Strikes Spread in France, Piling Pressure on Macron (AUDIO)
June 30, 2017
French police have fired tear gas at protesters in central Paris after a protest against the government by a large group. Several people were injured, including two police officers.
The protesters include some anarchists and other communists who consider themselves part of the radical left in France. The communists also have close ties to the political party of President Emmanuel Macron.
Police fired tear gas and tear gas canisters directly at anti-government demonstrators in the center of Paris. Protesters tried to break through security cordon lines, but the police were able to secure the area and keep the demonstrators largely off the streets.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the area, spoke on the phone with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe about the situation and said he would meet with the protesters. Macron praised the police for their handling of the protests and said he would address the protesters later in the day.
Macron’s critics have accused him of softening his position on the issue after being repeatedly criticized for his stance on the matter in the past several weeks. Macron recently told French media that the strikes were a “very bad mistake,” and said he regretted the protests. However, Macron’s opponents say the protests have been the spark for his victory in last month’s election against the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.
According to France 24, some protesters in the area said that their anger over what they called Macron’s inaction and the government’s inaction have resulted in the deaths of people protesting. Protesters said one of them was shot in the head after an anarchist firebombed a police car.
French police said that there were around 20 people with varying intentions who threw the gas canisters at a security cordon and were subsequently arrested.
The French presidential election was held on April 23, with Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate, winning with a decisive victory over rival Emmanuel Macron. Several weeks of protests against the government and Macron’s policies have made his presidency inevitable.
The French president took action