The Latest: Outcry over brutal arrest of French students
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the protests in France (all times local):
Footage showing the brutal arrest of high school students protesting outside Paris is causing a stir ahead of further anti-government protests this weekend.
The footage, which has been shared widely on social media, has prompted trade unions and far-left parties to lash out at perceived police brutality.
The images, which were filmed Thursday at Mantes-la-Jolie, showed a group of students on their knees with their hands behind their head.
They are being watched over by armed police officers whose faces are hidden by ski masks. In one of the videos, a police officer can be heard saying: “Here is a class that behaves well.”
Interior minister Christophe Castaner said Friday that 151 people were arrested in the small town, adding that some of them carried weapons. He said none of the students were injured.
Students across France have joined the protests that have escalated over the past few weeks. They oppose an education reform and have clashed with police at many high schools in several French cities.
In an interview with Le Monde newspaper, CGT trade union secretary general Philippe Martinez said “You don’t beat up kids.”
Drastic security measures will put a lockdown on downtown Paris on Saturday as French authorities try to prevent another outbreak of violence during anti-government protests.
In addition to the 8,000 police forces that will be deployed in the French capital city, the Paris police prefect has identified 14 high-risk sectors that will be cleared out.
Fearing protesters could target street furniture or construction sites, Paris police will remove all the glass containers, railings and building machines set up in the identified sectors which include the Champs-Elysees avenue.
Across the country some 89,000 police will be mobilized, up from 65,000 last weekend, when more than 130 people were injured and over 400 were arrested in the worst street violence seen in the country in decades.
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