French television station France 3 said yesterday it wouldfile a complaint against the police for alledgedly injuring a cameramanfollowing a demonstration of disgruntled show business workers onSaturday. Meanwhile, several unionsrepresenting hotel workers have called a general strike in all of Cannes tobegin on Monday morning at 7am. For the past four days, workers at the Carltonhotel have been striking against unsatisfactory working conditions.
Although Saturday's march was sanctioned by the festival,things turned bloody when a group of the intermittents du spectacle infiltratedscreenings at the Star Cinema on the Rue d'Antibes. "Mayhem" was how one eyewitness described the scene. "Riot police with body armour and God knows whatwent in," said Barry Gill, managing director of sales agent Vine International.
"They went in with shields and really let them have it."According to Thierry Hett, one of the protesters present at the fracas, a groupof intermittents went into the cinema in an effort to "talk to the public, thesales people and buyers inside, but everything went haywire."
He explained that police officers in civilian dress"violently provoked" the protesters as they attempted to force them to leave.Only when a group of special forces (CRS) arrived did the police show theirbadges according to Hett.
Gill, whose screening of OutOn A Limb is now rescheduled for Tuesday at Palais J at 8pm, was not theonly sales agent with a film to be interrupted Trust Film Sales'
Annakarin Stroem, head of Trust Film Sales said, "I don'tthink it's going to have an impact on the film, because it's very special. Butit is difficult for people to reschedule and it's going to mean a lot ofunnecessary work." Stroem does not know if he will be reimbursed.
Several arrests were made and when the intermittents marchedon police headquarters to protest the arrests, things turned even more violent,according to Hett. A cameraman from French TV station France 3, reportedlytrying to film the scene, suffered injuries that required stitches and have nowlanded him unable to work for four days according to one of his colleagues.
At a pressconference held on Sunday at police headquarters, Pierre Breuil, prefect of theAlpes-Maritimes region said that disciplinary measures would be taken againstthe two policemen responsible for the journalist's injuries.
Agence France Presse reports that the ensemble of unionsrepresenting hotel workers called for "respect of workers rights by allestablishments (in Cannes) and a 5% increase in salaries plus an annual bonusfor the festival of 200 euros per person." The group cited abuse by hotelswhich require employees to work extra hours during the festival.