The agents used water cannons after an attempt to damage the works of the ancient Egyptian Obelisk located in the center of the square.
The security forces intervened this Thursday night in the Place de la Concorde, in the heart of Paris, to disperse thousands of demonstrators who were protesting against the pension reform near the Chamber of Deputies, approved by Emmanuel Macron.
The officers used water cannons after an attempt to damage the works of the ancient Egyptian Obelisk located in the center of the square, according to police. Hours before, the French government decided to adopt an unpopular reform without the vote of the deputies.
Since mid-afternoon, thousands of people have gathered in the square after the government adopted an unpopular reform, which delays the retirement age from 62 to 64, without submitting it to a vote by the deputies.
Despite the rejection of two out of three French people, according to polls, Macron wants to delay the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030 and bring forward to 2027 the requirement to contribute 43 years (and not 42 as up to now) to collect a pension complete.
The police charged and fired tear gas to move the protesters away from the bridge that connects the Plaza de la Concordia with the National Assembly (lower house). At least eight people were detained, according to police.
Protesters clash with police in Paris. AFP photo
A good part of the demonstrators left the place around 8:30 p.m. towards the adjacent streets.
Several cities in France registered spontaneous demonstrations against the reform promoted by the liberal president Emmanuel Macron.
Banners in Paris read: “Whoever sows misery reaps anger”, while protesters shouted “Down with Macron and 49.3! General Strike!”
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. AFP photo
The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, activated article 49.3 of the Constitution to impose the reform. The only thing left for the deputies now, to prevent its application, is to approve a motion of no confidence against the government in the coming days.
Two out of three French people, according to polls, oppose the reform, as do the unions, which managed to mobilize 1.28 million people, according to the police (3.5 million, according to the CGT union) on 7 March.
The centrals called for new massive demonstrations next Thursday.