• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

VIDEO: 250 held as 'Day of Anger' turns violent

AFP/The Local · 27 Jan 2014, 11:17

Published: 27 Jan 2014 08:39 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Jan 2014 11:17 GMT+01:00

Several thousand people marched through Paris on Sunday in a "Day of Anger" against embattled President Francois Hollande which ended in clashes between police and protesters.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse several hundred youths who lobbed police with bottles, fireworks, iron bars and dustbins. Police on Monday said at least 250 people had been arrested after the clashes, during which 12 officers were injured.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the violence "by individuals, varied groups from the extreme and ultra-right, whose only goal is to create unrest".

The march organised by a motley group of some 50 small and mainly right-wing organisations, however failed to attract bigger anti-Hollande movements.

Organisers claimed a turnout of some 120,000 people, however police estimated there were 17,000 people at the protest, held under pouring rain.

The demonstrators railed against a slew of policies under Hollande - the most unpopular French president of modern times - such as last year's law allowing gay marriage.

Some called for France's withdrawal from the European Union, while others urged the respect of freedom of speech, a reference to the government's recent decision to ban a show by  controversial comic Dieudonne, whose sketches have been deemed anti-Semitic.

A Jewish students union the UEJF condemned "anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi salutes" by some protesters

"This 'Day of Anger' has turned into a day of hate," said its president Sacha Reingewirtz.


"Jour de colère": la manifestation dérape par leparisien

Many in the crowd complained about Hollande's tangled love life a day after the president announced his split with his partner Valerie Trierweiler following an affair with a younger actress.

"There are enough scandals about the president, he is bringing dishonour to France," a 60-year-old woman who only identified herself as Marion, told AFP.

"You are here to say you are fed up," an organiser told the crowd, adding that France's leaders "are more preoccupied with their affairs ...than unemployment."

One of the groups that took part were Hommen (see below) , who set themselves up as a rival to notorious topless protesters Femen. They were one of the many fringe movements against gay marriage. In the tweet below they are seen sheltering from the pouring rain in Paris.

Naturally the provocative band of Femen members also made an appearance on Sunday in a bid to provoke the protesters, but they were quickly arrested by police before any real trouble could be caused.

France, the eurozone's second largest economy, is battling huge levels of unemployment. Hollande recently announced plans for €50 billion ($68 billion) in spending cuts between 2015 and 2017 to revive the economy.

Several parties and organisations such as the far-right National Front did not take part in the protest.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sarkozy comeback bid wobbles as scandals stack up
Photo: AFP

The scandals are stacking up for Nicolas Sarkozy just at the wrong time.

Saudi princess 'told guard to kill Paris decorator'
Photo: Eurovizion/Flickr

"You have to kill this dog, he doesn't deserve to live," the princess allegedly said.

Paying for sex in France: Has the new law been effective?

Around 40 sex buyers are caught each month across the whole of France. Does that sound like much?

Only in France: 'Drive slowly - grape juice on the roads'
Photo: Rexness/Flickr

You know you're in France when...

France gives lift off to tough new drone laws
Photo: AFP

Time to crack down on drones, say French lawmakers.

Bienvenue en France: France cuts red tape for UK firms
Photo: AFP

France is ready to roll out the red carpet for UK firms quitting Britain because of Brexit fears.

VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Photo: Canal Plus

Bird poo, bums and butts: Is life on les terraces really as bad as this?

'Five terror plots thwarted' on Riviera since Nice attack
A police boat patrols the waters off the beach in Nice during the summer. Photo: AFP

Authorities in Nice say five potentially deadly terror plots on the French Riviera have been foiled since the Bastille Day truck attack in the resort.

IN PICTURES
French firefighters calendar to provoke global palpitations
Photo: Fred Goudon

Warning: Some readers may suffer palpitations, sweats or other side-effects when reading this story.

Why Paris beach festival could be sand-free in future
Photo: AFP

Is a beach with no sand still a beach?

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,731
jobs available