Protests against controversial French pension reforms have escalated into clashes between demonstrators and police in Paris. Protesters pelted police with projectiles, while officers responded with tear gas and baton charges.
Over 350,000 people took to the streets of the French capital on Tuesday to protest the planned pension reforms, according to figures provided by the CGT trade union. The demonstration promptly became heated, escalating into clashes between protesters and law enforcement.
Footage from the scene shows crowds engulfed in thick plumes of tear gas, while riot police repeatedly charge the demonstrators with batons drawn.
At least 13 people were detained in Paris and one officer was injured, police told BFMTV.
France has been enduring mass protests and strikes against the pension system changes for almost two weeks. Emmanuel Macron’s government insists that the reform – which will see some 40 pension plans merged into a single one – is designed to simplify the pension system, making it more transparent. The trade unions, however, argue that the legislation is a rip-off, and simply strips workers of their hard-earned benefits.
Despite the protests, French government said last week it would still proceed with the controversial reforms. The government’s comments prompted an angry reaction from the unions that said the government had crossed a “red line” with its persistence in moving ahead with the reform plan.
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