INTRODUCTION: French riot police used tear gas to scatter hundreds of demonstrators in Paris over the weekend (3 October).
GV TO SV Demonstrators with banners at Place de Bastille (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK SV Demonstrators in gas mask PAN TO demonstrators with banners
CU banner PULL BACK SV demonstrators
SV ZOOM INTO CU Anti-nuclear badge on banner. GV demonstrators
TV Demonstrators walking through streets
SV PULL BACK TO GV Riot police
GV Riot police chase demonstrators and throw tear gas (2 shots)
SV Scuffling between crowd and police
CU Riot police
SV PULL BACK TO GV Ministry of Transport car burning (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators watching burning car
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Background: INTRODUCTION: French riot police used tear gas to scatter hundreds of demonstrators in Paris over the weekend (3 October). The protest was against the use of nuclear energy and to put pressure on the French National Assembly, which is debating the matter. But President Mitterrand's Socialist Government has so far not met the protestors' demands.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstrators assembled in the Place de Bastille, the symbol of the French Revolution of 1789. Fifteen committees of the various left-wing political groupings had met in Paris in September to organise the rally. Calling themselves the anti-nuclear coordinating committee, they are pledged to seeing an end to the use of nuclear power in the country.
Although President Mitterrand has reduced former President Mitterrand has reduced former President Giscard's nuclear plant-building programmed by a third, nuclear energy continues to meet a growing part of France's energy needs. The President's position is delicate. Some members of the Socialist Party support the development of nuclear power because it brings more jobs.
As the demonstration grow, the french riot police decided to take action. Using tear gas, they tried to scatter the protestors. But the tear gas appeared to make the crowd even angrier.
For the French President nuclear energy is a dilemma. France has few natural resources, and is dependent on expensive oil imports. But, against this, most of the French left a re hostile to the spread of nuclear energy. President Mitterrand had made the National Assembly vote on his nuclear policy a vote of confidence.
But the youthful opponents of nuclear power are impatient, and police action did not prevent them setting fire to a car outside the Ministry of Transport. As the demonstrators watched the vehicle burning, a Government report published in advance of the Parliamentary debate predicted that nuclear power would account for nearly 30 per cent of France's energy needs by 1990.