Riot police and demonstrators have clashed in France amid the ongoing general strike by labor unions against proposed pension reforms. Dozens have been arrested in Paris alone as over a million people marched across the country.
As flares light up the night, stun grenades can be heard exploding. There is also what appears to be burning chemical tear gas, used in the offense against the demonstrators.
Footage from Paris shows protesters hurling objects at police, and riot-geared officers charging in response. Labor unions say that the reforms would force millions of people to work past the legally-mandated retirement age of 62.
Reports from across France during the day spoke of sporadic violence on the sidelines of the protests, including the smashing of shop windows and security cameras and setting fire to bicycles and effigies.
Huge crowds turned out on Thursday to protest against the proposal by President Emmanuel Macron’s government to reform the French pension system.
The CGT union said around 1.5 million people marched in support of the protest, while the interior ministry estimates spoke of 700,000.
Either way, the protest easily dwarfed the weekly ‘Yellow Vests’ demonstrations that have been happening every Saturday for over a year now.
The widespread protest crippled public transportation services across the country, and is expected to continue until Monday. It is the largest general strike in France in decades.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.