In the protest held this Tuesday in Paris against the unpopular reform of Emmanuel Macron's pensions, several protesters hold a big-headed doll that represents wounded justice, with a head covered in blood, a scale and two French flags on which these slogans are read. : "I am Justice, give me the floor" and "Force without justice is tyrannical".
This is the idea held by many of the participants in this sixth day of mobilization against this controversial law that seeks to delay the retirement age from the current 62 years to 64: that it is an unfair reform approved by force. France is experiencing today a key day for the national movement against Macron's unpopular pension reform, a "historic" day, as the unions have assessed.
These aspired to paralyze the country and, in the absence of knowing the definitive data, the follow-up has been somewhat greater than in the previous days, especially that of January 31, the most massive. It has not been possible, however, to paralyze the country. Government and workers maintain the pulse, without the balance at the moment clearly tipping to either side in this social battle.
In education, 60% of workers have stopped, 35% according to the Ministry. The fuel supply to the refineries has been blocked and 80% of the trains are affected, especially high-speed and regional trains. Between 20% and 30% of flights have been canceled at the country's main airports, especially those in Paris.
The unions will decide today whether to continue the strikes in the coming days in key sectors, such as energy or transport. This will be key in this fight against the Government, which so far has not shown signs of giving in to pressure.
There were more than 250 demonstrations called throughout the country. The general secretary of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, spoke of "a historic mobilization in the last 40 or 50 years" with 20% more demonstrators than in the previous strike, the of January 31. Then there were 1.27 million protesters, according to the authorities; double, according to the unions. In Paris, the CGT estimates participation at 700,000 people.
It has stopped at refineries and road transport, sectors that until now were less active in the protests. The sign that France has raised the tone of the protest is that the first clashes took place in the Paris demonstration much earlier than in the previous five.
There are 11 detainees, most of them violent linked to radical groups that were trying to break up the peaceful march. The demonstration started from Sevres-Babilone, on the left side of the river, to Place d'Italia, where the Senate is, which is just now debating the reform. This chamber is expected to approve before Sunday.
"The government despises the people, it doesn't listen to them. The reform will probably be approved, but Macron is going to pay for it," says Alain, a 69-year-old Parisian who just retired in January. He used to work in the alternative medicine field and has retired late because he started working late. He is manifesting himself today precisely "so that young people do not have to wait as long as I do."
He carries a sign in which the retiree is sent directly to Père-Lachaise, the Parisian cemetery where many writers and illustrious people are buried. "A quarter of the French die before being able to retire. Macron and his henchmen want to destroy the social advances of the proletariat," says Dorien, a young student who demonstrates with her classmates. When she is asked about these mortality figures, she says she does not know.
This reform, which was approved in January and has caused Macron's popularity to plummet, is now being debated in the Senate, after a conflictive and chaotic process in the Assembly. After the Senate, the reform will be debated in a mixed commission and should be approved, at the latest, on March 26.
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