People re-enact French students’ arrest by police that sparked outcry (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Recent footage depicting rows of education reform protesters on their knees, with baton-wielding officers standing over them near Saint-Exupery high school, has gone viral. Uploaded on Thursday evening, it gathered thousands of angry comments online, with many likening the image to execution by firing squad.
On Friday, dozens of high school students showed up at the Place de la République in Paris to show their solidarity with the protesters. They re-enacted the arrest scene, kneeling with their hands behind their heads. Similar actions were held in Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris, and the city of Dijon in the east.
The students at Mantes-la-Jolie were forced to kneel by officers after being arrested for clashes with police. The unrest at high schools over education reform gripped the whole country. Some 700 sites were affected Friday, while 400 of them were completely shut down.
While speaking on the Mantes-la-Jolie case, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer admitted that the images were “shocking,” but also urged that they be treated in the broader context.
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