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Paris police swoop on Occupy La Défense protest

media The Indignés' "Occupy La Défense" camp Flickr/philippe leroyer

French Occupy protesters on Wednesday rebuilt their camp in Paris’s business district after a police raid that they described as violent on Tuesday night. The raid took place after US police cleared a camp in New York and British authorities moved to evict City of London protesters.

Les Indignés (The Indignants), France’s version of the worldwide Occupy movement, rebuilt their camp at La Défense, the swish business district on the outskirts of Paris, on Wednesday morning.

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At 9.50 pm local time on Tuesday evening about 100 police moved in on the camp, which started as the G20 met in Cannes on 4 November.

The operation aimed to clean up cardboard boxes and furniture on the esplanade but not evacuate people or arrest them, the police claimed.

But a statement by the protesters accused the police of “fascist methods”, insisting that they had destroyed the camp “with violence” and that officers had trampled food and medicines into the ground.

The Paris camp has failed to attract the numbers of protests in New York, London or Madrid, much to the disgust of film director Mathieu Kassovitz, who asked in the Metromonde freesheet, "Are we tired of struggle on social issues? Or are we locked into petty middle-class comfort that kills off protest?"

The operation took place after police in New York expelled Occupy protesters from the park where they had camped for several weeks.

The City of London Corporation on Wednesday announced that it would move to evict protesters camped out in front of St Paul’s Cathedral.


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