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RETIREMENTS – Several thousand people demonstrated this Saturday, January 4 in France, several hundred dressed in a yellow vest, to ask withdrawal from pension reform, at the call of the CGT, FO, Solidaires and FSU departmental unions.
According to the police headquarters, the Parisian procession gathered 3,500 people, 550 of whom were identified as yellow jackets, which have been relatively absent from the processions since the start of the pension dispute. Behind a banner asking “Macron, withdraw your project, save and improve our pensions”, the parade took place quietly between Gare de Lyon and Gare de l’Est.
At the very end of the rally, the situation became a little tense around the Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord, with dozens of demonstrators entering it, forcing the police to intervene to expel them.
Tear gas enters Gare du Nord. The situation becomes somewhat tense after a projectile broke a window in the closed entrance to the station pic.twitter.com/JdqURmPIq2
– Meriem Laribi (@Meriem_Laribi) January 4, 2020
A little earlier, Place de la Bastille, the demonstrators, including also some white coats and teachers, saluted the Opera, chanting “the grandfather clause, we don’t want it!”, With reference to the proposal which was made to the dancers of the Opera that only new entrants no longer benefit from retirement at 42, a proposal they rejected.
Macron’s “contempt” response
Many opponents carried signs and cardboard boxes trying to collect money to help the strikers. “Kitty RER B, help us,” said one of them.
Also in Marseille, a few hundred people demonstrated from the Vieux Port (600, according to the police). Yellow vests took the head of the procession under a bright sun, followed mainly by CGT and Solidaires activists.
Jean Bergue, 72, retired from France Telecom, has counted his demonstrations against the pension reform: “I’m in the thirtieth maybe”, he says. This septuagenarian denounces “a president who wants to pit workers against each other” and “responds with contempt” to social protest.
In Rouen, 850 demonstrators according to the police, 2,000 according to the CGT demonstrated in the city center. “The family dinners rather allowed us to score points and not the opposite, noted Gérald Le Corre of the CGT, in allusion to the end of year celebrations. “The government’s strategy of saying‘ We are announcing the project in December thinking that by the 20th it would be over didn’t work, “he added.
Record strike in transport
In Le Havre, 200 demonstrators, according to the CGT, have toured the Hôtel de Ville 37.5 times by bicycle or scooter to claim the return to the 37.5 annual contributions required to obtain a full-rate retirement, in force before 1993.
In Rennes, between 200 demonstrators, according to the police, and 400 according to the unions, including “yellow vests” marched in the city center.
The strike in transport, SNCF and RATP, entered this Saturday in its second month, an unrivaled duration which exceeded the previous record of 28 consecutive days, established in 1986-87.
An inter-union CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, Solidaires, FSU requests the withdrawal of the pension reform, which provides for the merger of the 42 existing plans into a single, universal and points. A next demonstration is scheduled for January 9, as well as another two days later, Saturday, January 11.
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