| demonstrators and riot police | MR Online Demonstrators and riot police. (Photo: Lewis Joly)

26 arrested, 4000 searched on 7th day of protests in France

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on March 11, 2023 by Agencies (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Mar 13, 2023)

About 26 arrests were made and over 4,000 others were stopped and searched in today’s protests that engulfed France over President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform.

France’s Ministry of the Interior reported that over 368,000 protesters rallied across France today to demonstrate against a reform intended to raise the retirement age to 64.

Demonstrations began at 10 am (0900 GMT) in major cities such as Toulouse and Nice. The march in Paris kicked off at 2 pm. Videos circulated all over the internet of the brutality that occurred between demonstrators and riot police.

The police said that about 48,000 rallied in Paris alone when the CGT estimated that 300,000 have taken the street.

On Tuesday, the CGT said that 700,000 took the streets in Paris, when about 1.28 million people demonstrated nationwide, the greatest attendance since the protest movement’s inception.

According to government data, 1.28 million people demonstrated on Tuesday, the greatest attendance since the protest movement’s inception. Unions put the figure at 3.5 million individuals.

The majority of voters oppose Macron’s plan, while a narrow majority favors the strike measures, as per opinion polls.

Concurrently, TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) confirmed that strikes continue across the oil major’s French refineries and depots, while SNCF said national and regional services would be severely impacted throughout the weekend, as per Reuters.

Garbage continues to pile up on the streets of Paris, with locals reporting an increase in the number of rats, as per local media.

If the committee agrees on a text, a final vote in both houses is probable, but the fate of such a vote in the lower house of Parliament, where Macron’s party has a relative majority, remains questionable.

On March 15, there will be another day of nationwide strikes and protests.

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