President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 have sparked a second round of strikes and French protests in France.
As loud and large as, if not even larger and larger than on the first day of the activity, were the anti-government corteges.
More protesters than 12 days prior, according to the interior ministry, totaled over 1.27 million.
The walkout, which affected schools, public transportation, and oil refineries, included eight significant unions.
The CGT trade union said that 500,000 protestors had assembled in Paris alone, but officials put the figure at 87,000. The organisation also estimated that 2.8 million protesters had gathered nationwide.
Despite the massive mobilisation, it is still far from certain whether the demonstrators will be able to persuade Mr. Macron to change his position. As long as they proceed in the same predictable and orderly manner as they have thus far, the government can endure any number of similar “days of action.”
Even though two-thirds of people are believed to be opposed to the pension age reforms, which start their journey through the National Assembly next week, Mr. Macron’s administration is moving through with them.
Without a majority in parliament, the ruling parties’ own MPs as well as the right-wing Republicans will be the government’s main sources of support.
Thousands of marchers gathered in Toulouse, Marseille, and Nice in the south, Saint Nazaire, Nantes, and Rennes in the west, and the Place d’Italie in downtown Paris, hours before the major protest started.
To cover the French protests occurring in more than 200 towns and cities, a reported 11,000 police officers were on duty. At the Place Vauban conclusion of the Paris route, there were reportedly some skirmishes, and 30 individuals were detained. Police handling of the French protests was praised by the interior ministry.
Leader of the far-left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, told reporters in Marseille, “Mr. Macron will definitely lose.” Nobody wants his reforms, and the opposition to them grows stronger as time passes.
Many of us already have broken careers and would need to work much longer than men in order to obtain a complete pension, Karima, 62, said while holding up a banner in Paris showing how the government’s policies harm women much more than men.
There was a significant interruption in the transportation system, with only two driverless metro lines in Paris working normally and 75% of trains outside of Paris being cancelled. On one of the city’s primary overground routes, there were reportedly large crowds.
Transport strikes are no longer as effective in paralysing France as they once were. In fact, fewer public sector employees were on strike on Tuesday compared to the previous day, which suggests that they are worried about losing out on pay.
The large TotalEnergies oil refineries and gasoline depots were the site of at least three-quarters of the workforce walking out, according to the CGT union; however, the firm claimed that the actual number was far lower. Following a strike at the major electricity provider EDF, power facilities reported decreased production.
In comparison to the government’s estimate of just over a quarter, one of the major teachers’ unions said that almost 55% of secondary school teachers had walked out. Students announced they would occupy Sciences Po university in Paris in support of the strikers, and high school students protested outside certain schools.
“Many French individuals believe that their jobs are becoming more and more painful. They don’t want to work, but in these circumstances they don’t want to work “Bruno Palier, a political scientist at Sciences Po, told the BBC.
There was also proof that while the state pension age increase was a unifying rallying cry, people were also voting for other, more general reasons.
According to a male nurse, the situation in public hospitals had gotten out of hand. The situation of the schools has angered teachers. In cartoons and effigies, Mr. Macron the bogeyman was mocked.