French protest against gay marriage turns violent - video

Police use tear gas and batons on demonstrators against same-sex unions

LAST UPDATED AT 12:57 ON Mon 25 Mar 2013

AN ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE protest in Paris ended in violence yesterday after police used tear gas and batons against a group of demonstrators who were pushing their way past barricades towards the city’s landmark Champs-Elysées avenue.

Police estimate around 300,000 people took part in the march against legislation, set to go through France’s upper house early next month, that will allow gay couples to marry and adopt. Organisers dispute the figures, claiming more than 1.4 million turned up at the second mass protest against same-sex unions this year.

France, a Catholic country, has seen sustained resistance from opponents of the legislation. Polls indicate a dwindling majority in the country backs gay marriage. 

Things turned ugly at yesterday’s protest after around 100 protesters attempted to run on to the Champs-Elysées towards the presidential Elysée Palace. According to French newspaper Le Parisien, 98 people were arrested, with six taken into custody.

The anti-gay-marriage protests are also becoming an outlet for those unhappy at Francois Hollande’s presidency, with demonstrators chanting "Hollande, resignation!" The head of France’s Christian Democratic Party, Christine Boutin, who was tear-gassed by police after being caught up in the fracas, called on Paris police chief Bernard Boucault to resign.

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We were more than 1.7 million... but the french government didn't expect it, this is the reason of the clashes there was not enough space fot all the protesters... the police used tear gas against children although they were totally pacific.

You brought your children there.
You know there are extremists in your clan than just want to have some fun and ultimately will start rioting as in every possible demonstration that happen in france.

So whose fault is this if your kids accidentally get gased?

you are asking the government to be responsible, why don't you start being responsible yourself? It's like Michael Jackson showing off his kids from a balcony remember that? that was dangerous - would he have complained if he dropped it? would it be justified to complain? - And this is not so unrelated as well : the kids were brought there for the "family image" you were supporting (just look at your flag, one man one woman, and the children, that's what this demonstration was going for)

your kids were used as a device for communication, I'm sure most didn't even know why they were there.

sincerly,
a disagreeing french citizen.

I do not agree. All but a few were violent. No car has been burned, no window has been broken, so why use "full combat gear" policemen in front of a peaceful crowd? The "regime" is fearing something and is trying to make protesters to appear violent so they can claim there are the good ones. But this very controversial law IS NOT approved by the majority and thus the government is trying to enforce it by all means. This is very sad, France is no longer a democracy...

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