Teenagers and police clashed during coronavirus protests in Paris, where violence erupted, fires burned in the streets, and a police car was vandalized.
Students gathered outside a high school in Compiegne, in the north of Paris, to protest over new restrictions that had been imposed to tackle the country’s coronavirus outbreak. The situation turned violent as police attempted to break up the crowd.
This is the second escalation in recent days, as teachers and students have been opposing the government’s decision to keep schools open during the nationwide lockdown, arguing that being forced into a crowded environment puts their health at risk.
Footage on social media showed young people setting fire to barricades that had been set up outside a high school, as well as attempting to overturn a police car.
Révolte lycéenne à #CompiegneLa colère ne faiblit pas dans les #lycées face au mutisme du gouvernement sur la crise actuelle. A Compiègne ce lundi, des barricades en feu devant le lycée Mireille Grenet, où une voiture de police a été fortement secouée.pic.twitter.com/I7Iq4XAE4e
— Cerveaux non disponibles (@CerveauxNon) November 9, 2020
The police union stated that one of the force’s cars had been vandalized and stones had been hurled at officers on the scene.
Mayor of Compiegne Philippe Marini told France’s BFMTV that “calm has returned” to the area following the disturbance and the local police department confirmed on Twitter that four arrests had been made. A fireman was injured during the unrest and there was an “unacceptable” amount of criminal damage as a result of the incident.
At a similar protest on Tuesday, riot police pepper-sprayed students who blockaded a high school to protest over “packed” classes and poor sanitary measures that had been put in place.
On Saturday, France recorded its highest single-day increase in coronavirus infections, reporting 86,852 cases. Since the pandemic began, France has had 1,714,361 confirmed cases of the virus and 39,849 fatalities linked to the disease.
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