Macron's pension reform: Paris police, protesters clash for third night in a row

Macron's pension reform: Paris police, protesters clash for third night in a row

President Emmanuel Macron is facing the most serious challenge to his authority since the so-called "Gilets Jaunes" (Yellow Vests) protests four years ago.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, March 19, 2023, 05:02 PM IST
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France: Barricades, garbage bins set on fire in Paris as pension reform protests turn violent | File

On Saturday, police fought with demonstrators for the third night in a row in Paris, as thousands marched throughout the country in protest of the government's decision to raise the state pension age without a parliamentary vote.

President Emmanuel Macron is facing the most serious challenge to his authority since the so-called "Gilets Jaunes" (Yellow Vests) protests four years ago.

'Paris stand up'

Earlier in the day, a group of students and activists from the "Revolution Permanente" collective briefly attacked the Forum des Halles shopping mall in Paris, carrying banners calling for a general strike and yelling "Paris stand up, rise up," according to social media recordings.

Protests were mostly nonviolent in many places, including Nantes and Marseille, where protestors got past police and occupied the major railway station for about 15 minutes. Hundreds of demonstrators torched a brazier and burned voter registration cards in the eastern city of Besancon.

In Paris, police sought to restore calm after two consecutive nights of unrest.

Cops banned gatherings on the Champs-Elysées avenue and the elegant Place de la Concorde, where protesters threw an effigy of Macron into a bonfire as a crowd cheered Friday night.

Reminiscent of the Yellow Vest rallies

While the eight days of nationwide protests and several local industrial actions since mid-January have been mostly peaceful, the turbulence in the previous three days is reminiscent of the Yellow Vest rallies that erupted in late 2018 against rising fuel prices.

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