Tear gas, reports of over 20 injured at anti-labor reform protest in Rennes, France (PHOTOS)
Police have deployed tear gas against anti-labor reform protesters in the city of Rennes, northwestern France, local media said. At least 22 protesters have been reportedly injured during clashes with officers.
Tear gas has been deployed in downtown Orleans Street, Rennes24 TV reported. According to the channel, at least 22 activists were wounded, with six of them receiving serious injuries.
Fabrice Lerestif, general secretary of the Worker’s Force union, denounced the “police brutality,” adding that several demonstrators were injured in clashes with officers.
At least two police officers were injured during clashes with the demonstrators, Ouest-Franc newspaper said.
📢Rennes C reparti pour La Castagne 🙄 pic.twitter.com/xT5ojNuF0I— Dominique LUNEL (@DominiqueLUNEL) April 9, 2016
The protesters have set on fire a barricade they erected near the local market.
A near-by Metro station was temporarily closed, says Rennes24 TV.
The protest is being held under the hashtag #LoiTravail (Labor Law). It was partially organized by a Facebook community called ‘Loi travail: non, merci’ (Labor reform: No, thanks).
According to Ouest-Franc newspaper, several-thousand protesters have taken to the streets of the northwestern French city.
“I'm here because I'm an old Republican. The first article [of the proposed reform] states that human rights are subject to the interest of employers. This is unacceptable. The law also creates inequalities at the enterprise level,” Gerard, a local worker, told Ouest-Franc newspaper.
Since the beginning of March, French people have been rallying against labor law reforms recently proposed by Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri. According to the proposed reforms, employers would pay only 10 percent of overtime bonus, instead of the current 25 percent.
The authorities are desperately trying to battle high unemployment and have suggested cutting overtime pay for work beyond 35 hours.
The rally was also called by a Facebook Community dubbed Nuit Debout a Rennes (Rise Up At Night in Rennes). March was a month of protests and the demonstrators have continued to dub even April’s rallies under the hashtag #mars (March). The April 3 was turned into ‘March 34’ (#mars34), and April 9 into ‘March 40’ (#mars40).
Nuit Debout (Rise Up at Night), a movement in France that is similar to the Occupy movement in the US, stands against capitalism and the government of Francois Hollande.
On Saturday, protests against new labor reforms as well as against the French government in general were held across France. Some rallies were even planned beyond France – in Valencia, Spain, and Belgium’s capital, Brussels.
In Strasbourg at least four people were detained this morning during the protest. About 15,000 people took to the streets of Toulouse.
Watch report by RT's Anastasia Churkina to learn more on Nuit Debout