France Protests Against Pension Reform Grow for Second Night in a Row
Protests in France continue for the second night in a row after the approval of the pension reform by the country’s President Emmanuel Macron, without a vote in the National Assembly. Riot police have used tear gas to confront angry protesters who hurled rocks and blunt objects at them. More than 2,000 demonstrators gathered near the headquarters of the Chamber in Place de la Concorde. These protests have resulted in at least 60 arrests in Paris, in addition to the 300 people arrested on Thursday.
During the mobilization, a large bonfire was lit, and cardboard effigies of Macron were burned, as they accuse him of “turning his back” on democracy. Similar protests continue throughout the weekend in other cities such as Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Strasbourg.
The left-wing General Confederation of Labor (CGT) is leading the outcry against the pension reform plan that will force the French to work for two more years until the age of 64 before being entitled to receive a full pension. The leaders of the influential syndicate have asked people to abandon schools, factories, refineries, and other workplaces to force Macron to abandon his plan.
The French government argues that the pension reform plan is needed to simplify the complex pension system, reduce deficits, and increase the retirement age. However, the proposed changes have met with angry resistance from the public. The protests continue as people demand that their voices be heard and the plan be reconsidered.