French mass in May 1 show of anger against Macron pension reform-VIDEO

French mass in May 1 show of anger against Macron pension reform-VIDEO
# 01 May 2023 17:52 (UTC +04:00)

Hundreds of thousands of people on Monday massed in France on labour day to vent their anger against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform, with unions vowing not to stop fighting even after the changes were signed into law, APA reports citing Finance Yahoo.

Unions had been hoping for a vast turnout across France for the May 1 protests to further rattle Macron, who has been greeted by pot-bashing and jeers as he toured the country seeking to defend the reforms and relaunch his second mandate.

Macron last month signed a law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, despite months of strikes against the bill.

"The law has been passed but has not been accepted, there is a desire to show discontent peacefully to have a reaction in response that shows a certain level of decency," said Celine Bertoni, 37, an academic in the central city of Clermont-Ferrand.

"I still hope that we are going to be told it will be withdrawn," she added.

"Macron has the impression that as he was elected he has all the power! But I want him to cede his place to the people," added Karine Catteau, 45, in the western city of Rennes.

The main march in Paris kicked off at 1200 GMT along the traditional protest route of Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation, with a heavy downpour suddenly beginning at the very moment it started.

Police had been given a last-minute go-ahead to use drones as a security measure after a Paris court rejected a petition from rights groups for them not to be used.

Police used tear gas in Toulouse in southern France as tensions erupted during the demonstrations, while a car was set on fire in the southeastern city of Lyon.

In the western city of Nantes, police also fired tear gas after protesters hurled projectiles, AFP correspondents said. The windows of Uniqlo clothing store were smashed.

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