French President Emmanuel Macron, who initiated a reform set to unify the country’s pension system, limiting it to a few programmes, vowed on 1 January 2020 to finalise his initiative regardless of the public’s protests.
Demonstrations against the upcoming pension system reform in France continued throughout Paris on 2 January, with rioters blocking streets, transport hubs and clashing with police as the protests are approaching the one-month milestone of continuous rallies. Riot police reportedly used tear gas in the form of spray to disperse the protesting crowds across the city.
Videos of the post-New Year’s Eve encounters have flooded social media
— nonouzi (@Gerrrty) January 2, 2020
#greve2janvier : ambiance de fou au dépôt Belliard 😁. #RATP, #SNCF, éducation, élus et autres secteurs. Prises de parole, et le blocage tient. Tous ensemble contre la #reformesdesretraites, #GreveGenerale jusqu'au retrait !! pic.twitter.com/7OoChFH6kc
— Oué Bébert (@OBebert) January 2, 2020
Several protesters were arrested as result of police efforts to dissolve the protests.
— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) January 2, 2020
Some users reported cases of police brutality during protests, although it is not clear from the videos whether the violence was unprovoked.
📽 Un motard filme une scène de violence policière se retrouve violenté lui aussi + sa caméra cassée, Images de @TounsiBiker Dénoncez 🙏.#BonneAnnee2020 #greve #Paris #Retraies #greve2janvier #Macron #Giletsjaunes #France #BlackRock pic.twitter.com/7e0q5zvuE9
— Le Général 💎 (@LeGeneral00) January 1, 2020
— Ian56 (@Ian56789) January 2, 2020
Protests against the pension system reform started on 5 December 2019, as people remained dissatisfied with President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to simplify the system, reducing it to a few pension plans as opposed to the current 42. Despite the ongoing protests, Macron has vowed to finalise the reform.