Dwindling French labour protest turns violent in Rennes

Reuters , Saturday 9 Apr 2016

French Protester
A protester holds a placard reading "No Gas" as protesters clash with riot police using tear gas during a demonstration against the French government's labour law reforms on April 9, 2016, in Rennes, western France. (Photo: AFP)

Clashes broke out on Saturday between police and demonstrators in Rennes, western France as thousands took to the streets for a sixth day of nationwide protests against a draft law that seeks to loosen some labour protections.

Riot police used tear gas to disperse youths throwing projectiles after protesters numbering between 1,700 and 4,000 gathered near Rennes city centre. Police said three officers were injured in the confrontation.

Following modifications that have softened the labour bill, a broad-based protest movement has waned from its peak on March 31, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators were mobilised across the country.

A subsequent day of action on April 5 drew only 23,800 people, according to interior ministry estimates.

Some 12,000 took part in Saturday's demonstrations in the central city of Toulouse, according to organisers, down from 100,000 they had counted on March 31. Local police put the latest attendance at 8,000.

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