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July 23, 2024

France Protests: Rioters Set Barricades on Fire and Police Use Tear Gas as Macron Pension Fury Spreads. – GOSSIP A

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France Protests: Rioters Set Barricades on Fire and Police Use Tear Gas as Macron Pension Fury Spreads

Tonight, PROTESTANTS set fire to barricades in Paris as protests continue over President Emmanuel Macron’s reviled pension age reforms.

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in 50 cities and towns to protest Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64.

In the east of the capital, mobs set fire to barricades as riot police launched baton charges and tear gas grenades.

The tenth nationwide day of disorder in less than two weeks was marked by ear-splitting explosions that sent crowds fleeing in panic as protesters hurled thunderbolts at police lines.

In addition to shop windows and street furniture, destructive splinter groups that separated from the main two-mile march smashed storefronts.

The police responded with stun grenades as CRS riot police squads stopped and searched fleeing suspects.

France Protests: Rioters Set Barricades on Fire and Police Use Tear Gas as Macron Pension Fury Spreads. Anarchists and left-wing activists clad in black led the unrest as more violence was reported in the western city of Nantes, where police fired tear gas and cars were set on fire.

Similar scenes were reported in Marseille, a port city in southern France, where angry protesters gathered behind placards reading “Keep calm and start a revolution.”

The French interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, announced that an unprecedented force of 13,000 officers would be deployed to combat a “fire and blood” campaign.

As darkness fell following largely peaceful protests led by trade unions in Paris, the demonstrations turned violent.

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A massive one-mile-long protest march to the sprawling Place de la Nation in the city’s east was initially repelled by approximately 5,500 police officers and reserve troops.

By confiscating riot gear and weapons from mobs of protesters, they alleviated fears of widespread disorder.

As night fell, however, a series of loud explosions occurred, tear gas drove the crowds away, and barricades were set ablaze, before protesters were pushed back on the Rue de la Voltaire.

Intelligence experts reported that ten percent of yesterday’s demonstrators were high school and college students, thereby increasing the likelihood of disorder.

The union-led campaign opposes President Macron’s unpopular proposal to raise the legal retirement age to 64.

Macron’s government is on the verge of collapse amid escalating civil strife and political chaos as a result of his use of executive power to impose unpopular reforms.

It was the tenth day of strikes and protests after last week’s demonstrations resulted in 441 police officers being injured and 447 arrests during street disorder.

Sunday’s scheduled start of King Charles’ state visit to France was postponed due to the chaos.

Despite the CGT Union’s report that there were fewer people on the streets in Paris yesterday – 450,000 compared to approximately 800,000 last week – unrest erupted.

Despite the largest security operation in recent French history, the pressure on the Macron administration increased last night.

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Supporting the riot police were armored vehicles, water cannons, and military units in reserve.

Minister Darmanin attributed the ongoing conflict to left-wing radicals and anarchists, stating, “Left-wing radicals and ultra-leftists intend to hijack trade union processions.”

“More than a thousand radicals, some from abroad, will target Paris, Lyon, Rennes, Nantes, Dijon, and Bordeaux,” among other cities.

The most feared group is the Black Bloc, a coalition of anarchists from across Europe who are believed to have been among the leaders of yesterday’s riots.

On Friday, a four-day state visit to France by King Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, was abruptly canceled.

The protest movement is the greatest domestic crisis of Macron’s second term, with yesterday’s strikes also impacting refineries, garbage collection, rail transport, air travel, and schools.

Strikers blocked access to the Louvre museum in Paris, while pickets continued at fuel depots and waste incinerators throughout the city, where 10,000 tonnes of garbage continue to pile up.

As lawyers complained of excessive violence and arbitrary arrests by paramilitary police squads, Macron’s problems intensified.

A 30-year-old man was in a coma and fighting for his life on Tuesday after being repeatedly struck in the head with a police truncheon during a weekend riot.

During the protests, Minister Darmanin retorted, “many police officers have been severely injured.”

Despite the violence and industrial stalemate, Mr. Macron and his prime minister, Elisabeth Borne, stated that there was no chance of reversing the pension reform’s flagship status.
Ms. Borne stated, “We must find the correct path; we must calm down.”

However, the head of the moderate CFDT union, Laurent Berger, stated that protests would continue until a U-turn was made.


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