French protesters, security forces clash violently in water protest
Campaigners were trying to stop the construction of reservoirs for the agricultural industry in the southwest of the country.
French security forces clashed with protesters on Saturday as demonstrators sought to stop the construction of reservoirs for the agricultural industry in the southwest of France, AFP correspondents reported.
The violent scenes in Saite-Soline in western France came after days of violent protests nationwide over President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform that prompted the cancellation of a visit by King Charles III as per the French President's request.
A long procession set off late morning, comprising at least 6,000 people, according to local authorities, and around 25,000, according to the organizers.
For these demonstrations, more than 3,000 members of the security forces were deployed.
Violent clashes quickly broke out between security forces and protesters around the construction site.
Several explosives and fireworks were thrown by protesters, while police responded with tear gas and water cannon.
"While the country is rising up to defend pensions, we will simultaneously stand up to defend water," said the organizers gathering under the banner of "Bassines non merci" ("No to reservoirs, thank you").
France is undergoing turmoil as demonstrations and strikes erupted across the country over the government's proposed pension reform law, which has been met with strong opposition and led to the shuttering of services, blocked roads, and widespread protests amid a heavy security deployment and repeated violent clashes.
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