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Record march in France against the retirement age reform, incidents and threat of general strike


Emmanuel Macron's government wants to extend working life to 64 years. Entire families took to the streets in Paris, where there was violence. In other cities the protests were peaceful.


record demonstration against the retirement reform in France 

spread on Saturday afternoon in Paris and in the main cities of the country.

Entire families marched peacefully,

in the middle of school holidays and on a Saturday, the day that companies cannot deduct the salaries of those who participated.

The CGT announced

half a million demonstrators

in Paris.

The prefecture has not yet announced its figures.

The last mobilization involved 2 million people throughout France, according to the unions.

But the organizers were unable to prevent the violent anarchists of the Black Blocs from infiltrating them and

again there were incidents and clashes

on the rue de Charonne, at the end of the march, in Paris.

A car was burned

, when all generations participated in the protest: grandparents, children and grandchildren,

united against the government project that wants to extend retirement to 64 years.

The French refuse to work beyond the age of 62, arguing that the extension alters their lifestyle.

Garbage containers were overturned by men dressed in black and a fire started in the middle of the street.

The police tried to disperse the hooded men.

Firefighters mobilized to extinguish the flames.

There were

at least four detainees.

Demonstrators on a statue during the protest in Paris.

Photo Reuters

New strike on March 7?

If President Emmanuel Macron does not withdraw the project,

a new "reducible" general strike will take place on March 7.

The unions threaten a hardening of the movement.

Their fear is that the leftist parties, students and high school students will take over the protest and radicalize it, when they

try to maintain control and open negotiations

with the government.

After the violence in Paris, the demonstration split in two,

fleeing the barricades and the repression with tear gas.

Tensions erupted on rue de Charonne, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, near the Bastille.

Part of the unions was prevented from advancing due to police intervention.

The agents 

used tear gas

to disperse several dozen individuals dressed in black.

A second march also headed towards the Place de la Nation by police decision.

If the main event took Boulevard Voltaire to reach Place de la Nation, a second column went through Boulevard Beaumarchais.

There was a weak police presence, but a large convoy of gendarmerie vehicles was parked not far away, rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, along the march.

The students and high school students mobilized strongly.

A presence that makes the unions fear control of the march.

The CGT estimated that more than 500,000 French marched in Paris alone.

AP Photo

The message

If the Parisian procession seemed a little less dense than this week's, it doesn't worry elected officials, who keep their eyes

on small and medium-sized cities.

Socialist Arthur Delaporte also drew attention to the “sociology” of the protesters: “

We have moved on to a more popular, more good-natured demonstration


It is good that we begin to broaden the social base of the movement”, analyzed the deputy.

“Today maybe the government will hear that there are a lot of people, that they really make a lot of noise,” he explained at the demonstration.

Sarah put her little daughter on her shoulders, who was carrying a red balloon from the CGT.

It is the first time that she and her family have participated in the march.

"I'm marching for her future as much as for my own," Sarah explained, standing next to her husband and their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

“I explained the problem… in simple words, and how a three-year-old child can understand it”, smiles the mother of the family.

Banks, insurers and ATMs were

protected with wood

, as were McDonald's premises, to prevent attacks along the route and its surroundings.

So far the shops are still protected, but the garbage cans are on fire in Paris.

There are

400 radical elements within the march

, who have managed to infiltrate it,

along with 2,000 Yellow Vests,

according to the security forces.

Several stores are protected by the Police against the launch of projectiles launched in rue Oberkampf, in Paris.

Carnival and witty posters

Beyond the segmented violence, the atmosphere of the march was Carnival.

Cartoons, puns on the posters and original banners marked the protest.

"Reform of happy traitors"

wrote a computer agent on her banner, which was applauded by the protesters.

She came from Clichy and believes that the originality of the banners will give visibility to the protest.

“Macron, I asked for retirement.

Not ours,”

demanded another young protester.

"The shorter, the more impact," explained Stéphan Sirot, union historian, in front of this fourth protest march against pensions.

The posters, many handwritten, target


, Prime Minister

Elizabeth Borne 

(set to force the bill through Parliament) and

Olivier Dussot.

The CGT, which has been surpassed as the first union in France, wants to make people laugh in their marches

to captivate young people

and speak their language.

"Would you entrust your retirement to your bank?"

asked one of the CGT posters.

A reference to Macron's Rothschild banking past.

A car set on fire during the protest in Paris.

AP Photo

Quiet mobilization in the regions

Demonstrations in the regions marched calmly and as a family in

Marseille, Toulouse, Rennes, Lyon and Bordeaux.

In Marseille, the leader of NUPES and France Unsubmissive, the former deputy

Jean Luc Melenchon, paraded.

"Without a doubt it will be the densest mobilization in 50 years," said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, present at the head of the march.

“Everything that is happening there will have a political expression, that's for sure.

The great social movements generate a political response behind them,” said the rebel, a former candidate for the presidency.

"Mr Macron, if you are counting on wear and tear, you are in the wrong country," he concluded.

He is convinced that

the project must be withdrawn or they will dissolve Parliament.

From Lille, the communist leader and deputy from the North,

Fabien Roussel

, affirmed that "the France of the sub-prefectures, of the medium-sized cities, is in the process of rebelling against this pension reform".

“Mrs. Borne, no one questions the legitimacy of elected officials and deputies.

But don't

question the legitimacy

of these people who are demonstrating today, ”she asked the prime minister.

The march was accompanied by

an unexpected strike at Orly airport.

Air traffic controllers joined.

One flight out of two were cancelled


The scenario is that if the government does not give in, the unions are going to take the path of sustainable strikes and paralyze the country.

Correspondent in Paris.

look too

Despite popular rejection, Emmanuel Macron sent his pension reform to Parliament

Massive march in France against the reform of the retirement age

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-11

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