Spontaneous demonstrations against Chirac

People gather at the Place de la Bastille
People gather at the Place de la Bastille

Several thousand people took part in demonstrations in Paris to protest against the promulgation of the CPE.

Submitted by alibi on March 31, 2006

The CPE (First Employment Contract) was announced earlier today by President Jacques Chirac, the principal target of the demonstrators.

Several hundred people, mostly young, had gathered at the Place de la Bastille from 19:00 Friday. The demonstrators, blocked traffic from around 20:00 and followed close to a truck sound-system which broadcast Chirac's speach. When Chirac announced that he "had decided to promulgate" the law on the equal opportunity (of which, CPE is a part) the crowd started to whistle, certain demonstrators shouting "Jail Chirac, Villepin resign".

The majority young students or high-school pupils, some carrying of the flags of the LCR (Trotskyist League of Revolutionary Communists) or the CNT (anarcho-syndicalist National Confederation of Labour) then sought to reach the Elysium in two distinct processions, noted journalists of the AFP. Young people joined the demonstrators as they marched, increasing numbers to a few thousand.

The group then joined up with another demonstration before going on the pass the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Paris Opera and the Madeleine during the course of the evening. CRS riot police blocked roads leading to the Interior Ministry and the official residencies of Chirac and Villepin.