19 Stunning Photos of the Massive Labor Protests That Swept France on Tuesday

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A day of national strikes hit the city of Paris on Tuesday as long-simmering tensions over proposed changes to labor laws turned into violence, resulting in 58 arrests, 24 injuries among police and 17 wounded protesters, reported Reuters.

Law enforcement used tear gas and water cannons to beat back crowds of demonstrators who in turn threw projectiles, with Reuters reporting police estimates of turnout stan ding at 75,000-80,000 people in Paris alone, according to the news agency, labor unions struck the tally at "up to 1.3 million." Unions including the "hardline" CGT joined with employees of state-owned SNCF railway company and a multitude of youths joined the protests.

Source: YouTube

The proposed reforms "would no longer see the state as the one responsible for labor law and for regulating work hours; rather — and that's really a reform — the company itself would be, specifically the social partners within the company," Universitè of Cergy-Pontoise researcher Isabelle Bourgeois told Deustche Welle. "Underneath the surface, this is about the end of the 35-hour-work week, even if no one has said that ... The striking trade unions are Communist and Trotskyist. They work for the power plants, in garbage collection, at the docks, the oil refineries, and in transport. And then there are the professional unions like that of the pilots."

"This is about many differing individual struggles that are all being lumped together under the general heading of 'protest against labor market reform," she added.

According to the International Business Times, proponents of the changes say they are necessary to increase flexibility and reducing France's high unemployment rate — which "currently stands at 10 percent and more than doubles to 24 percent for young people," reported reported Deutsche Welle.

Here's the chaotic scene that ensured in Paris on Tuesday, from crowds of marchers with banners and flags to the heavily armed riot police who came to disperse them.


Read more:
• Police Kill Hostage-Taking Gunman at Walmart in Amarillo, Texas
• You'll Never Guess How Many Women-Run Restaurants Made It on the World's 50 Best List
• GOP Lawmaker Raffles 2 AR-15 Assault Weapons Days After Similar Guns Used in Mass Shooting





How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.