• New excesses broke out Saturday in Rennes after the seventh round against the pension reform.
  • Opposed to the reform, Mayor Nathalie Appéré once again strongly condemned this violence.
  • However, she assures that she is not "responsible for maintaining order", thus responding to opposition elected officials who accuse her of "complicity" with the thugs.

Bis repetita. True to its reputation as a rebellious city, Rennes was once again this weekend the scene of excesses on the occasion of the seventh round against the pension reform. Saturday afternoon, on the sidelines of the demonstration that brought together between 10,000 and 12,000 people, violent clashes broke out between the head of the procession and the police. The violence then continued throughout the evening in the city center where barricades were erected, windows burned and a clothing store vandalized. Sunday, the prefecture of Ille-et-Vilaine reported a balance sheet of five people arrested and three police officers slightly injured. On Saturday night, dozens of individuals also took possession of the former Arvor cinema, renamed "House of the People". After two nights on site, the occupants were dislodged peacefully on Monday morning. A weekend of tensions that should be widely commented this Monday at the end of the day on the occasion of the city council. Ahead of the session, Nathalie Appéré, socialist mayor of Rennes, briefly returned to these incidents.

What is your reaction after this new weekend of violence in Rennes?

I have been mayor for nine years and whenever our city is confronted with clashes, violence or degradation, I say exactly the same thing: a firm and unambiguous condemnation. There is also exasperation in the face of these abuses by violent groups that have nothing to do with the social movement, which smear it, tarnish it and serve it. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the teams of the city and the metropolis who worked hard during the night from Saturday to Sunday in sometimes complicated conditions so that the city finds the face that should be its own.

After the Salle de la Cité, this time the former Arvor cinema was occupied...

As soon as the information of the occupation of the premises was communicated to me, I immediately requested the assistance of the police for the evacuation. As I had done at the beginning of February for the Salle de la Cité. I contacted the prefect on Saturday night and several times during the night to ask him to restore republican order so that the city is protected in view of this unacceptable violence.

As since the beginning of the mobilization on Saturday, you demonstrated on Saturday. The elected opposition Carole Gandon (Renaissance) also believes that your place is not in the processions. What do you say to him?

First of all, I would like to point out that the right to demonstrate is a constitutionally guaranteed right until proven otherwise and that everyone can exercise in France. And yes, I am opposed to pension reform and raising the legal retirement age to 64. This is no surprise to anyone and I have expressed this opposition from the outset. I am therefore participating, like tens of thousands of people each time in Rennes, in these demonstrations and I will continue to do so.

The opposition accuses you of "even complicity" with the thugs...

I just want to ask a question: who is responsible for policing? Who can honestly think, without wanting to lie and manipulate, that I would have a responsibility for policing? If there are questions to ask, they should be asked to the prefect or the Ministry of the Interior. For the rest, I refer everyone to the responsibility for their words. But the lies repeated many times have never made a truth.

  • Pension reform 2023
  • Demonstration
  • Strike
  • Incident
  • Nathalie Appéré
  • Mayor
  • Rennes
  • Brittany
  • Society