Today: Tuesday, 5 March 2024 year

Protesters clashed with police in Lyon and Rennes.

Protesters clashed with police in Lyon and Rennes.

Protesters in Lyon set fire to the entrance to the police station and tried to enter the city hall of the 1st district of the city; in Rennes, the action ended in a clash between demonstrators and the police, French media reported.

In Lyon, about 300 people gathered on Saturday to rally against the government’s actions at the call of local associations and leftist parties, France 3 reported. Initially, the action was planned in the form of a “carnival”, fanfares sounded, people dressed up in costumes gathered in the Croix Rouge quarter.

According to the media, the action was not agreed with the prefecture of the city. Shortly after it began, hooded and covered-faced radical elements began smashing shop windows. Video on social media shows that the protesters began to build and set fire to barricades, they also set fire to the police station and tried to enter the mayor’s office of one of the districts of the city.

As the prefecture of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region reported on Twitter, “two shops, the door of the police station, as well as the entrance to the mayor’s office of the 1st arrondissement of the city were damaged.” The prefecture condemned “unacceptable disturbances that put the safety of the city’s citizens at risk.” One person was taken into custody.

Also on Saturday, demonstrations against the authorities took place in Rennes, where, according to the prefecture, about 600 protesters gathered, Ouest-France reported. The action “against (French President Emmanuel) Macron, (French Interior Minister Gerald) Darmanin and fascism” ended with a clash between demonstrators and police, who used tear gas. According to media reports, the prefecture banned the rally, but the protesters, mostly young people, wearing masks, dressed in black and white, still protested. Four were arrested.

In January, the French authorities announced a draft pension reform, which caused a wave of mass protests in the country. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Born used article 49.3 of the constitution on March 16 to pass a bill to raise the country’s retirement age from 62 to 64 without a vote in Parliament. After that, the protests became more violent. The police began to increasingly use tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrations.

On April 14, the French Constitutional Council finally approved the key article of the bill, which provides for a gradual increase in the retirement age in the country by 2030.