Paris Burns: Hundreds Arrested as Rioters Set Trash Fires, Clash with Cops After Macron Tries to Pass Pension Reform Without a Vote

PARIS, FRANCE - March 16: Protesters set fire as clashes take place with riot police durin
Firas Abdullah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hundreds of people were arrested in Paris on Thursday evening as spontaneous protests and riots sprung up after President Emmanuel Macron’s government invoked a constitutional loophole to pass its controversial legislation to raise the retirement age without a vote in the National Assembly.

As of midnight Paris time, some 217 people were arrested in the French capital after the city erupted in rage after the National Assembly was bypassed by the globalist Macron government which used article 49.3 of the constitution to pass through its controversial plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64-years-old by the year 2030 in order to keep the programme from going under.

The ‘city of light’ was set ablaze by radicals who set fires across Paris, enabled, in part by the fact that tonnes of trash littered the streets as a result of a garbage workers strike also in response to the pension reform plans, Le Parisien reported.

Rioters also set fire to barricades and clashed with police, who deployed water cannons and tear gas canisters in response.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin also asked for police to give extra protection to senators and MPs amid the growing anger among the populace. This was said to be a precaution.

While a national trade-union-organised protest against the government is planned for next Thursday, leftist activists are reportedly planning on staging blockades of key infrastructure throughout France in the meantime. Previously, radicals blocked off the entrances to ports and energy refineries in order to put pressure on the government.

According to the BFMTV broadcaster, riots were also witnessed in the city of Nantes, where some 3,500 people flooded out onto the streets. Again, protesters set fire to mounds of garbage that were piled up as a result of the strike. Radicals were also witnessed throwing Molotov cocktails and makeshift missiles at police officers.

Over a dozen storefronts were also damaged in the chaos. The same could be said in Marseille, where rioters smashed windows and painted the fronts of shops with graffiti, with banks and high-end clothing stores being the primary targets.

According to the broadcaster, radicals shouted: “fuck the bourgeoisie”, “we’re going to blow it all up”, “let’s burn everything”, and “Marseille stand up, get up!”

Meanwhile, in Lyon, hundreds also gathered in the city centre to protest the government, where they reportedly smashed the windows of the City Hall building before police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Despite the government bypassing the National Assembly on Thursday, opponents of the retirement age rise have not been completely defeated yet. On Friday, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the populist right-wing National Rally (RN) is expected to table a motion of no confidence, which is likely to receive the support of the far-left in parliament.

Should the measure be successful, it would likely force Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the second-highest-ranking official in the government, to resign, and possibly force President Macron to dissolve parliament.

If the no-confidence vote fails, there is still the option of appealing for a national referendum to quash the legislation, meaning that the fight over the issue to raise the retirement age is likely to continue to rage for the foreseeable future.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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