An old video of Kurdish protests in France has been falsely attributed to recent protests against President Macron's pension reforms

By: Ankita Kulkarni
March 28 2023

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An old video of Kurdish protests in France has been falsely attributed to recent protests against President Macron's pension reforms


The Verdict False

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

Claim ID 16aac09e


March 2023 saw protests erupt in France in response to the government raising the country's retirement age from 62 to 64. Following this, videos circulating online claim to show the ongoing protests on the streets of Paris. One 18-second video clip shared on Twitter shows the aftermath of the protest. Several cars are upside down, some are 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 80,800 views. 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 called 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 from the recent protests. 

Analyzing the first video from the post, a man can be seen holding a red, white, and green flag with a yellow sun emblem as he runs across the street. A similar flag with a red star inside a yellow circle can also be seen in the video. Using keywords to describe the flags, we found that they are the flags of the Kurds or Kurdistan, a region/ethnic group in Iran, Western Asia.

A Reuters report dated December 25, 2022, confirmed 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 community members by a gunman. The report added that cars were overturned, at least one car was set ablaze, shops were vandalized, and small fires were seen near Republic Square, where Kurds had peacefully protested 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 previous, unconnected protests in Paris and is not recent. 

The Verdict

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

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before