French labor protests turn violent in Paris | News | DW | 14.06.2016
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French labor protests turn violent in Paris

French police have arrested at least 13 people for "violence and degradation." The CGT labor union's leader said they would continue to fight against labor reform legislation, saying "the struggle is far from over."

Union-led protests against labor reform turned violent in Paris on Tuesday, leaving six demonstrators and 20 police injured. Protesters hurled stones at riot police, who responded by firing tear gas and using a water cannon to disperse the rally.

Police "made 13 arrests for violence and degradation committed by masked individuals," the Paris Police Prefecture said in a tweet.

Prior to the nationwide rallies, police said they banned 130 people from participating in Tuesday's protest in the capital. French authorities have described some of the groups as ultra-violent youths.

However, the powerful CGT labor union, backed by smaller unions, noted that Tuesday's rally aimed to be the biggest show of strength since protests and strikes began over two weeks ago.

French riot police had to take breaks due to the sheer intensity of the clashes

French riot police had to take breaks due to the sheer intensity of the clashes

'Far from over'

CGT leader Philippe Martinez said about 700 buses ferried protesters from across the country to Paris, while smaller demonstrations were scheduled to take place in other cities.

"This is not the end," Martinez said. "The struggle is far from over."

The protesters demand that President Francois Hollande's government withdraw labor reform legislation which they say will undermine labor protection standards. The legislation is expected to loosen regulations regarding the hiring and firing of employees.

The demonstrations come at a moment when French security agencies are stretched by increased security at the Euro 2016 football tournament.

ls/msh (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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