Thousands of French pupils blocked entrances to French schools this morning
Pupils carried bins and barriers to block the entrance to more than a dozen schools – including the Dorian, Arago, Voltaire, Charlemagne, Sophie Germain, Chaptal and Naples high schools, which are all located in central Paris.
One school – the Lycée Jules Ferry – closed its doors for the day as a "security precaution" after hearing that some of the protests had descended into violence before 9am local time.
Violent clashes between police and students have also been reported outside several Paris schools.
Paris erupts in violence following police brutality Thu, February 23, 2017
Students gather during a demonstration against police brutality, following the alleged rape of Theo, outside the 'Lycee Voltaire' secondary school in Paris
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French firemen try to extinguish burning dustbins as students gather during a demonstration against police brutality, following the alleged rape of Theo
Violent clashes between police and students have been reported
Balaclava-clad protesters set bins on fire and threw objects at riot police, who responded by throwing tear gas grenades to disperse the crowds.
The unauthorised anti-police protests – which are expected to last until nightfall – were organised by the Mouvement Inter Luttes Indépendant, a left-wing organisation run by anti-establishment and anti-fascist activists and students.
Word of the spontaneous demonstrations and school blockades was spread across social media thanks to the hashtag "#BlocusPourThéo" (#BlocadeForThéo) on Wednesday night.
The youths threw objects at riot police
Zacharie, a member of Mouvement Inter Luttes Indépendant, told the French daily BFMTV: "Blocking the entrance to schools is one of the only ways to get the police to react and listen to what we have to say."
According to Zacharie, pupils from more than 30 French schools nationwide have pledged to join the protests in order to denounce police brutality and racism.
Shocking images as Paris erupts in violence Wed, February 15, 2017
Police in Paris are struggling to cope with the fall out from a plague of riots which have kicked off in the city’s northern suburbs.
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A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask attends a protest against police brutality after a young black man, 22-year-old youth worker named Theo, was severly injured during his arrest earlier this month in Bobigny, as people gather at a demonstration in Paris
Paris police have warned hooligans to stay away
Paris police prefecture officials, however, have warned hooligans to "stay away".
Also using the hashtag #BlocusPourThéo, they tweeted: "Hooligans will try to join the protests in order to provoke fights and cause significant damage."
Several metro stations have also been closed in a desperate bid to stop Paris from spiralling into chaos.
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