French protest union defies demo ban threat, says not to blame for violence

The head of a French union blamed for months of violence-marred demonstrations said on Thursday it would stage more street marches against labour law reform next week, and accused the government of trying to discredit legitimate protest. The riposte from CGT union leader Philippe Martinez followed running battles in the streets of Paris and threats by President Francois Hollande to ban further marches. As he spoke, a court official said around 40 people arrested in Tuesday’s clashes were sent to face a judge in Paris, risking immediate sentences of months in prison for public order offences.



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