Paris: French police on Monday evacuated the protesters who have been gathering at Paris’ Republique square over the past 11 nights, tearing down the structures set up on the iconic plaza. Paris police said the evacuation, which took place after some protesters rioted over the weekend, went without incident.
Video footage showed police officers removing tents and banners installed by the protesters, who started their Occupy-like movement to oppose labor reforms. Demonstrators are, however, planning to resume their sit-in on Monday night.
Police made eight arrests on Saturday night after about 300 demonstrators went on a rampage across the capital, attacking a police building, damaging cars and vandalizing bank offices. It was not clear whether they had any affiliation to the so-called “Night Rising” group that started the square’s occupation.
Trying to ease the tensions that have been growing over the labor law proposal, Prime Minister Manuel Valls met with youth organisations a few hours after the evacuation. Valls announced measures worth between 400 and 500 million euros aimed at improving youth access to employment. “Never has so much been done for youth in this country,” Valls said.
William Martinet, the leader of students union UNEF, welcomed the proposals as “important measures for the young.” He insisted, however, that the proposed overhaul of France's labor code “still isn't a good bill,” adding that his organization is still calling for another day of action across France on April 28. Martinet also expressed his support for the “Night Rising” action, praising the “thousands of people who are gathering for democratic debates.”...