Feb 6th, 2020, 08:09 PM

Protests Against Pension Reform Continue

By Delton Howard
Police forces ring the march as many different flags and signs are held high | Image Credit: Delton Howard
Protestors took to the streets Thursday for yet another day of fighting against Macron's pension reforms

The protestors gathered at Gare de l'Est in the north of Paris at 1:30 PM before gradually making their way southeast down the wide Boulevard de Magenta, passing through the Place de la Republique, before eventually reaching Nation after several hours of slow marching. Protestors were led and ringed by a perimeter of police forces, keeping the march moving in the right direction and making sure everybody was peacefully protesting.

The clear, sunny, peaceful day was a stark contrast to the same protests last month, where on a rainy day, police forces repeatedly attacked crowds and used tear gas to control protestors.

The source of the tension is a reform to France's pension system, which was one of French President Emmanuel Macron's original promises during his campaign for president. The plan is a points-based pension reform for workers in all economic sectors that could lead to workers having to work longer before being able to retire as lifespans lengthen. The reforms are not expected to fully affect anyone in the workforce today, but they will take effect for new workers entering the workforce in 2022. Protestors were fired up against Macron's government, however, with chants of "Macron is a fascist!" and "Macron, resign!".

The French President's approval ratings have gradually dropped since the Gilets Jaunes came out in force in November 2018. At this point, he hovers around a 25% approval rating, which is worse than any French president since François Hollande had consistently lower ratings in his first two years of the presidency.

"Everyone is in agreement on the reforms that are about to pass," said protestor Danielle Yves-Samaura. "This is a law that will destroy the quality of life of our working population." Yves-Samaura is part of the Pole of Communist Revival in France, and was handing out flyers with information on their objectives and reasons for protesting. "We participate however we can, at our level."


Metro lines were only slightly disrupted, with only four RER and Transilien lines being affected with two trains for every three on a normal day.