At least 142 arrested in serious riots during Paris demonstrations

Containers set on fire during protests against pension reform in Paris, France. – JULIEN MATTIA / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

At least 142 people have been arrested during serious riots in Paris on Monday, coinciding with the approval in the National Assembly of the pension reform. The opposition denounces the arrest of peaceful demonstrators, including politicians from La France Insoumise.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of central Paris on Monday, knocked over garbage containers, set them on fire and ransacked stores in the most emblematic commercial streets of the French capital, according to the French press.

The police deployed BRAV-M riot police who chased in motorcycles those responsible for this havoc in the area of Montmartre, Opera or Louvre. Demonstrators chanted anti-capitalist slogans while the violent rioters caused significant material damage.

The leader of La France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has called for an »immediate halt to the arrests». »Tonight, dozens of peaceful people were arrested in a violent and arbitrary manner. Among them Emma Fourreau, co-responsible of Young Insubmissives, and Laurent Abrahams, activist of La France Insoumise. We demand the immediate cessation of the arrests and the release of the prisoners!», Mélenchon posted on Twitter.

»Macron and his government will never have enough police cells to stop the righteous anger of an entire people!», added Mathilde Panot, deputy of La France Insoumise.

PROTESTS IN OTHER CITIES The mobilizations have been reproduced in many other French cities. In Marseilles a hundred demonstrators have tried to storm the prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône, reports ‘Le Figaro’ citing police sources. Police intervened to stop them and the situation is now calm.

In Toulouse the situation is tense, with demonstrators burning trash containers, while in Bordeaux police have used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In Bordeaux and Lille the police have also intervened with tear gas and other anti-riot means to disperse the protest, while in Montpellier barricades have been erected in the vicinity of the prefecture.

In Nancy a hundred have destroyed street furniture, according to Alsace media. Garbage containers have been overturned. Protests also took place in Rennes, Dijon and Strasbourg.