France Investigation

The French government's lies over May Day 'attack' on Paris hospital

The Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris has been at the centre of a major controversy after incidents that took place there in the aftermath of this year's annual May Day demonstrations. Throughout the evening of May 1st and into the following morning, several members of the government and senior health managers in Paris insisted the well-known hospital had been “attacked” by violent demonstrators. Yet in fact there was no such attack: instead, a few dozen protestors sought refuge in the hospital's buildings to escape police tear gas and charges. There was no threatening behaviour from protestors towards hospital staff and none of them damaged the premises. However, some were later hit by the police. Now interior minister Christophe Castaner has formally retracted his use of the word “attack”. Dan Israel reports.

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The events that took place at the famous Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris on the evening of May 1st 2019 are now at the centre of a political row. The government and senior health authority staff claimed that the hospital came under “attack” from protestors who had attended the traditional May Day celebrations that had been taking place in central Paris that day. They maintained this stance until the afternoon of Thursday May 2nd when accounts from protestors and hospital staff then made it clear there had been no “attack” - and that the demonstrators had in fact been sheltering from police tear gas and charges.

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