French protests 'Tiananmen'

French protests 'Tiananmen'

2006-03-28 21:59

Washington - United States television networks on Tuesday carried widespread coverage of demonstrations in France against a controversial new youth labour law, with CNN comparing the unrest to the Tiananmen Square uprising.

Several news networks, including CNN and Fox News, cut away from a live broadcast of a news conference with US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld to show images of French riot police using water cannons to disperse demonstrators in Paris.

CNN anchor Kyra Phillips said that images of protesters defiantly standing in front of the water cannons brought back memories of pro-democracy activists who stood in front of tanks during the 1989 pro-democracy rallies in Tiananmen Square.

"We're going to continue to follow the Pentagon briefing, but we just can't ignore these live pictures coming out of France right now," Phillips told viewers.

"Sort of brings back memories of Tiananmen Square, when you saw these activists in front of tanks."

She added that the demonstrations could be the biggest protests "in modern French history".

News channels commented on the "incredible restraint" shown by French riot police during the demonstrations, given the force's ruthless reputation.