Angry workers marched through major French cities on Thursday (12 December) as unemployment in France soared to a new record level of about 700,000.
NIGHT GV Demonstrators in procession with banners
CU Red flag waved
GV Demonstrators walking past
GV TRACKING People applauding demonstrators
GV Demonstrators walking past with banners (4 shots)
Initials CL/1537 CL/1547
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Background: Angry workers marched through major French cities on Thursday (12 December) as unemployment in France soared to a new record level of about 700,000.
In Paris about 12,000 workers staged a night march from the Place de l'Opera to the Place de la Republique, but the demonstration was no more than a shadow of the 19 November strike that seriously disrupted activity in France during a 24-hour period.
Although the two leading French trade unions called for a "National Action Day", observers in Paris say that people are tired of demonstrations and the day's activities lacked conviction.
Despite this mood of indifference, there was one significant change in the usual pattern of street marches. Instead of staying on the other side of riot barricades, police contingents joined the demonstrators.
The unsatisfactory outcome of police demands for improved working conditions has apparently bred a now militancy in the ranks.