Police and students face off in France

Police and students face off in France
By Catherine Hardy with AFP
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Young people say plans to reform employment law will hit them the hardest

  • 115 schools blockaded – government
  • 120-200 blockaded – unions

The news


University and high school students have taken to the streets in France to demand the government withdraw its to plans to reform employment law.

The French education ministry said 115 high schools around the country had been blockaded.

The organisers have put the figure at between 120 and 200.

Student marches have been organised in several cities across France.

The planned reforms

Recul suffisant?

— Anne Sinclair (@anne_sinclair) March 14, 2016

The proposals for reform will be presented to ministers on March the 24th.

The government hopes to have it adopted by the summer.


De #République à #Italie, lycéens et étudiants dans la rue contre la #LoiTravail |

— France 3 Paris (@France3Paris) March 17, 2016

There have been confrontations between students and police in Paris. > #LoiTravail : les étudiants viennent d'arriver Place d'Italie à Paris

— Louis Witter (@LouisWitter) March 17, 2016

Students gather in the Place d’Italie in Paris. Three people have been arrested in confrontations between marchers and police in Paris.

One police officer has been slightly hurt.

Business premises have been damaged.

The Sorbonne, Tolbiac and Saint Denis universities are closed.


« Lycéens, étudiants, chômeurs et travailleurs, c'est tous ensemble qu'il faut lutter »

— Romain Gros (@Gros_Romain) March 17, 2016

Students have gathered in the centre of Lyon. The university Lumière-Lyon II is closed.


VIDEO – Manifestation anti-loi Travail: étudiants et lycéens envahissent la gare de Rennes

— BFMTV (@BFMTV) March 17, 2016

Demonstrators invade the tracks at Rennes. Train services have been disrupted after demonstrators invaded the main station and got onto the tracks.


Etudiants et lycéens mobilisés à Marseille #greve9mars ©Clément Mahoudeau/IP3

— IP3 Press (@IP3_Press) March 9, 2016

Protesters gather on la Canebière in Marseille. Clashes broke out between police and several dozen students on la Canebière, the main boulevard in the city centre.


La police en ordre de marche pour disperser les étudiants à

— Julie MARY (@jumary95) March 17, 2016

Rubbish bins have been burnt and a car flipped over outside a high school.

The context

The demonstrations come eight days after the first day of strikes and demonstrations against the unpopular reform.

Since then, the government has amended some of its proposals.

However, some people are still not satisfied.


What they are saying

“Wake up, Lenin, they have all gone mad” – student banner in Paris.

“If you don’t have a stable job at 50, you are a failure” – banner in Paris.

“We want drivers to honk their horns, we want to make a noise to show how unhappy we are.”Julie, 15-year-old student, Paris.

“Young people are really worried about this, because it is about their future. They want the law withdrawn, it’s as simple as that. That’s why they’re here.” – President of FIDL student union, Zoia Gushchlbauer.

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