Raquel VillaécijaParis Correspondent

Paris Correspondent

Updated Thursday, January 18, 2024-16:51

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"Are you angry??" shouts a police officer standing on a platform, microphone in hand.

"Yes!!!!", responds his audience: a thousand or so police officers waving flags next to the

Paris City Hall


This afternoon, in the French capital, the agents expressed their anger at the conditions in which they will have to work at the Paris Olympic Games (July 26-August 11): "Exploited," summarizes Lionel, officer in charge of a unit in the center of Paris.

There are less than 200 days left until the sporting event takes place and

the French police have already begun to mobilize

, aware of the challenge ahead: guaranteeing security in a country that is now on maximum alert for terrorism and where insecurity problems They multiply.

Numerous cities in the country have held demonstrations this morning in what agents have called "Black Thursday."

They threaten to multiply these days, and even take more extreme measures if they are not made clear under what conditions they will have to work.

"We already know that there is going to be a 100% mobilization, that we are going to have to work several weeks before, during the Games, and also in the Paralympics. Without vacations and without greater remuneration," explains Rudy Mana, agent and member of the Alliance Police union.

"Obviously, if we don't have an answer, we will take action... There will be an avalanche of casualties. And without police, there will be no Games."

They point out that they have already had a complicated year after the violent demonstrations against the pension reform that lasted three months, and then the riots last July, after the death of a 17-year-old young man by a police officer.

They lasted almost a week and there was an exceptional mobilization to appease them, with 13,000 agents daily on the streets, where tanks were even deployed.

"They are going to change our destiny, with endless days and overtime, without vacations... All without paying us more," denounces Thomas, another agent participating in the Paris mobilization.

Lionel, who has two children, also remembers that "at that time there were no open schools, so there were going to be many problems in the case of parents with children," he says.

They list the problems they are going to face, "very difficult to solve", such as the chaos that is expected in transport in the capital, normally already with daily problems and very saturated.

"It's going to be hell," Thomas says.

According to Mana, there are approximately 140,000 police officers throughout France, of which 45,000 will be there during the opening ceremony, which will take place along the Seine.

"It's going to be impossible, a security device around the river... there's nothing worse," summarizes Lionel.

"Ensuring safety along the entire route, even if the airspace is closed, is going to be very difficult under the current circumstances."

"We have a lot of pressure, with the terrorist alert and with everything that is happening in


...", he warns