French unions set new protest date
Trade unions in France have renewed their intention for mass demonstrations against the French President.
A day after hundreds of thousands protested Macron's pension reform bill, French trade unions said on Tuesday that they will organize further large-scale rallies against the divisive reforms next month.
The 14th day of demonstrations will take place on June 6, according to the unions, days before parliamentarians discuss a measure that would overturn the retirement rules that Macron's ministers pushed through without a vote.
On Labor Day, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in France to protest President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform, with unions pledging to continue their struggle even after the changes were signed into law.
Unions have been hoping for a vast turnout across France for the May 1 protests to further rattle Macron, who has been greeted by taunts and jeers as he toured the country seeking to defend the reforms and relaunch his second term.
Macron last month inked a law to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, in spite of months of strikes against the bill.
The unions stated that although they would participate in fresh conversations with cabinet ministers over a variety of topics, including increasing older workers' employment rates and restructuring vocational schools, they would "reiterate their refusal of the pensions reform".
"There is deep defiance and dialogue can only resume if the government shows it is finally willing to take the unions' positions into account," they added.
Gerald Darmanin, the interior minister, reported that 540 persons nationwide, including 305 in Paris, were detained during the protests on Monday.
According to broadcaster France Info, Paris police director Laurent Nunez blamed "hooligans" for "a level of violence in the vanguard of the march... that far exceeded" other protests.
Darmanin said that three police officers were "in an extremely difficult situation" despite not being in a life-or-death struggle.
Videos posted on social media largely showcased French police brutality as they used stun grenades and rubber bullets -- which are prohibited in most European countries -- against protesters.
One police officer was hospitalized with facial injuries after being hit by a Molotov cocktail.
At least two journalists, including an AFP photographer, claimed to have been hit without suffering significant injuries, despite the fact that there was no official count of the number of protesters harmed when police fired tear gas, riot grenades, and other weapons.
VIDEO: The European Union 2023 🇪🇺 : Wounded on the ground after police attack Labour Day marchers in #Paris 🇫🇷 . pic.twitter.com/vhvwUs1jqF #vonderLeyen #Macron #manifs1ermai #LabourDay #France #TomorrowsPapersToday #ViolencesPolicières #Labour— Manchester Chronicle 🐝 (@WithyGrove) May 1, 2023