Today will certainly be one that French President Emmanuel Macron would like to forget. The anger of the millions of protesters who took to the streets to express their anger at the pension reform bill has spilled over, sending a resounding message to the Macron government that they will not back down easily from their decisions.

Anger, anti-government slogans, tension, incidents, arrests and injuries to protesters and police made up today’s scene of mostly peaceful marches in Paris and other French cities including Lyon, Rennes, Marseille, Nice, Toulon, Strasbourg, with protesters, young, old, working, unemployed, erupting against Macron who categorically refuses to dissolve parliament, reshuffle his centrist government and resign his prime minister, Elizabeth Bourne. On the contrary, you insist that pension reform is necessary.

According to the Ministry of Interior, 1.8 million protesters took to the streets today, more than double the number of the previous March 15 mobilization where 480,000 citizens participated. However, according to the CGT union the number of protesters reached 3.5 million.

In Paris, the official demonstration started from the Place de la Bastille in the early afternoon heading towards the Place de la Opéra. However, the situation soon spiraled out of control with the peaceful march marred by violent incidents that broke out both in the French capital and in other cities. According to the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, 123 policemen and gendarmes were injured while a total of 80 people, including 58 in Paris, were arrested.


Demonstrators dressed in black and with their faces covered destroyed bus stops, set fire to bins, set up barricades and smashed shop windows and kiosks. The worst clashes occurred in Opera Square towards the end of the march, where police tried to disperse them. protesters using tear gas.

In the northwestern city of Rennes, police fired water cannons and tear gas as some hooded protesters set up barricades and set trash cans on fire.

In the city of Lorient, protesters attacked a police station and a local prefectural office.

French channel BFMTV reported that “at least 350-400 people” all dressed in black used “large” fireworks and targeted a McDonald’s in the St Denis area of ​​Strasbourg where they smashed the store’s windows. The police reportedly pushed them back, also using tear gas.


In Lyon, hundreds of railway workers, students and others have flooded the railway tracks, disrupting train services.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the attacks were unacceptable and could not go unpunished.


From the protesters, it seems that the women had more anger inside them as they called the new legislation a double punishment for those who had devoted time to their careers and raising their children, resulting in many being low-paid and in jobs they don’t want but don’t have. they can find better ones because of motherhood.

Many protesters also accused Emmanuel Macron of showing “contempt and arrogance” for those opposed to changes to the pension bill, which were a cornerstone of his re-election campaign last year.


The widespread strikes have caused serious consequences for public transport and air transport, even flight cancellations. Airport authorities said the protests would have an impact on weekend flights. About 30% of flights scheduled to depart from Orly airport, south of Paris, are expected to be canceled on Friday and Saturday as well as 20% of departures from Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon. On Thursday morning, protesters blocked Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris.


Schools and colleges across France were also closed today, including in Paris, Rouen, Marseille and Toulouse.

The unions renewed the appointment for new mobilizations and today issued an invitation for the 10th day of strikes and demonstrations on Tuesday, March 28. “As the government tries to turn the page, this social and trade union movement, sustainable and responsible, confirms the determination of the world of work and youth to achieve the withdrawal of the reform”, they emphasized at the end of the ninth day of mobilizations in the country.