Molotov cocktails & teargas: Anti-labor reform protesters clash with police in Paris

Police have deployed tear gas against anti-labor reform protesters in Paris in response to demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and firecrackers.

The demonstration against highly-unpopular labor reform has gathered in Place Denfert-Rochereau in the center of Paris.

About 3pm local time an RT France correspondent was caught in a violent confrontation between police and protesters at the Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris. The protesters were hurling firecrackers and Molotov cocktails at national police, who responded with grenades.

Ruptly producer suffered from profuse bleeding after being hit by a wayward rock, and had to have her head bandaged, before making her own way to the hospital. 

The rally takes place ahead of the meeting of the National Assembly, in which President Francois Hollande and his government face a no-confidence vote after forcing the bill through the lower house of parliament without a vote.

Passing the bill by decree came after the French government resorted to a controversial Article in the Constitution on Tuesday in a bid to override parliament’s vote on labor reform.

The initiative to hold the no-confidence vote came from two center right opposition parties: the Republicans, headed by former president Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI) led by Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

The reform, initiated by Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri, says that employers would pay only 10 percent of overtime bonus, instead of the current 25 percent. The bill technically maintains the 35-hour working week, but says that in case of “exceptional circumstances,” employees can be asked to work up to 60 hours a week.

Similar demonstrations were held across France on Thursday. At least 12,000 protesters gathered in the southern city of Toulouse, police said, as cited by France Bleu newspaper.

In Lyon at least 750 people gathered to express their outrage with the new reform, local newspapers said.

The rally in Montpellier gathered between 700 and 800 activists, according to local media. The demonstration gathered in front of the building of the city council.

In Rennes the demonstration also seems to have turned violent, with tear gas being deployed by police, according to photos on social media. 

The bill sparked mass protests across the country dubbed LoiTravail (Labor Law) and NuitDebout (Rise Up At Night) in social media. The demonstrations often turned violent, with police deploying tear gas against the protesters.

The most violent rallies have been in Paris as well in the cities of Rennes and Nantes.