Hundreds of officers gathered in major streets across the country on Thursday night to show how fed-up they were with their current working conditions.
The triggering event that motivated the police officers to begin a demonstration occurred on Oct. 8, in Viry-Chatillon – a city in the southern suburb of Paris. About 10 to 20 people attacked police cars with rocks and Molotov Cocktails. One police agent was badly burnt and ended-up at St-Louis’ hospital in Paris.
It is exactly in front of St-Louis’ hospital that the first police march began.
A lack of materiel, officers on duty and hierarchical consideration: here are a few of the many problems the police are complaining about.
After the first demonstration on Thursday night, the head of the national police, Jean-Marc Falcone, did not defend the police’s action but actually described it as being “Unacceptable”.
Not having the head of the national police on their side did not make the police anger die out: on the contrary, it intensified.
On the three following nights, other protests occurred across the country. Many officers saw this as an opportunity to put down Mr. Falcone by yelling out “Falcone Démissionne!” meaning “Falcone, quit your job!”.
A meeting between Francois Hollande and the head of the police Union is supposed to be scheduled this week. The French government is trying to calm down the police before more protests burst out.
By Adrianna Couchot, IEJ-3F