24,000 Parisians protest Macron televised pension speech, 60 detained
Darmanin stresses that any upcoming protests would not be intervened with by authorities due to the right to freedom of assembly, "whatever the cause," in the French constitution.
Following French President Emmanuel Macron's televised address on Monday, over 24,000 Parisians took to the streets again to protest against his address on the pension reform, and police have so far detained around 60 protesters, according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday.
Speaking on the LCI broadcaster, Darmanin said, "According to the figures given to me by the prefects, 24,000 people took to the streets yesterday in France — in Paris, Provence, and other regions. About 60 arrests were carried out, but the situation was much less tense than in previous weeks."
However, he stressed that any upcoming protests would not be intervened with by authorities due to the right to freedom of assembly, "whatever the cause," in the French constitution.
"However, the police cannot allow aggressive manifestations - with arson of garbage, damage to buildings … unacceptable things happened in Lyon yesterday when a building was set on fire," the Minister added.
This comes after Macron stated the obvious by saying that the French society was not accepting of the reform, regretting that "a consensus on it was not found."
"As you know, the Constitutional Council on Friday recognized the pension reform as legitimate. Of course, I immediately promulgated this law. The pension reform will come into force in autumn," Marcon said in his address.
He justified the move by stating that "gradually working more is also producing more wealth for our whole country."
Macron signed the legislation early Saturday, just hours after the banner change to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 had been validated by the constitutional court, prompting accusations he was smuggling the law through in the dead of night.
Parisians gathered at the city halls, drumming on pots with spoons after the speech. In contrast, protesters in Rennes, Nantes, and other cities turned their protests into riots, which law enforcement separated with tear gas. In Lyon, the entrance of a police station was set on fire by protesters.
The Constitutional Council rejected six minor proposals, including forcing large corporations to publish how many over 55-year-olds they employ and the creation of special contracts for older workers. While the most highly resisted proposal of raising the retirement age by 2 years was approved, the new law would fully raise the age of retirement in France by 2030.
Unions hope that Labor Day on May 1 will produce a "popular and historic tidal wave" of people on the streets to oppose the President's decision.