Violence against demonstrations in France

Police units attack anti-CPE demonstration and anarchists are arrested as repression against the movement steps up.

Submitted by jef costello on March 17, 2006

In the Parisian banlieue of Sevres, a protest was attacked from both sides by CRS riot police and was further attacked by the RG (an independent police intelligence unit often accused of spying upon journalists and political opponents). This is part of a general state crackdown on the protests across France.

There have been 300 arrests today, although it is unclear how the police have identified those arrested. However we have strong information that a group of CNT-F (Confédération Nationale du Travail France) members were arrested earlier today for the crime of leaving a metro station near to a protest.

In the Latin Quarter of Paris there were several arrests of fascists, after uncomfortable reports that the police have allowed fascists wearing crash helmets and carrying iron bars to attack anti-CPE demonstrators on numerous occasions made it to the mainstream French press. It has been suggested that these may have been token arrests to deflect further criticism.

Many of the protesters arrested arbitrarily today will be in court on March 24th at 9am. A demonstration has been called. These arrests, police actions against demonstrators including tear gas and rubber bullets, and physical attacks by the far right are stiffening the resolve of protesters. There have been calls for better movement on the ground to prevent the police, especially the "paramilitary" CRS, and far-right groups attacking small peaceful groups of protesters. It looks likely that the many hundreds of thousands involved in the protests will continue for some time in the face of these pressures