May Day march against pension reform: Paris protesters determined to 'give it our all'

·1-min read
May Day march against pension reform: Paris protesters determined to 'give it our all'

Thousands marched across Paris and other French cities in what unions hoped would be one of the biggest May Day demonstrations in years. Galvanised by previous protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, protesters marched with a sense of determination.

May 1 in Paris this year was much more than the usual celebration of workers and labour rights. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of the capital in a new show of anger against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform, which was forced through parliament in March.

Monday marked the 13th day of mass mobilisations against the unpopular pension reform. Although the demonstration was smaller than many of those before it, protesters have kept up their morale and continued to take action over the course of several months.

Many had wondered whether Monday’s demonstration would be the final hurrah, or prompt a second wind for opponents of the reform.

Between shattered shop fronts and decorated convoys playing Beyoncé’s “Run The World”, participants on the ground seemed more determined than ever.

‘Ready to give it our all’

At Place de la République, where the protest began, the mood was cheerful. Friends embraced after finding each other in the crowd and demonstrators posed for photos, holding up creative placards. Despite ongoing anger over the reforms, there was no sign of surrender.

“And one where we have a way to control elected officials,” added Jo, 83.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
French police fire teargas as clashes erupt at May Day pension protests
'It strengthens anti-establishment forces': Pension reform protests threaten Macron’s agenda
France under fire at UN for police violence, racial and religious discrimination