The last mobilization left last Thursday 457 detainees and 441 police officers and gendarmes injuredmostly in the riots that followed marches with more than a million people across France, according to authorities.
In this context of growing tension, Macron and the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, assured “reach out” to unionsspearhead of the protests since January, but sgive in to his claim to withdraw the reform.
Laurent Berger, leader of the moderate CFDT union, said he would agree to negotiate but only if reform was “put aside”, especially the delay of the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
On Tuesday, he called for the creation of a “mediation process” to “find a way out” of the social crisis.
The union centrals request the withdrawal of this reform that delays the retirement age to 2030 and advances to 2027 the requirement to contribute 43 years (and not 42) to collect a full pension.
Since January 19, the date of the first demonstration, they have managed to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people (3.5 million on March 7 and 23, according to the CGT union) in large peaceful protests, but without success.
For this Tuesday, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced an “unprecedented security device” of 13,000 agents in France and warned of the presence in Paris of “more than 1,000 radicals, some from abroad”.
The authorities wait “from 650,000 to 900,000” protesters and warn that the presence of young people in the marches “double or triple”, according to police sources.
“We want to show our discontent and say that, even though we are teenagers (…), we have the right to say that we are against it,” he said on Monday selmawhile blockading his secondary school in Montreuil, east of Paris.
The trains circulated this Tuesday at idle, and in Paris, public transport registered “disturbances”, according to its operator RATP.
In Lille (north), Yasmine Mounib, a 19-year-old studenthe said he was “in agreement with their demands”, but that in the transport, “they could at least leave the morning trains”, explaining that he got up at 04:00 in the morning for a class four hours later, which he also did not will be able to continue
“This is going to cost me my schooling”he lamented.
The protests have taken multiple forms for weeks: thousands of tons of garbage accumulated in the streets of Paris, blockades of deposits and refineries that left 15% of gas stations without fuel, among others.
Macron’s decision to finally adopt his project by decree, fearing he would lose the vote in Parliament, and his refusal to back down radicalized the protests, which degenerated into riots on March 16.
“The feeling of injustice and of not being heard fuels emotion,” warns a poll by the Odoxa polling company on Tuesday, in which Macron and Borne lose popular support, at 30% and 28% respectively.
Awaiting the opinion of the Constitutional Council On its validity, the government seeks to turn the page quickly with other priorities such as health, education and to find how to guarantee a stable majority in Parliament.
The unions had already warned Macron in mid-March of the explosive situation that would be generated if he did not listen to the discontent with the reform, which more than two out of three French people reject, according to polls.
Its definitive adoption on March 20 implied an increase in the intensity of the protests, whose repression by the police set off the alarms of human rights NGOs, lawyers, magistrates and even the Council of Europe.
The images of pitched battle They returned to the fore on Saturday during protests against an agricultural dam intended for agribusiness in Sainte-Soline (centre-west), which left two protesters in a coma.
In both cases, “There is a disproportionate use of force that we had already denounced during (the social protest in 2018 and 2019 of) the yellow vests”Jean-Claude Samouiller, from the NGO Amnesty International, told AFP.