Violence Erupts Across France As Top Court Upholds Macron’s Pension Reform

Violence Erupts Across France As Top Court Upholds Macron’s Pension Reform
Violence has erupted across France after Macron’s controversial pension reforms were approved by top constitutional court.

Since mid-January, the country has faced repeated nationwide strikes and massive protests after French President Emmanuel Macron decided to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The government’s decision to get around a parliamentary vote in March by using special constitutional powers has heightened the people’s fury.

The despised reforms were approved by the Constitutional Council On Friday and large scale protests began almost immediately and quickly turned violent.

The Mail Online reports: Demonstrations are taking place in major French cities including Paris, Rennes, Toulouse, Lyon and Nantes.

In Paris protesters have let off flares and set fire to bikes outside the town hall, triggering a significant response by police. Dustbins and other items have also been set on fire around the city.

Some have erected barricades in the streets of the capital, using sheets of metal, bins, wood and fire. A march is approaching the Place de la Bastille, where the infamous Bastille prison once stood. 

Police have arrested some protesters, including around a dozen young people who were pictured being detained by officers with batons and tear gas.

In Nantes, bottles and other projectiles have been thrown at police by some protesters, causing the police to respond with water cannons. Protesters are attempting to disrupt major roads and tramways by creating lines of burning dustbins. 

Shortly after 8pm BST, a Nantes police station was set aflame by protesters, with the entire entranceway alight, before a water cannon was used to extinguish the flames. 

Macron and his government hoped this outcome would discourage further trade union-led protests, which have at times turned violent – but this does not seem to be the case.

Protests have broken out almost weekly since January as around two in three people are against the highly unpopular reform. Approval from the council will bring France closer into line with its EU neighbours. 

Protesters gathered outside Paris City Hall, holding banners reading ‘climate of anger’ and ‘no end to the strikes until the reform is pulled’ when the Constitutional Council’s verdict was announced.

A heavy police presence is on scene in Lyon, with dozens of officers in riot gear battling to maintain control.

Shortly after 6pm BST, footage shared on social media appeared to show police using tear gas to disperse protesters after hundreds of people marched in the streets of the city. 

(Article by Niamh Harris republished from

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