Activism

Police and Firefighters Clash During Paris Riot

Parisian police and firefighters fought each other in the streets on Tuesday during a protest for better working conditions.

Parisian police and firefighters fought each other in the streets on Tuesday during a protest for better working conditions. 

Thousands of firefighters took to the streets of Paris in uniform to protest the government's proposed pension reforms. Some even set their flame retardant jackets on fire.

In opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed government-pension overhaul, the firefighters are demanding to keep the current pension system, while receiving hazard bonuses that reflect the risk of their work. They’re also asking that their staff levels to be maintained, as they respond to general emergency calls in addition to fire-related ones. 

Macron’s overhaul would collapse 42 existing pension schemes into one single system. This could harm France’s retirement system, (which is currently the best in the EU) and raise the minimum age for retirement benefits from 62 to 64. The plan has caused widespread labor unrest in the country.

Riot police responded to the demonstration, causing a clash between the two groups of first responders. Multiple videos of the clashes have gone viral online.

Macron has been criticized in the past for making policies that benefit the wealthy over the poor. In 2017 he cut unemployment benefits and replaced a wealth tax with a less demanding property-holding tax.

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