15:19 GMT 13.06.2020Get short URL
PARIS (Sputnik) - The French police used tear gas to handle unrest in the centre of Paris that erupted amid massive protest against racism and police brutality, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.
The rally started at about 2:30 p. m. local time (12:30 GMT) on the Place de la Republique and protesters were expected to march toward the Palais Garnier but policemen cordoned off the area. According to media reports, some 10,000 people are taking part in the rally.
In about an hour and a half, people wearing black clothes — mostly young men — formed a group and began throwing glass bottles, cans with paint and other debris at the police blocking the street. Protesters set fire to a pile of garbage on the roadway, and a section of the square is now engulfed in smoke.
After the police used tear gas, the crowd briefly moved away from the cordoned-off area, but as soon as gas dispersed, rioters returned. Some of them are trying to break windows of a nearby mobile operator store.
A wave of protests against racial inequality has swept through the United States and many other countries in the wake of African American man George Floyd’s death in police custody the US city of Minneapolis on 25 May. French cities such as Marseille and Lyon, which also have large populations of African descent, are expecting similar marches over the weekend.