You could be forgiven for thinking...
...that the CRS riot squad are not all that popular...
...with the Algerian and working class youth of Paris.
Rythems of insistance.
Babylon's barricade battered...
...by Bakunin-esque boulder bowlers!
Nothing like a firework display.
Capitalist pallet gets dealt with.
Would you like a drink officer?
Of course for the French ruling class and its media the skirmish was an excuse to focus on something else other than the tens of thousands who marched against the CPE. Walking away from the mini riot, we saw a late addition of a local paper with a front page pic of the aggro. The picture was only an hour old. It seems the authorities and its media had planned the coverage long before the demo started.
The usual war of attrition started with the CRS riot squad advancing on the assembled demonstrators who pelted their barricade with rocks, bottles and fireworks. The cops never really broke a sweat, gassing anyone that came within range with a truly evil mace jet. They also did a couple of baton charges but mostly stayed behind the safety of their barrier. The anger and contempt felt towards France’s main goon squad was plain to see. One thing that struck me was the trouble that the missile launchers went to. Usually a stone thrower lobs their projectile and beats a hasty retreat. In Paris they throw their object, pause, make a few obcene yet graceful gestures, eloquently deliver a few insults and then leave. You’ve got to hand it to the French. They even riot with finesse.
Later this confrontation will be forgotten as pitched battles break out across France as night falls. Dozens of injured cops and 270 arrests will make tomorrow’s headlines. The main battle at Sorbonne Uni in Paris will rage for several hours. With the biggest demo expected on Saturday this is just the beginning.