Riots Erupt in France After Parliamentary Elections

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.08 - 2024 11:48 AM CET

Photo: The Sunday Times on YouTube
Photo: The Sunday Times on YouTube
Celebrations turned violent after France's parliamentary elections.

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What started as peaceful celebrations of the left-wing coalition's surprising victory in France's parliamentary elections quickly escalated into violence.

Thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate, but in Paris and other large cities, these friendly gatherings turned into serious riots and clashes with the police.

Clashes in Paris

In Paris, some demonstrators clashed with law enforcement officers, leading the police to use tear gas. Wooden barricades were set on fire.

Many shops and banks in the center of Paris had boarded up their windows on election day in anticipation of possible unrest, as reported by Der Spiegel.

Ahead of the election, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had mobilized over 30,000 officers to prevent riots, with 5,000 deployed in Paris and its suburbs alone.

Violence in Other Cities

Lille: In the northern city of Lille, anti-fascist demonstrators clashed with police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Rennes: In Rennes, western France, riot police arrested 25 people after using tear gas against left-wing demonstrators chanting "Everyone hates the police."

Nantes: A police officer was injured by a Molotov cocktail in Nantes, where demonstrators also threw fireworks at security forces. The evening began with jubilant scenes at Place de Bretagne, where thousands of left-wing activists had gathered, but ended with clashes and violence from radical and masked demonstrators.

The left-wing coalition's victory brought thousands of people into the streets, but the celebrations were marred by violence in several cities.