Videos on social media showed an extraordinary scene during a recent Paris Protest: French police were using batons and shields against angry firefighters in uniform.
Thousands of French firefighters gathered to demonstrate in Paris last week, in a demonstration that called for better pay and working conditions, and an increase in their hazard bonus, which has remained the same since 1990.
As the demonstrators attempted to lead their protest onto a side street, riot police pushed them back, resulting in scuffles between the police and firefighters and teargas grenades being fired.
The videos sparked outrage on social media, as yet one more example of unjustified police violence during demonstrations. In prior demonstrations, there were numerous reports of protestors losing eyes and having their hands severed during police crackdowns.
Lawyers have begun accusing French president Emmanuel Macron for his heavy-handed approach to handling street protests in France. Macron stated that some police officers’ “unacceptable behavior” should not undermine the “credibility and dignity” of the entire force.
Marion Guémas from Action by Christians Against Torture has called for a review of the French police’s use of weapons in crowd-control, and the end of using grenades to maintain public order.