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Riot police break up protest camp at Paris university

Muslim Times(Web Desk) Riot police have raided a university campus in the French capital of Paris before dawn, removing the students who had camped at the site for several days in protest to the government’s plans to overhaul the university entry requirements.

Paris police broke up the protest in de Tolbiac branch of Paris University on Friday and cleared out around 100 protesters from the campus. They said only one person had been arrested in what they described as an evacuation that had happened “calmly and without any incident.”

Protesters had blocked the entrance to the site by making piles of chairs and tables and set up communal kitchen and dormitories and organized non-curriculum classes.

More than a week ago, the head of the university called for police intervention, saying protesters had seriously damaged the premises.

The site, in southeast Paris, was only one of a dozen blockaded campus sites in the country. Students have been protesting President Emanuel Macron’s plans to make the university admission system more merit-based and selective. The reforms have concerned people about university access for high school graduates.

Every student who passes baccalaureate high school exam in the country has the right to go to university in their home area. Under the changes, passed in February, the universities would be allowed to select students on merit.

Protesters on Wednesday blocked the main entrance to another university in the capital. A group of around 70 students occupied Sciences Po University in protest to the government’s plans.

The student protests coincide with wider protests against Macron’s economic reforms.

The capital’s rail workers launched three months of rolling train strikes this week to protest Macron’s proposed changes to the French state railway.

The centrist president, who has come under pressure from multiple fronts, says he won’t cave in under pressure.

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