Paris At War Greeted by Media Silence-Mostly Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A YouTube video title “Paris at War” claims the media has blacked out reports about Paris being at war with migrant gangs.
Videos of clashes between police and protesters in Paris are real — but those clashes were over a new labor law, and the protesters were not members of “migrant gangs.”
Migrant protesters did clash with French police in October 2016, but that didn’t happen in Paris, and that’s not what is shown in this video.
These rumors began circulating in a YouTube video titled “Paris at War” that shows raw video footage or police firing canisters of tear gas at unruly protests as words appearing on the screen falsely identify them as “Migrant gangs at war with police and locals.”
The Paris at War video, which had been viewed nearly 1.2 million times, goes on to state that the media has been “silent so invasion of ‘refugees’ can continue,” as frightening images of burning cars and smoke filled streets flash behind.
As it turns out, however, the Paris at War video actually shows members of the country’s General Confederation of Labor Coalition (CGT) and the Nuit Debout Movement clashing with police in June 2016 after tension flared during a citywide strike over a new labor law. Some of the same clips can be seen in this video posted by Ruptly TV in Paris.
The law, known as El Khomri, was proposed by French President Francois Hollande to amend France’s 35-hour workweek, the Associated Press reports:
The proposal technically maintains the 35-hour workweek, but allows companies to organize alternative working times without following industry-wide deals, up to a 48-hour workweek and 12 hours per day. In “exceptional circumstances,” employees could work up to 60 hours a week.
To allow companies to deal with business booms, one measure would allow employees to work more than 35 hours without being paid overtime. In exchange, they would have more days off later on. Other measures would relax rules on layoffs and working from home and at night.
The proposals have turned all major employee unions and youth organizations against the government. With next year’s presidential election looming and Hollande’s popularity having reached its nadir, legislation to make it easier for companies to end employment deals is fueling discontent in a country badly hit by the economic downturn.
Citywide protests over the law unfolded throughout the spring, but by June protesters clashed police and riots erupted in June, which is when video footage from the rumor was filmed, the Guardian reports:
Several hundred masked protesters have hurled objects at police in Paris, as the latest demonstration against disputed changes to France’s labour laws descended into violence.
The clashes erupted on Tuesday as the international spotlight was turned on France as the host of the Euro 2016, which have also been marred by violence between rival football fans.
Strikes closed the Eiffel Tower and disrupted transport links as tens of thousands of fans entered the country for Europe’s showcase football event.
Authorities made six arrests and at least two people were hurt in the Paris unrest, as demonstrators stormed a building site and began to hurl wooden palettes at riot police.
So, the video clip showed members of the labor party protesting a new law, not migrant gangs attacking police. But it’s especially misleading because protesters from France’s “massive” migrant camp in the northern port city of Calais did clash with police for a few hours ahead of the camp’s scheduled closure in October — even though the video doesn’t show those clashes.
It’s easy to tell that the viral video doesn’t show migrants clashing with police because that happened in Calais, not the streets of Paris. Also, both clashes with police were widely reported by international media, so claims that there was a media blackout are false.
Given all that, we’re calling this one “mostly fiction”