Protests have been raging in France since mid-January, spurred on by President Emmanuel Macron's plan to reform pensions in the country. The change would see the age of retirement increased from 62 to 64, and forced through parliament under a controversial section of the country's constitution.
Rebel News' U.K. team travelled across the English Channel to visit Paris as the country held its annual May Day protest, this time with the pension reform as the central focus of the rally.
While the protest turned violent, with The Guardian reporting at least 108 police injuries and 291 people detained, Rebel U.K. reporter Callum Smiles had the opportunity to speak to a pair of young protesters at the rally.
Addressing why it was important to come to the May Day demonstration, one told Smiles that Macron “was doing bull****,” and that protesters “needed to struggle” against the president's reforms.
The protester also said the crowd was “never surprised” by French authorities resorting to violence to disrupt the demonstration. Despite the police's use of batons, tear gas and water cannons, Smiles noted the protesters weren't wavering in the face of police action.
A second protester explained to Rebel News the crowd was opposed to the “violent” and “tyrannical” Macron government. With crowds gathering in opposition to Macron's pension reforms for four months, this protester said “nothing has changed; things have gotten worse.”
“But you know, we will try and we will see if it works,” he added, trying to keep a positive tone. He also had a message for any of the police that might see the interview: “Either join us, or go **** yourselves.”
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