Pension reform: CRS evacuates Place de la Concorde, no fewer than 61 arrests


“We couldn’t come yesterday, so we thought we’d catch up today!” fired Thomas and Remy, who had come “to protest.” Against unfair pension reform. On the evening of Friday, March 17, the two Parisian students joined the spontaneous assembly that had formed on the symbolic Place de la Concorde in Paris. The call was launched on social networks, and was transmitted throughout the day on Instagram or Twitter, after a First restless night the day beforewhich is characterized by many tensions.

On site, no flag or chase, unlike Organized movements in the morning on the ring road or the Gare de Lyon under the leadership of some guilds. About 4,000 people, mostly young people, flocked from 6 pm in an electric atmosphere.

video. Pensions: Demonstrators set fire to the Place de la Concorde in Paris

Sam, 28, from Le Bourget (Seine-Saint-Denis), also rose up against the reform project advocated by the government, Just by using 49.3 to speed up its adoption.

“I feel insulted”

“This project was really the last straw. There, with 49.3, Pisces is the one who breaks the camel’s back. I feel like I’m being humiliated. I really wonder why I voted for Macron in 2022, breaking into this carpenter in decoration. At my age, I already have back pain from pregnancy “Heavy loads. But other than my personal condition, I’m rallying fellow 50-somethings with tendinitis and back problems. I’m not the only one to complain.”

Same resentment on the part of Carla, 30, who is finishing her PhD in Paris. She, too, was already there the day before. On Friday night, she decided to re-join the Place de la Concorde with her friend Zachary by checking out her Twitter: “As soon as we saw the place was starting to get crowded, we rushed over,” she says. “They are mocking us! I have already participated in several demonstrations so far. I will continue because I believe in the joint initiative referendum. This gives me hope to abandon the project.”

Zachary, 32, a tax attorney, admits that he “does not have the profile of a protester. But I want to show that anger is professional and affects the entire population. We must stand together against this reform.”

“They could have passed the text proposing a fairer reform”

Mathieu, 38, a computer developer in Paris, is one of those pushed onto the streets by 49.3. “This is the first time I have come to demonstrate. The government’s contempt for the people has prompted me to do so this evening,” he says, convinced that the government could have done otherwise: “They could have passed the text By proposing a fairer reform, He says hitting the poor less and finding the money elsewhere. There, I don’t know how it will develop, I’m very afraid. »

Ten meters from the obelisk, 52-year-old Emmanuel watches the crowd with a gracious eye. “I find him a pretty good kid!” he says. A few seconds later, CRS, before his eyes, attacked a group of thugs, busy destroying the site protection on the monument. As a crowd gathered around a fire, several masked people, equipped with glasses and balaclavas, chanted, “Everyone hates the police.”

Some retrieve cobblestones while one protester arrives with a card bearing the image of Emmanuel Macron. The crowd drifts away. “Macron is on the line! Macron is on the line! The chorus protesters shout. “It won’t hurt him,” laughs Mathieu, 42, offstage. “This coach came with his wife, Dorothy.” The 49.3 is a disgrace. We can’t let this happen, he fired the latter. If it has to deteriorate in order to be understood by the government, it will degrade. »

Far from the heart of the meeting, 24-year-old Marie at the Sorbonne laments the turn of events, while fireworks go off. “If it overflows, we will discredit the whole movement,” she said, breathing heavily. Next to her, Flavian, nodding his head, “understands” anger. “Everything explodes. For a month and a half, millions spoke quietly. He decided that we were not being listened to. What should we do? »

video. “The strike is yes, the exams are cancelled, new”: Nanterre students are divided over the blocking of the university

At around 8 pm, the security forces began to disperse the crowd with tear gas and dispersal bombs. At approximately 10:30 pm, 61 people were arrested and the Place de la Concorde was completely evacuated. Some opponents of reform remained present in the nearby streets but calm seemed to have returned, and the garbage fires were soon put out.


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