France: Hundreds of students on knees decrying mass arrests

Hundreds of students staged a protest on Place de la Republique in Paris on Friday, decrying mass arrests at a Mantes-la-Jolie high school that sparked outrage a day earlier.

The demonstrators appeared to have reconstructed Thursday’s event, with dozens of students kneeling with their hands behind their heads.

On Thursday, around 153 people were reportedly arrested at the Mantes-la-Jolie high school, some 50 kilometres (32 miles) from Paris. Emerged footage captured dozens of children and teenagers, some believed to be as young as 12 years old, standing on their knees or lined up against a wall, guarded by a number of officers in riot gear.

A wave of demonstrations has hit France in recent weeks, initially at Macron’s plans to raise petrol prices, which have snowballed to encompass a variety of issues such as the wealth gap, living conditions and other planned reforms.

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