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France

Police injure school student in pensions protest

media French high school students protest over pension reform in Paris Reuters

A French high school student was undergoing surgery on Friday after being injured by a flash-ball shot by a police officer on Thursday. And in the northern city of Caen, a student's father said that his son had to have a five-hour operation after his head was hit by a tear gas grenade.

In a case which has hit headlines in France, the Montreuil student suffered a detached retina and multiple fractures in his cheekbone after riot police intervened at schools in the Paris suburb of Montreuil.

Several hundred students from Montreuil's Jean-Jaurès and Condorcet lycées assembled on Friday morning in the place where he was injured. A video of the clashes  has been posted on the French website Rue 89.

Thousands of school students demonstrated against the government’s planned pension reforms on Thursday across France.

In Bordeaux, a young girl was hit in the head by a firecracker.

The president of the national school student union slammed the government as "immature" for its handling of the demonstrations.

 
“It is completely irresponsible and immature on the part of the government to use these methods,” Victor Colombani told France Inter.

“We are not sheep. We don’t need adults or adult organisations to get mobilised. The pension reforms will put a million young people out of work.”

He called on students to be “stronger than the government” and not resort to violence, saying that it was regrettable that some had thrown rocks at the police on Thursday. Eleven police officers were injured in the clashes.

Socialist Party Secretary Martine Aubry called on the government to put a stop to the pensions debate.

“France doesn’t want this reform,” she told France 2.

Students in the streets on Thursday:

  • Rennes: between 5,000 and 8,000 students joined demonstrations.
  • Saint-Brieuc: 4,500 students.
  • Reims: 3,000 students.
  • Brest: 2,000 students.
  • Lens: 2,000 students.
  • Orléans: 1,700 students.
  • Blois: 1,500 students.
  • Montpellier: 1,500 students.
  • Brive: 1,200 students.
  • Touts, Dax, Nancy, Niort, Caen: 1,000 students.
  • Bordeaux: between 4,000 and 5,000 workers and students.
  • Toulouse: 20,000 demonstrators, including students.

 

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