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CLAIM ID

16aac09e

Old video of Kurdish protests in France falsely attributed to recent protests against President Macron's pension reform.

A video is from 2022 and shows the aftermath of clashes between police and Kurdish protestors in France.


Context

Protests have erupted in France in March 2023 against the government's decision to raise the country's retirement age from 62 to 64. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to pass the controversial pension reform despite protests, as reported by state-owned news outlet France 24. 


Following this, several videos have been circulating online claiming to show the ongoing protests from the streets of Paris. One such 18-second-long video shared on Twitter shows the aftermath of the protest, where several cars are upside down, some set on fire, and people on the streets are seen capturing the incident. The post's caption reads, "Protest against Macron forces King Charles to postpone his visit to France." The video has garnered 42.6K news. However, the video has been misattributed.  


In Fact

A reverse image search of a screenshot taken from the viral video led us to social media posts containing the same video dating back to December 2022. The video was posted on Twitter by an Eastern European media house NEXTA on December 25, 2022. The post has multiple videos, and the caption states, "This is how the riots in #Paris went today." This indicates that the video is old, and not recent. 


Analyzing the first video from the post, we found a man holding a flag and running across the street. We tried to find the information about the flag using the flag's colors as keywords, "red white green, and yellow sun on flag." A Google search showed us that it is the flag of Kurds or Kurdistan, a region/ethnic group in Iran in Western Asia. Further, we also found another flag with a red star inside a yellow circle in the same video. A similar search showed us that it is also a Kurdistan flag.


We then researched to find out whether there were any Kurdish protests in Paris in December 2022. A Reuters report, dated December 25, 2022, noted that violent clashes broke out in Paris on December 24, 2022, between the police and Kurdish protestors who were angry with the killing of three members of their community by a gunman. The report added that cars were overturned and at least one car was set ablaze, shops were vandalized, and small fires were seen on the streets near Republic Square, where Kurds had been protesting peacefully earlier. 


Subsequently, the same video was also shared by a local journalist named Louis Pisano on December 24, 2022, with the caption, "Paris right now. Yea I’m not leaving my house today." This shows that the video is from an old protest in Paris, and is not recent. 


The Verdict

An old and unrelated video from 2022 has been incorrectly linked to the recent ongoing protests against pension reform in France. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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