The Macron government’s unilateral and controversial decision to raise the retirement age led to massive demonstrations
© Getty Images / Firas Abdullah
French police have banned all gatherings in two protest hotspots across from the parliament in Paris, citing “serious risks of disturbances to public order” in a statement issued on Saturday.
The “public thoroughfare in Place de la Concorde and its surroundings” and the area around Champs d’Elysees were declared off limits following two nights of intense public protest against French President Emmanuel Macron’s deeply unpopular decision to introduce neoliberal pension reforms without parliamentary approval.
Police said 61 demonstrators were arrested in the forbidden zones on Friday after throwing bottles and fireworks at the heavily armored officers, who had arrived to disperse the thousands-strong crowd. Police responded with volleys of tear gas. Another 36 were arrested in Lyon after protesters allegedly tried to break into and burn down a town hall.