Follow the strikes and protests against pension reform in France live, thanks to our Observers on the ground across the country. Most are taking place in a peaceful, even fun atmosphere, but in some cities rioting youths have clashed with police and security forces.
LYON - 5 p.m.
LYON - 4 p.m.
Photos sent by our Observer Louis-Marie Charpentier, a student in Lyon, along with this comment:
NICE - 3:15 p.m.
Protesters in Nice dressed as medieval executioners holding a "coffin" carrying the pension reform they are going to "bury". On the side of the coffin is a photomontage of Labour Minister Eric Woerth caricatured as a lying Pinocchio. Photo posted on Twitpic by deadrising06.
DRAGUIGNAN - 3 p.m.
ISLAND OF LA REUNION (OVERSEAS FRANCE)- 2 p.m.
NANCY - Circa 11 a.m.
LYON - 12 a.m.
Our Observer Joe Broadhurst, a website designer in Lyon, sent us photos and videos he shot with his mobile phone while heading to work this morning. He gave us this account:
The lycéens [high school students] started marching at the Lyon Opera house at 10 a.m. this morning, then went south towards Bellecour square, torching at least two cars, flipping over a small flatbed truck and smashing windows at the bus stops. The police are in a stand-off with the kids at Lafayette and République streets.
The police are chasing kids out of Bellecour park, where they had been burning tyres and trash cans. Police are firing tear gas and charging. They seem to be trying to push the kids out of the park entirely. The kids at Bellecour are running away and dispersing, but a larger column of protesters is heading south, crossing a bridge across the Rhône.”
SAINT-DENIS, 10 a.m.
These photos were posted by university professor Baptiste Coulmont on his blog. They were taken at Paris XVIII University in Saint Denis, a working-class suburb north of Paris, in the morning of October 19. Coulmont writes:
Paris XVIII is completely blocked this morning, it was impossible for anyone to get in. The main banner hung across the entrance [top photo] seems to be well-used: I think I recognise it from protests in 2009! There are new signs as well, like these."
Saint-Denis is part of the French administrative department Seine Saint-Denis, postal code 93, or 9-3 as is it familiarly known. Christophe Duman, a high school student in the suburb of Gonesses, in the neighbouring department, sent us the photo of a flyer being passed around his school on October 19:
The flyer reads:
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalists Paul Latourrotou and Lorena Galliot