- by cnn
- 01 Oct 2023
French police fired teargas and clashed with demonstrators in Paris and other cities on Monday after trade unions transformed their traditional Labour Day marches into anti-government demonstrations against the rise in the retirement age.
At least 108 police were wounded and 291 people detained across France as violence erupted in several cities on the sidelines of the main union-led marches, the interior minister, GÃ©rald Darmanin, told reporters.
In Paris, the trade union-led demonstration began peacefully with many families joining in, holding banners calling for social justice and demanding Macron resign or withdraw his law to raise the minimum eligible pension age from 62 to 64.
Some Paris bus stops and shop fronts were smashed and graffitied with anti-police slogans. As the march reached its end point at Place de la Nation, police fired teargas and pushed back crowds as demonstrators threw projectiles.
There was also unrest in Lyon, where several cars were set alight and the windows of some businesses were smashed. In Nantes in western France, bins were piled up and set alight in front of an administration building, shop windows were smashed and police fired teargas after protesters threw projectiles. A demonstrator in Nantes was treated by paramedics for a serious injury to his hand.
In Marseille, a group of more than 100 demonstrators briefly occupied a luxury hotel near the old port before being pushed back by police. Teargas was also fired in Toulouse and Rennes.
Police had been given a last-minute go-ahead to use drones as a security measure after a Paris court rejected a petition from rights groups for them not to be used.
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