Here's What to Know About the Protests in France Right Now
Workers are protesting President Emmanuel Macron's latest move.
Paris is certainly no rookie to civil unrest, but these days, protests in the French capital have been more vigorous than usual.
This time, thousands of workers have taken it to the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron's plan to raise the national retirement age from 62 to 64. Macron and his government cited cost-of-living issues and increasing inflation as the main arguments behind his proposal, and added that the reform is a necessary step to ensure the durability of the French pension system, NBC News report.
Critics of the policy only grew more indignant once Macron ordered Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to allow the legislation to pass without a vote, which triggered a more active response. On Thursday, Place de la Concorde in Paris witnessed thousands of protesters gather in front of the National Assembly building. According to the US Embassy in Paris, which released a demonstration alert, trash—which there were piles of, due to public workers protesting as well—and vehicles were being set on fire, and Place de la Concorde was ultimately evacuated.
Paris wasn't the only city in which labor workers and their supporters protested. According to NBC News, Rennes and Marseilles also witnessed civil unrest, and there might be others arising in other major cities in France, the advisory warns.
According to the unions, the next day of strikes nationwide will be next Thursday, March 30. If you're planning to visit France during this time, the US Embassy in Paris advises US citizens to take a few measures of precautions, including avoiding demonstrations and areas with significant police activity, exercising caution when near large gatherings, monitoring local media, and staying in touch with friends and family. At this time, no broader travel advisories for France are in place for Americans beyond the fairly generic Level 2 warning the US State Department has had in place since last October.
For more information, you can read the demonstration advisory right here.
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