At least 71 arrested in demonstration against pension reform in Paris

Riot police during protests against pension reform in Paris – GERARD CAMBON/LE PICTORIUM AGENCY VIA ZUMA/DPA

At least 71 people have been arrested in Paris in a new day of protests against the pension reform imposed by the government of President Emmanuel Macron and presented on Thursday by resorting to Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which implies the approval of any rule without a vote as long as a motion of censure is not imposed.

Mobilizations have taken place this Saturday throughout France, with particular incidence in Paris, where at 8 p.m. the Police’s Violent Action Repression Motorized Brigade (BRAV-M) intervened and used tear gas against »rioters trying to create barricades and set fire to garbage bins,» according to a police statement.

Faced with the presence of a multitude of thugs, the organizers have asked to dissolve the demonstration,» the same source was quoted by the newspaper Le Figaro as saying.

The day in Paris is marked by a controversial ban on demonstrations in the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysees because of the risk to public order and security, according to the authorities, quoted by BFMTV television.

The source consulted has warned that people attempting to gather in these areas will be evicted and probably fined if they breach the ban.

Protesters have instead stormed the Halles shopping mall in the French capital. Videos posted on social networks show protesters entering the mall’s premises despite opposition from security guards.

As part of these protests, the trade union General Confederation of Workers CGT) has reported the closure of the Total Energies refinery in Normandy. »The refineries stop on strike one after the other. The movement promises to be bigger than the one in October 2022 Besides the oil depots are on strike! FILL THE TANK!», the union has posted on Twitter.

There have also been mobilizations with thousands of attendees in cities such as Marseille, Toulouse, Nantes or Gap. In Marseille, 1,500 attendees have been counted in the General De Gaulle square, according to the Police. In Nantes there have been almost 9,000 attendees, according to ‘Ouest France’.

The opposition continues to criticize the Government, of which they even say that »it is not respecting the constitution» and of »governing against the people», in the words of the deputy of La France Insoumise Antoine Léaument.

A new meeting is scheduled for Monday to debate the text of the reform with the protagonism once again in the Republicans, whose support could lead to the approval of a motion of censure against the Macron government.

In the wake of the vote on the motion of censure, the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, has charged against the opposition in an interview with ‘Le Parisien’ in which he has called on the Republicans to »recover the spirit» and to »abandon all political posturing». For Le Maire it is »a clownish» that the conservative deputies can vote together with the extreme left.

As of today, at least 4 of the 61 deputies of the Republicans in the National Assembly will vote in favor of the motion of censure of the LIOT group -Liberty, Independents, Overseas and Territories-.