Contributor | Telegraph Local
France explodes into fresh riots. It feels as if the whole of France is again on fire, both in physical topography and in the soul. As the French protestors rise to meet the occasion of what they perceive is a grave social injustice, the retaliation is severe.
The politics of late in France have been treacherous waters to navigate. The Yellow Vest movement sees shadows of Tiananmen square_with police firing water cannons at protestors and reporters attacked citing South China Morning Post and Columbia Journalism Review. Violence is scaling up. The ugliness shows no sign of slowing down. We are left to wonder what the final trauma will be__what final stroke cripples France with this saga of civic discord.
What are the French protesting as of late? Same as before. The French President Emmanuel Macron. This time, the strikes are against Macron’s pension plans, citing the New York Times. Workers across the country have staged walkouts.
Protests of the last few months have centered around government negative response to the French labor market. The pension protest follows on the heels of a report by Summit News that French farmers descended on Paris in their tractors to block public highways due to “agri-bashing” from the government_which blamed their sector for the issues of climate change.
Citing the BBC, French protesters take to the streets in what reminds of us the historic French Revolution of the late 18th century. They have donned masks and taken up flares like beacons. Protestors tote massive red signs which read Revoltons_Nous translated into English as “Let us revolt.” Now it is no longer merely the Yellow Vests_called radicals__taking the charge. The French people as an entire people are weary of the policies and failed politics within their nation. Huge crowds march through Paris and Bordeaux.
Clashes broke out in the city of Nantes, as protestors pushed back against the police. They built flimsy barricades as the tirade wore on. They knew to respond as if their lives depended on it because they likely did. There was a killing of a teenager in Nantes riots last year, citing Al Jazeera.
Also citing BBC, there was gas fired off in other cities such as Bordeaux where a woman was photographed wearing a full gas mask to protect herself.
Even the firefighters who were shooting water at protestors in recent months now join the revolt. On Macron’s points-based pension plan, French firefighters say they will lose out greatly. The plan is to take the 42 different pension schemes created for the public and private sector workforce and unify them under one points-based system. The unified system would reward employees for each day worked, adding points that would then be transferred into future pension benefits.
France is a beautiful nation with a people and a culture that has been known as a light and envy to the whole world. To see her in flames is to bring the whole world down in grave sobriety. France’s trouble is the whole world’s trouble. The sincerest hope we can give is to see the French lifted out of this chaos. To see them restored with just pension and wages and leaders who represent the people with regards to their human rights. Why would they riot if they perceived fair governance? What can be done to see France find peace?