Violent fringe groups disrupt peaceful protest in Paris

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A protester raises a fist during a demonstration in Paris, France, on June 6, 2020. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua)

Violent fringe groups disrupt peaceful health workers protest. Twenty-four individuals had been arrested.

PARIS, June 16 (Xinhua) — Tensions flared at the Invalides Esplanade here on Tuesday, where violent fringe groups hijacked a health workers’ rally for better work conditions and higher wages.

“Violent groups are trying to disrupt a peaceful demonstration of health workers,” the Paris prefecture said, pledging “no impunity for those who commit violence and degradation.”

Video footage showed clouds of tear gas swirling over the area as riot police were dispersing masked individuals who threw projectiles at them.

In a video retweeted by Paris prefecture, several men dressed in black overturned a car and pushed it into the middle of a cobbled avenue to erect a barricade.

The hooded men, believed to be members of extremist groups known as Black Blocs, hassled police by torching rubbish bins and damaging public and private properties.

Twenty-four individuals had been arrested by 17:00 local time (1500 GMT), the prefecture said.

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