French students’ climate protest violently clashes with police ahead of new lockdown rules | World | News

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The Fridays for Future movement, made famous by environmentalist Greta Thunberg, had members clash with police in Paris and other cities in France as thousands demanded more to be done about climate change. The movement urges pupils to skip class on Fridays to campaign in their towns or cities. Parades made up of a few dozen to several thousand took place in Lille, Lyon, Montpellier and many other locations as French President Emmanuel Macron puts the country into another lockdown on March 20. 

Masked protesters were seen charging into police who were desperately trying to break up the groups. 

Police were captured on film dragging two protesters away from the main group and faced resistance from attendees. 

Demonstrators were also heard chanting and putting up placards on the side of buildings. 

In Nantes, police claim 1,500 protesters congregated near the Graslin Theatre which had been occupied by a different group of protesters.

A 17-year-old student who attended the protests in the eastern city of Besancon said: “We must stop continuing to overproduce and overconsume as we do so that our generation and the next can live as it should. 

“Without falling ill while breathing the pollution generated by our current lifestyles.”

She was joined by her friends and around 350 other protesters during Friday’s demonstration. 

In Paris, police say that 2,200 protesters attended the event but organisers claimed the number was 10,000. 

Three different variants have been labelled “worrying” by French authorities: The Kent, South African and Brazil strain. 

France also reversed its decision to pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after there were concerns it caused fatal blood clots. 

It joined many other European countries who also paused the AZ jab after being warned against doing so by the World Health Organisation and European Medicines Agency. 

Virologists and medical experts now warn the pausing will have disastrous effects on AstraZeneca’s confidence which is already reduced on the continent. 

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