Nationwide protests against educational reforms led French students to fight police, burn cars and block train lines on Thursday. We publish a video shot in Lyon, where the clashes resulted in 38 arrests.

Several thousand young students - 5,500 according to the police - descended onto the streets of Lyon on Thursday to demonstrate against educational reforms and teacher redundancies proposed by the ministry for education. The scuffles became violent when protestors, who we see overturning one car, burning another, vandalising a bus stop and setting fire to bins, met with the police.  

"I was beaten up by twenty rioters in front of the police"

David Ouzilou is a teachers' unionist from Rhônes. He demonstrated against the reforms yesterday.

From the start of the protest we sensed there was going to be trouble. We heard the flares going off. And the security that the college organised was obviously not prepared enough. Somebody grabbed my megaphone and ran off. I was beaten up by twenty rioters in front of the police and they didn't even come to help me. I really had the feeling that they were expecting things to get worse.  

They were looking for a fight. And when it got really out of control, they arrested loads of protestors in a completely nonsensical way. Many of those targeted by the police were protestors who were certainly not being destructive.    

Once again, the press has branded everyone the same way. We don't know those people who burnt the cars. They had nothing to do with us. And we really condemn those actions. The police simply did not do their job."

Casseurs contre policiers

This footage was shot by Thomas Bernardi, a journalist from Lyon capital. FRANCE 24 has blurred the faces of those who could have been identified.