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Rennes: Clashes During the Demonstration against the Labour Law

Clashes erupted between protesters against the labour law and law enforcement officers, this Saturday at Rennes …

Saturday at midday, some 1,700 people, according to the prefecture, were protesting against the labour law in Rennes. A parade marked by clashes with police which were preventing the protesters from accessing the historic centre.

Tear gas and charges

The security forces have repeatedly used tear gas and stun grenades against young people trying to access the historical centre of the City, the Town Hall Square and Parliament of Brittany.

The CRS, special riot police, also charged at protestors, after being subjected to being “attacked by extremely violent elements using smoke bombs and projectiles” against them, said the prefecture .

Scores of people were inconvenienced by the gas, the procession consisting mostly of employees, families with children and pensioners. “We’re sick of being gassed, complained Isabelle, a young retired telecoms employee.  This is disproportionate, “she said, as protesters continued to march shortly before 1pm.

Protect the historic center

The prefect of Ille-et-Vilaine, Patrick Strzoda had banned earlier in the week, any event in the historic centre of Rennes, as well as any gathering at Parliament Square.  He had justified the prohibitions, including the need to protect this area of ​​great heritage value.

The demonstrators began to gather Saturday mid-morning on the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, near the historical centre, under the banners of unions, FO, CGT, Sud, the CNT and the Anarchist Federation.

They were joined by youth and students, some wearing carnival masks or balaclavas, which were placed at the head of the gathering. “Under the ashes, embers still burning,” “The objective conditions are met” could be read on banners.

For several weeks, Rennes is the scene of protests against the proposed El Khomri Labour law, some protesters did not hesitate to invade buildings and the station including railway tracks, forcing the train to stop train traffic.

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