By Sarah Newton-John • 28 March 2023 • 19:19
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French riot police are dodging fires and violence as they attempt to stifle the angry mob. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced the deployment of 13,000 officers yesterday on preparation for the demonstrations with almost half the force sent to Paris.
Bins are on fire, shop fronts are smashed up and protesters hang off the Triomphe de La Republique
Clashes also occurred in similar rallies in cities including Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse, with a bank branch and cars set ablaze in Nantes.
A Sky News correspondent describes the scene in Paris:
“The concern now is what after this – everyone’s been told to leave, there are people here.
“We were just in the crowds over there within the last half an hour and they were shouting: ‘We hate the police’ – nothing about pension reform.
“And I think that’s the main issue for the police at the moment, for the government – there are really two sides to this protest.
“One is the unions who are marching and protesting about pensions and President Macron’s controversial plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.
“And the other part is what the French interior minister said yesterday – that there are extremists from the left who have been hijacking the protests.”
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