149 Police Injured, 172 People Arrested in French Pension Protests
In the three-month revolt against President Emmanuel Macron’s highly controversial pension reforms, protesters clashed with French security forces.
More than 149 police and gendarmes have been injured during the day’s protests, and 172 people have been arrested, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Thursday evening.
During the ensuing clashes, riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to push back the “Black Bloc” anarchists.
According to Reuters, the ninth day of protests nationwide was primarily peaceful. Still, there were some fights with anarchists who broke shop windows, destroyed street furniture, and even looted a McDonald’s.
In addition, dozens of students from high schools and universities in France took part on Thursday to protest against planned pension reforms, according to France 24.
“The Ministry of Education reported “148 incidents” in high schools in France, including 38 full blockades, 70 filter blockades, 14 attempted blockades and 26 other forms of disruption”
Proposed changes to France’s pension system, which have caused large protests and strikes since the beginning of the year, were about to be voted on in parliament.
But at the last minute, Macron stopped the vote and used special powers given to him by the Constitution to force the plans through.
The proposed changes include the minimum general retirement age will rise from 62 to 65, and there will be an accelerated increase in the number of years of work required for a full pension.
The changes were part of Macron’s manifesto for his re-election to a second term in office in 2022.
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Source: The Khaama Press News Agency