Anger after May Day protesters break into famed Paris hospital

Paris: The French government on Thursday accused radicals of storming a famed Paris hospital during a fiery May Day, an incident that risks further raising tensions between authorities and a nationwide protest movement.
Doctors at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital — where Diana, Princess of Wales died in 1997 after a car crash in Paris — also said protesters had forced their way into the hospital and even tried to enter an intensive care unit.
The break-in drew a sharp response, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe denouncing it as “totally irresponsible” and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner describing it as an “attack” on an intensive care unit.
But supporters of the “yellow vest” movement, whose protests have shaken the government of President Emmanuel Macron over the past half year, insisted the demonstrators were merely seeking refuge from tear gas fired by police.
The incident came during a hugely tense May Day which saw police clash with hardline protesters on the sidelines of the annual labour union march.
The hospital is close to the Place d’Italie where the march ended, with more than 30 people arrested over the break-in, prosecutors said.
Hospital director Marie-Anne Ruder said the gate had been forced open and she saw dozens of people going inside, some wearing the protesters’ trademark high-visibility yellow vests and others with their faces covered. She called the police because of their “violent and threatening behaviour”, she told France Inter radio.
“Several dozen people tried to force the door into the intensive care unit,” she told RTL in a separate interview, saying the security forces had turned up 10 minutes later to remove the intruders. — AFP