The fan page of a Sydney-based pro-Putin activist has claimed video footage shows “millions” of French protesters marching against globalism and NATO.
But the claim is false. The footage was recorded at a rally in Paris against recently unveiled pension reforms, as confirmed by the original creators of the footage and the General Confederation of Labour, one of the unions at the forefront of the action.
The caption accompanying the video reads: “French Riot Police fight off millions marching against Globalism & NATO.”
At the time of writing, the video had received nearly 50,000 views.
Loopsider News told AAP FactCheck in an email that the footage was from a rally in Paris against pension reforms from March 11.
The caption also claims that there were “millions” of protesters. Loopsider told AAP FactCheck that unions put the figure at around 400,000 while the authorities estimated 80,000. The French press reported similar figures – see here. Other protests have been held in other French cities over the reforms.
The French government introduced pension reforms on January 10, at the centre of which was a policy to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030. In spite of opposition, the French Senate adopted the reforms on March 11, the day of the rally highlighted in the post’s video.
No flags, banners or placards indicating any opposition to NATO are visible in the video.
However, there are flags and signs of a number of unions and political groups who have indicated their opposition to the pension reforms, such as the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), education union Federation Syndicale Unitaire, the French Confederation of Christian Workers and the French Communist Party.
A representative from the CGT confirmed to AAP FactCheck that the video was taken on March 11, when “there was in Paris a demonstration against the French reform of pensions not against NATO or globalism”.
“CGT with many other trade unions,” the representative continued, “demonstrated against this reform since the 19th of January.”
The claim that a video shows French riot police clashing with anti-NATO and anti-globalisation protesters is false.
The footage was filmed at a rally in Paris on March 11 where protesters demonstrated against French pension reforms.
False – The claim is inaccurate.