The French Strike Back

The French Strike Back

Marissa Gray, Staff Writer

Currently, on the other side of the world, the people of France are fighting for their voices to be heard. In Paris, France, over a million citizens gather daily in order to protest their government’s proposed pension reforms. 

The French police reported that thousands of protesters have exhibited violent behavior by setting fires and launching smoke bombs in the street. In the city of Bordeaux, people set fire to the entrance of city hall in order to prove a point. 

All of this outrage is because the French president Emmanuel Macron is pushing for a bill to be passed to change the retirement age from 62 to 64 in parliament without a vote. 183 police officers have been injured with at least 80 people being arrested during these protests. 

Even on the most calm day of rioting, 119,000 people marched down the streets. These people disrupted schools and transportation throughout the cities they were in. 30% of flights were also affected at a Paris airport. 

In preparation for the strikes, the French government mobilized 12,000 police officers throughout the country, 5,000 of those being in Paris. 70 protesters blocked a terminal in a Parisian airport. In Normandy, workers blockaded a major oil refinery.  

King Charles has been planning to visit France as his first foreign state visit. This trip has been postponed due to the current state of affairs of French cities. The British and French governments talked and decided that it would be best to reschedule the trip for a different and more comfortable time. 

Despite all of the outcries, Macron has not backed down from his plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The French government claims that this reform is necessary in order to save the country from losing billions that they do not have. Macron has been interviewed, and he continues to stand by his decision of reform. He says that he is upholding the best interests of the country as a whole, and that he is doing the best thing for his people.