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Violence on the sidelines of May 1st: strong union and political condemnations – France


At the arrival of the Parisian demonstration, Place de la Nation, around 6 pm, CGT activists were victims of “extreme violence” committed by “a large group of individuals, some claiming to be yellow vests”, according to the union, which deplored Saturday evening “21 injured including four serious”.

The four people who had been hospitalized have since been discharged from the hospital. But some will need “follow-up” because the attack was “very severe,” said on BFMTV Benjamin Amar (CGT), present during the attack on a union van. “In 20 years of trade unionism, a situation like this, I have never known it”, he stressed, deeming “complicated” to know who was at the origin of the violence, but evoking insults “typically” by the extreme right.

Numerous projectile throws

The secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, who denounced a “scandalous” moment, questioned “the security of the demonstration since the trucks were prevented from clearing the Place de la Nation”, Saturday evening on LCI.

In a statement, the police headquarters explained on Sunday that an exit route had been “agreed” upstream for union vehicles from the Parisian square. Three engaged “on the wrong exit” and “were the target of numerous throws of projectiles by a hostile crowd” at “the same time as members of the security service of the CGT”, indicates the prefecture.

She added that the police had been “also violently taken to task by the demonstrators”, one of them injured, before the gendarmes intervened and use tear gas, allowing “to relieve the tensions”.

The Paris prosecutor’s office indicated that an investigation had been opened into acts committed “against militants and a vehicle of the CGT”, for “willful violence” and “degradation”, entrusted to the Territorial Security.

“Masked Commando”

The violence targeting the CGT aroused strong condemnations in the union ranks: the CFDT notably denounced them “with the greatest firmness”, while the number one of the FO, Yves Veyrier, who demonstrated on Saturday with the CGT, FSU and Solidaires , denounced acts “intolerable”.

Within the government, the Minister Delegate for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, on Sunday addressed “a word of support” to the militants taken to task, deeming “obviously absolutely unacceptable and intolerable to attack people who demonstrate”, sure franceinfo.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, on his Twitter account, also said “in solidarity with CGT activists attacked by a masked commando”.

On the right, Xavier Bertrand estimated that it was “time to put out of harm’s way the Black Blocks” which are “in the process of killing the right to strike in our country”.

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