In France, several hundred steelworkers disrupted the Cannes Film Festival on Friday (18 May) in a protest against the government's plans for mass redundancies in the steel industry.
GV: Cannes beach scene PAN TO policemen with riot shields.
MV: demonstrators assembling with banners.
MV: policemen loading tear-gas rifles
CU: chicken in basket suspended from pole PULL OUT TO marching steelworkers. (2 shots)
MV: police line awaits arrival of steel workers' procession
CU: chanting demonstrators confronting police (2 shots)
LV: police cordon holding demonstrators back
LV: International film festival building PAN TO riot police moving into position as demonstrators applaud. (2 shots)
GV: chanting demonstrators carrying banners (2 shots)
CU: clenched first salute from demonstrators formed up in front of Festival building.
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Background: In France, several hundred steelworkers disrupted the Cannes Film Festival on Friday (18 May) in a protest against the government's plans for mass redundancies in the steel industry.
SYNOPSIS: Although security is tight during the annual film festival, the town of Cannes is not used to the scenes of police activity which awaited the demonstrators. Police more usually have to deal with over enthusiastic fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favourite film star entering the Cannes festival centre. But the prospect of Friday's demonstration resulted in police preparing for a full scale riot, with tear-gas grenades at the ready.
The protestors were from steel plants on the French South coast and carried banners proclaiming "No to the sackings". In the event the fears of a riot were unfounded. There were only minor scuffles between the police and demonstrators. The film festival building was sealed off but the steel workers chanted slogans near the main cinema. Some film critics had to climb through windows in order to attend the afternoon screening. There has been widespread unrest throughout the French steel industry since the government announced the reorganisation plan five months ago.
On the same day as the Cannes protest (Friday) there was uproar in the French Parliament following a night of clashes between steel workers and riot police in Longwy in which more than twenty people were injured. Longwy stands to suffer most from the rationalisation scheme which involves the loss of twenty-one thousand jobs, but steel workers in the South are also vehement in their opposition to the plan.