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News > France

France: Paris Police Lash out Against Public Health March

  • Rally in defense of public health, Paris, France, June 16, 2020.

    Rally in defense of public health, Paris, France, June 16, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @reanimumab

Published 16 June 2020

Thousands of citizens mobilized to demand resources for the French public health system.

The Paris police Tuesday forcefully dissolved a demonstration of thousands of citizens requesting more budget for public hospitals.


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During the morning, the French marched towards the Health Ministry carrying banners reading "Hospital suffocated" or "I cannot breathe".

Using a tear gas discharge that made the environment unbreathable, however, the police attempted to evict the protesters who were on The Invalides Esplanade.

In response, citizens confronted the security forces and burned litter bins. Some 16 people were detained according to the Paris Police Prefecture.

"A grenade thrown this afternoon in Paris injured journalist Steph Roy in both legs as she filmed clashes between protesters and the police."

"The government thanks us with gases. No salary increase, nothing about the closure of beds or working conditions. Only gas for our lungs. Rage!" doctor Sabrina Alibenali tweeted.

For years, French workers have been calling on governments to improve the public health system. Recently, President Emmanuel Macron's administration announced it was preparing a plan to improve health workers' wages. After over three months of the pandemic, however, real solutions have not yet come.

"We request revaluation of wages, recognition of qualifications, creation of beds, and hiring of staff. We request that the money invested in hospitals not be considered as debt," the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) Secretary Philippe Martinez said.

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