French Protesters Vow To Return After Police Clear their Camp

French Protesters

Riot police cleared away a camp of “Up All Night” demonstrators from central Paris on Monday, but the organisers vowed to return to protest for a 12th consecutive night.

The Nuit Debout or “Up All Night” protests began in opposition to the Socialist government’s labour reforms seen as threatening workers’ rights, but have since gathered a number of causes, from migrants’ rights to anti-globalisation.

The protests have spread across France and to Belgium and Spain as well since they began on March 31.

But at dawn on Monday, police and rubbish trucks moved into the Place de la Republique to clear away the wooden fences and structures that the predominantly young demonstrators have built.

Around 100 bleary-eyed protesters offered no resistance.

“The evacuation was mainly aimed at removing the fixed structures, in line with what the demonstrators had promised, which was to dismantle the camp on Sunday night,” an official at Paris police headquarters told AFP.

But the official said the protesters have given notice that they intend to continue their protest, “meaning that the protest could resume on Monday night”.

Around 2,000 demonstrators had gathered in Place de la Republique on Saturday night.

While the demonstration was peaceful, eight people were arrested when police blocked attempts by hundreds of protesters to reach the home of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.