Caymans Post

A world within. A state apart.
Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

Paris streets ablaze as protesters vent fury over pensions reform

Paris streets ablaze as protesters vent fury over pensions reform

Clashes break out in the French capital and other cities as up one million people join marches across the country

Black-clad groups set fire to rubbish bins and threw projectiles at police in Paris, who charged at them and threw teargas on the fringes of a march against President Emmanuel Macron and his deeply unpopular pension bill.

Clashes also erupted on Tuesday at similar rallies in other cities including Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse, with a bank branch and cars set ablaze in Nantes.

However, while public frustration has evolved into broader anti-Macron sentiment, there was less violence than last week and rallies were otherwise largely peaceful.

But amid the clashes, one man lied motionless on the ground after being knocked out by a police charge in Paris, live footage from BFM TV showed. Footage of the same scene went viral on social media. Police stopped to give him assistance but did not later respond to a request for comment on the man’s health.

Earlier in the day, the government rejected unions’ demand to suspend and rethink the pension bill, which raises retirement age by two years to 64, infuriating labour leaders who said the government must find a way out of the crisis.

A demonstrator holds a placard reading ‘Impeachment. The street won’t give up’ during a rally in Paris


The government said it was more than willing to talk to unions, but on other topics, and repeated it would stand firm on pensions. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has offered to meet unions next Monday and Tuesday.

Millions of people have been demonstrating and joining strike action since mid-January to show their opposition to the bill. Unions said the next nationwide day of protests would be on April 6.

The protests have intensified since the government used special powers to push the bill through parliament without a vote.

One protester in Paris captured the mood, brandishing a banner that read: “France is angry.”

“The bill has acted as a catalyst for anger over Macron’s policies,” said Fanny Charier, 31, who works for the Pole Emploi office for job seekers.

A man lies on the pavement after riot police officers charged protesters in Paris


Mr Macron, who promised pension reform in both of his presidential campaigns, says change is needed to keep the country’s finances in balance. Unions and opposition parties say there are other ways to do that.

“We have proposed a way out ... and it’s intolerable that we are being stonewalled again,” the head of the CFDT union, Laurent Berger, told reporters at the Paris rally.

In the previous big day of protests on Thursday, “Black Bloc” anarchists smashed shop windows, demolished bus stops and ransacked a McDonald’s restaurant in Paris, with similar acts in other cities.

That was some of the worst street violence in years in France, reminiscent of protests of the yellow-vest movement during Mr Macron’s first term.

People fall over as police charge during proitests in Paris on Tuesday


On Tuesday, rallies were more peaceful, despite some clashes.

In the western city of Nantes, the boarded-up front of a BNP Paribas bank branch was set on fire. A car was set on fire in the margins of the rally, while some shot fireworks at police.

Also in western France, protesters blocked the Rennes ring road and set an abandoned car on fire. In Paris and in Marseille, protesters blocked train tracks for a while.

Rolling strikes in the transport, aviation and energy sectors continued to disrupt travel.

Youths scuffle with police forces amid tear gas during a demonstration in Nantes


However, in a move bringing some relief for Parisians and tourists alike, city waste collectors said they were suspending a weeks-long strike that has left the roads around famous landmarks strewn with piles of trash.

There were also fewer teachers on strike than on previous days. Union leaders said high inflation made it harder for workers to sacrifice a day’s pay on the picket line.

The Interior Ministry said 740,000 people had protested across the country on Tuesday, well below the record 1.09 million seen at the March 23 rally. The numbers in Paris were also below last week’s record but higher or equal to earlier demonstrations since January.

Nonetheless, about 17% of all fuel stations in France were missing at least one product as of Monday night, France’s petroleum association UFIP said, citing energy ministry data.

Charles de Courson, from the opposition Liot party, said French authorities should learn from the situation in Israel, where the government just hit pause on a controversial justice overhaul.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Caymans Post
Close
0:00
0:00
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×