Selin ATAY-TDO-Thousands of French police officers have joined a "march of anger" in Paris to protest against a range of issues, including rising suicides, poor working conditions and pension reforms. Thousands of protesters marched from Place de la Bastille square to Place de la Republique square.
They denounced what they described as a rising anti-police sentiment in the wake of the "Yellow Vest" violent protest movements, during which some officers have been accused of using excessive force. Also among the grievances aired by protesting police officers was a plan by French President Emmanuel Macron to reform pensions.
“Today, all we want is to improve our working conditions,” said Frederic Lagache, a representative of a police union. “It's unacceptable that we work until the age of 65 and run after thieves until we're 65. All we want is respect, consideration, and that beyond words, we see concrete actions.”
The march of anger also comes in reaction to the anti-police sentiment, which has increased over the police response to the yellow vest protests, and a wave of suicides.
Cardboard coffins and a mannequin dressed in police uniform hanging from a sign were used to highlight the issue of rising suicides. Unions say 52 police officers have taken their own lives so far this year.
The action marked the first mass police strike in France since 2001.