The decision by the French government to accept modifications to the pension system has stoked the flames of unrest across the country. Following the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron that he intends to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, there have been significant protests and strikes around the country since the middle of January.
On Friday, the Constitutional Council exercised its powers in order to provide approval for the revisions. This allowed them to sidestep the necessity for a vote in parliament. The public’s anger has been further inflamed as a result of the move, which has led to demonstrations on a huge scale in several major cities, including Paris, Rennes, Toulouse, Lyon, and Nantes.
Protests in Paris have turned violent.
A substantial police response was necessitated in Paris as a result of demonstrators lighting flares and setting fire to bicycles in front of the town hall. Burning bins and other objects were seen all around the city, and some of the demonstrators blocked off roadways with barricades made of burning metal sheets, burning bins, and burning wood. A march is making its way toward the Place de la Bastille, which was formerly the location of the infamous Bastille prison. There have been arrests made by the police, including perhaps a dozen young individuals who were photographed being arrested by cops armed with batons and tear gas.
Arson Attack on the Police Station in Nantes
The citizens of Nantes threw bottles and other things at the police, which prompted the authorities to defend themselves with water cannons. By building lines of flaming garbage cans, protesters sought to obstruct main highways and tramways in the area. A water cannon was used to put out the fire that was started by demonstrators at a police station in Nantes shortly after 8 pm local standard time. The protestors had set fire to the whole entranceway of the building.
The Weekly Protests Are Still Going On
Since January, there have been virtually weekly demonstrations, despite the fact that it was hoped that the adoption of the changes would prevent additional demonstrations sponsored by labor unions. The very unpopular change, the goal of which is to put France closer in line with its neighbors in the EU, is opposed by two out of every three individuals.
When the decision of the Constitutional Council was revealed, a crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the Paris City Hall brandishing banners with phrases such as “climate of anger” and “no end to the strikes until the reform is pulled.” In Lyon, there is a significant police presence at the location, and scores of cops outfitted in riot gear are doing their best to keep control of the situation. After hundreds of people had marched through the streets of the city soon after 6 p.m. British Standard Time (BST), footage that was published on social media appeared to show police using tear gas to disperse the protestors.
Keep yourself informed.