“from 300 to 500”. This is the number of masked individuals present in Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes) after marching through an anti-pension reform march on Tuesday and attacking police.
The Prefecture of the Ardennes condemned the “serious violence” on the sidelines of a rally attended by 4,000 people, expressing regret that projectiles were thrown at the police, including “acid bottles”, “stretched mortar fire”, and announced 18 arrests.
“On the sidelines of the movement, serious acts of violence were committed against police officers who were hit by a large number of projectiles,” in particular “stones, steel balls or bolts,” the prefecture said in a press release.
Damage on the 9th day of mobilization
“Law enforcement came under intense mortar fire and the troublemakers used acid bottles” without causing any injury, she continues. “Nine fires started.”
Contacting the prefecture, they were unable to indicate what type of acid was used. She clarified that the violence was committed by approximately “300 to 500 people”, in particular, after the dispersal of the procession near the town hall.
In this city of about 46,500, authorities already last Thursday deplored “violence against the police” and “damage”, in particular to the prefecture building. However, she praised the “responsibility of union officials” and most of the demonstrators.
The prefecture has banned all gatherings in certain streets surrounding its building following Thursday’s damage. The new day of mobilization is to take place on 6 April.