The New French Revolution

1 min read

By Matis Molina Ricard ’24

Millions of people are currently taking over the streets of France with violent protests in some areas, voicing their anger towards the proposed pension reforms. Workers staged a national strike and clashes with the police have been breaking out. 

Protesters have been setting fires, launching smoke bombs, and damaging property. Police have been firing tear gas at crowds and using water cannons to disperse crowds. More than 457 people have been arrested and over 441 police officers have been injured. 

Tuesday March 28 marks two weeks since French President Emmanuel Macron pushed a bill to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 through parliament without a vote. Although it has only been raised by two years, it is still one of the lowest retirement ages in the industrialized world. Unionized workers have been blockading major oil refineries both in Normandy and in Fos-sur-Mer causing major disturbances. Protesters also blocked off airports, affecting air traffic with 30% of flights impacted at Paris Orly airport, which is one of the biggest airports in France. Garbage collectors have also been going on strike causing piles of garbage to gather all around Paris. French authorities have mobilized over 12,000 police officers throughout the country with 5,000 in Paris alone. President Macron’s reputation has been tarnished with only 30% of respondents believing that he is a “good president of the Republic”. He believes that these changes need to be made in order to make workers put more money into the system so that the country’s economy can rise. 

Demonstrators in southern Paris chanted “Macron is going to break down, we are going to win” It is clear that the French people are not fans of the new pension reforms, but despite their efforts of revolting to try and make a change the President is standing firm on his decision.

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