Striking French newspaper workers disrupted the start of the annual paris-Strasbourg walk yesterday (10 June).?
SV Officials cut ribbon across road
GV Start of walk with competitors walking down street watched by crowd
'SV Police line street near strikers carrying banners
SV Scuffle between police and strikers and one striker dragged away
SV Strikers fight with police
GV Camera car moves along street as crowd throws pamphlets
According to reports in French newspapers, the demonstration may signal the start of a new season of campaigning by the strikers. Several groups have tried to turn the dispute into a political issue. Maoists, anarchists and extreme leftists have joined in the campaign. However, the management of Le Parisian Libere -- one of France's best selling newspapers -- has resisted demands to drop economy plans. They are supported by other newspaper employers. In spite of the strike, the newspaper has continued to appear. The management has set up secret printing presses outside Paris, from where editions are distributed. There is still no sign of an end to the dispute. The newspaper has been a major co-sponsor of the walk for many years.
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Background: Striking French newspaper workers disrupted the start of the annual paris-Strasbourg walk yesterday (10 June). Then, scuffles started between the strikers and police guarding the route of the walk. The walk is a major athletic event for continental sports fans.
SYNOPSIS: When the 30 walkers prepared for the start, there was no sign the Parisian authorities expected trouble. The event is a popular one with leading walkers and attracts a large international field. Strong favourites in the four day walk are Josy Simon of Luxembourg, and Robert Richard of Belgium. The course covers 531 kilometres (328 miles) and ends in Strasbourg o n Sunday (13 June). It is regarded as one of the most punishing for walkers anywhere.
But this year the start developed into a shambles. Police move in to deal with striking workers from the newspaper, Le Parisian Libere -- one of the walk sponsors. The strikers, mostly printers, were supported by left-wing trade unionists and workers from other Parisian newspapers. As scuffles began, fighting between the police and demonstrators became general. Much of the crowd appeared more interested in the confrontation than the race. Several arrests were made. The incident is the latest of a long series of demonstrations by the strikers against an economy drive by the strikers against an economy drive by their employers. They have been on strike for 18 months. Several times their dispute has forced the...........closure for short periods of almost the entire French newspaper industry.