The procession of the Toulouse demonstration against the pension reform had started calmly, at 3 p.m., in Saint-Cyprien and brought together 150,000 people according to the unions, 30,000 according to the figures put forward by the prefecture. But arriving at Place Jeanne d’Arc, around 5 p.m., the demonstration was marred by several incidents.
“Black blocks” who were at the start of the procession broke furniture and in response the police fired tear gas at the bottom of Jean-Jaurès. In the confusion, several hundred people were swept away, including in the metro entrance.
The line’s trains which were stopped for several minutes due to a voluntary power cut which affected more than 60,000 homes from 5 p.m. and against which RTE has indicated that it is filing a complaint.
“Toulouse, rise up” sung
The procession gradually broke up, but the overflows continued in the four corners of the city center, fires of garbage cans and street furniture being lit sporadically rue Bayard, in Jean-Jaurès or Esquirol until the beginning of the evening when the last demonstrators chanted “Toulouse, rise up”.
The police have repeatedly used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the “black blocks”, passers-by scooping pungent smoke as they pass. Beyond the trash fires on the road, a lot of damage to street furniture is to be counted this Thursday evening.