 71 percent of French people oppose the reform.