At least 100 people were detained on Saturday night during anti-government protests in France against pension reform, which raises the minimum age from 62 to 64.
Still, this number is lower than in previous protests. On Thursday night, a few hours after the reform was approved, more than 200 were arrested across the country.
This new type of protests, organized outside parties and unions, are more volatile and unpredictable, with the number of mobilizations planned for today being unknown for the moment.
On Saturday night, 81 people were arrested at a demonstration in the “Place d’Italie” (in the south of the capital), the place chosen instead of the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysées, in Paris, where the authorities banned the protests following of the riots of the previous nights.
To these, another dozen people were arrested in the Plaza de la Concordia.
At the end of the march, which included ‘slogans’ against the “authoritarianism” of French President Emmanuel Macron, containers were burned and barricades were erected. The police responded with tear gas to the throwing of projectiles by some demonstrators.
In the “Place d’Italia” it is estimated that at least 4,000 people participated in the protests.
In Lyon, 17 were arrested in a small protest, which brought together between 400 and 500 people.
The pension reform has further worsened the French president’s popularity, and currently only 28% of French people approve of his administration, the lowest percentage of his mandates and comparable to the “Yellow Vests” crisis, the popular revolt that, in 2018, put him on the tightrope.
The executive led by Macron shows no signs of going back on the measure. The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, assured, in an interview with Le Parisien, that the reform “will come into effect” and warned that “no type of violence will be tolerated” in the protests.
On Monday, the Government faces two motions of censure, presented by a group of centrists and regionalists, supported by the left-wing party, and another by the extreme right.
However, the two motions are unlikely to pass if the Republican Party manages to maintain the voting discipline it failed to achieve on March 16 when the executive, in a relative minority, was forced to act in accordance with Section 49.3 due to the absence of a clear majority in the Assembly.
Trade union strikes against the reform continue, with several refineries blocked and strikes at rubbish collection in Paris making themselves felt.
Despite the government imposing the return of some workers for public health reasons, thousands of tons of garbage still accumulate on the sidewalks.
The Paris Chamber, which supports the strike and does not cooperate with the Government, calculated that the amount of waste has stabilized at 10,000 tons.