Around 800,000 reportedly took part in a nationwide strike that is deemed to be the largest in decades. Footage from Paris shows streets covered in smoke, with protesters flooding the French capital, with scenes of police brutality seen across the country, particularly in Nantes.
The nationwide strike is one of the biggest to hit the country in years and is set to affect rail, road and air transportation after Macron’s government was reported to wish to introduce a universal pension system across the economy. Trade unions have said that this will result in millions of private-sector workers having to work beyond the legal retirement age in order to get a full pension.
One of the firefighters taking part in the Paris strike said that protesters have been “annoyed” for six months.
“We have been annoyed for 6 months. Six months that we are on strike. So, it’s logical that we are annoyed, but we have a public service mission to do. But we are here, we were 10,000 [people] last time.”Protesting firefighter
One of the locals, in turn, condemned the demonstration that saw a rubbish bin set on fire as well as rocks hurled at gates of one of the businesses. “It is not putting a trash bin on fire that is going to help to reform retirement pensions. This was our private trash bin and this is impossible to stop it from burning. For the record a trash bin is burning for a long time,” he said.
Obviously, the burning bin was more important than the future of millions. Some things are the same the world over.
In Paris, protesters set e-scooters ablaze before turning over a trailer and also setting it on fire.
Additional footage shows police utilising tear gas against protesters, who respond by throwing it back.
As the night wore on protesters threw lit flares at riot police, who in turn used tear gas.
35,000 people marched in Lyon where once again police used tear gas against protestors.
Police charged protestors in Nantes, attacking the 20,000 strong march with batons and tear gas and engaging in clear police brutality.
It wasn’t all tear gas and police brutality however, with protestors in Nantes destroying what appeared to be a giant pinata of French President Emmanuel Macron wearing a crown.