France’s long history of street protest has seen a new chapter written, with students blockading schools and clashing with police across the country.
Popular anger at President Sarkozy’s controversial pension and retirement reforms is growing; France has become the foocus of the anti-reform resentment sweeping Europe.
Some of the most notable protests came in France’s second city, Lyon. There, students taunted police while expressing their fears for future life after work. These protests were generally confined to the burning of cars and rubbish bins, but there were reports that police had fired tear gas to break up demonstrations in the eastern cities of Mulhouse and Montbelliard. A number of people were arrested across the country for public order offences.