People listen to a speech during a gathering by the “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) movement on Place de la Republique in Paris, France, April 15, 2016. (AFP photo)
Latest clashes between thousands of French protesters and police forces in capital Paris led to the arrest of 22 demonstrators as rallies over the government’s labor reforms continued, authorities said.
Nearly 100 of over 3,000 protest participants set garbage on fire and pelted police with bottles, cans and stones during a Friday night rally at the Place de la Republique Square as protesters converged for another “Up All Night” protest, according to a Saturday statement by the Paris police department.
According to local reports, police officers responded by firing tear gas canisters in a bid to force the protesters out of the square.
The nightly protest events have been taking place since March 31 over a government legislation that will make it easier for financially troubled companies to terminate their labor forces.
A torch juggler performs during a gathering by the “Nuit Debout” (Up All Night) movement on Place de la Republique in Paris, France, April 15, 2016. (AFP photo)
The clashes continued in the northeast part of the capital, where two banks and a building site were reportedly vandalized.
The police statement said four officers were injured during the violence while 22 demonstrators were taken into custody.
Hundreds of protesters have been gathering each night for the past two weeks at the landmark site in eastern Paris where a memorial has been constructed to honor the 130 victims of last November’s terrorist attacks by the Takfiri Daesh elements.
French protesters say they are drawing inspiration from their Spanish peers, known as the Indignados, who prompted the emergence to power of the far-left Podemos Party. Sporadic clashes erupted on April 9.
Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stated on Friday that 151 officers have been injured since the onset of the protest rallies, describing the incidents of violence as “intolerable.”