French student protest turns violent
Police fired tear gas and arrested six high school students as they attacked restaurants and cars.18 April 2008
PARIS - French police on Thursday fired tear gas at high school students and made several arrests as protests in Paris against education job cuts turned violent.
About 13,000 students took part in the march, according to police, but organisers said the protest action drew between 40,000 and 50,000 people.
Police arrested at least six students who attacked a restaurant storefront near Paris' eastern Place de la Republique and three others were detained in nearby clashes between youths, according to police.
Protesters smashed car windows and shop owners shut down during the tense march, the latest in a series of demonstrations over the past three weeks against the government's plan to cut 11,200 jobs including 8,830 teaching positions.
The job cuts are part of a drive by President Nicolas Sarkozy's rightwing government to streamline the public service and cut France's huge spending deficit.
The student groups argue that the measures will affect the quality of education and lead to overcrowded classrooms.
[AFP / Expatica]
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