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Days of protest in France

In recent days, the streets of Paris are experiencing a string of not-so-peaceful protests in response to the actions taken by the country's current president. Thousands of demonstrators are on the streets protesting the pension reform that Emmanuel Macron's government is proposing. 

The minimum age to retire in the country is 62, but Macron wants to raise the age by two more years, without a vote, consequently making it possible to retire at 64. According to a poll by "Toluna Harris Interactive", eight out of ten people are dissatisfied with the change, and more than 65% of people are in favour of continuing the strikes and protests.

With more than ten days of protests called by the unions, France was experiencing mostly peaceful demonstrations. But groups of anarchist black bloc sympathizers smashed store windows, burned cars and garbage, looted restaurants and stores, and there were numerous clashes between the riot police and these demonstrators. Clouds of smoke are constantly seen from the burning of debris to paralyze traffic and even block train tracks.

In the face of pressure from Macron not to go ahead with this change, he is sticking to his decision even though unions and most voters disagree with the diagnosis. He continues to say that this two-year increase is essential to ensure that the system doesn't break down. After being silent for weeks, he broke his silence last week, saying that the law will go into effect by the end of the year. 

But in the capital of the country, the city of Paris, the demonstrations took another turn. With more than three million people taking to the streets in France to protest last week (23), 119,000 of them were in Paris. There were major clashes, including tear gas, and rubber bullets, and police were shot at with flaming objects. Eighty demonstrators were arrested in the capital following this riot. 

The more time goes by, the more chaos increases. According to global newspapers, every hour the number of injured and arrested is rising. The demonstrations are taking an aggressive turn, and according to French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who said on Twitter, "To demonstrate and express differences is a right. The violence and degradation we witnessed today are unacceptable. All my gratitude to the police and the forces mobilized."

But the protesters are not going to stop anytime soon. It's been over a week of protest and according to the protesters, they will stay as long as necessary. They keep saying that the government is no longer listening to the people, their voters, the ones who were the reason for the current president being in the office today. According to an Air France programming employee Lucile Bidet, 27, during an act in Nantes, she says: "I'm on strike to protest against the social security reform, but also against what is happening in the government.

edited by Palak Chauhan

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