IN IMAGES: France's biggest street rallies

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IN IMAGES: France's biggest street rallies
Crowds of French patriots line the Champs Elysées following the liberation of Paris on August 26th, 1944. Photo: Jack Downey, U.S. Office of War Information

An estimated 3.7 million people marched against terrorism across France on Sunday with 1.6 million in Paris alone, according to the interior ministry - the biggest turnout ever recorded in the country's history. Here we list ten of the biggest previous rallies in France.


August 26th, 1944: One million Parisians gather on the famed Champs-Elysées boulevard to cheer French wartime chief General Charles de Gaulle, the day after the World War II liberation of Paris.

May, 1968: The two main demonstrations during the student unrest -- the 13th at the call of the unions and the 30th in support of de Gaulle, on the Champs-Elysées, bring together a million people, according to the organizers, while police put the figure at between 200,000 and 500,000.

June 24th, 1984: More than 1.5 million people according to the organizers, 850,000 according to the interior ministry, march in defence of private education.

July 12th, 1998: More than 1.5 million people, according to the police, gather on the Champs-Elysées to celebrate France's victory in the football World Cup.

May 1st, 2002: 1.2 million demonstrate nationwide, according to the interior ministry, against the presence of then National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election.

March 28th, 2006: Three million demonstrate across France, according to the unions, against a youth employment contract. The interior ministry puts the figure at one million people.

March 19th, 2009: Unions say three million, and police say 1.2 million people, demonstrate nationwide in support of jobs and wages.

October 12th, 2010: 3.5 million according to the CGT union, 1.2 million according to the police, protest nationwide against the government's plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

July 14th, 2011: Between one million, according to the organizers, and 500,000, according to the police, protest in central Paris against racism.

March 24, 2013: Between 1.4 million, according to the organizers, and 300,000 according to the police, demonstrate in Paris demanding withdrawal of a draft law on gay marriage.



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