French firefighters set themselves alight and start fighting against police
Violent fighting broke out between police and firefighters in the streets of Paris during a protest over working conditions and pay.
French police fired water cannon and tear gas at angry firefighters – some who set themselves on fire during demonstrations.
Fire brigade unions are demanding better pay and conditions and organised the demonstration in the capital’s Place de la Republique to bring attention to their cause today.
They want a pay rise of 25% arguing their work is made increasingly difficult due to staff cuts and attacks against them.
Paris police said firefighters who tried to break down or scale fencing near the Nation area of the city were dispersed by water cannon.
Firefighters previously demonstrated in October – marked by clashes with the police – calling for better pay, guarantees of their pension benefits and greater respect for their profession.
Firefighters set themselves alight during protests in Paris (Picture: AFP)
Firefighters are calling for better pay and working conditions (Picture: AFP)
Demonstrations turned ugly, with police firing tear gas and water cannon at protesters in their uniforms (Picture: AFP)
Some firefighters painted their faces to look like the Joker – who encouraged civil unrest (Picture: EPA)
It’s the second time firefighters have gone on strike in France to protest (Picture: AFP)
A hazard bonus given to all French firefighters has not changed since 1990.
A hazard bonus given to all French firefighters has not changed since 1990. One protester in the southern city of Dijon was seriously hit in the eye and has still not recovered his vision. Videos of the violence were posted online showing baton wielding officers pushing against the crowds of protesting firefighters. One witness said the firefighters were ‘militant’ but that fighting on both sides ‘got very ugly’ with police eventually firing tear gas. France has seen widespread labour unrest since December, with unions mobilising against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the pension system.
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