Parallel marches of yellow vest protesters and transport workers unhappy with the planned pension reform set out from the Bercy metro station, the French BFMTV broadcaster said. They were joined by students.
At least a thousand demonstrators opposing the new retirement scheme rallied in the western French city of Nantes. Two people were reportedly arrested after clashes with police.
« Jean Jaurès nique la BAC » : c'est le slogan chanté par les #GiletsJaunes à #Montpellier lors de l' #Acte56. Ils sont encore plusieurs centaines dans la rue malgré les pressions policières. pic.twitter.com/8erKkNuG5B— Montpellier Poing Info (@lepoinginfo) December 7, 2019
According to Le Parisien newspaper, blockades in 11 regions, mostly in the southeast of France, began at 7 a.m. local time (06:00 GMT). Serious disruptions are expected on the A7 highway in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes and on the A75 highway in Occitania region.
Plusieurs milliers de manifestants et manifestantes dans les rues de Nantes.— Nantes Révoltée (@Nantes_Revoltee) December 7, 2019
La colère un cran nettement au dessus et la police tenue en respect.
En résumé : tout le monde veut la révolution pour Noël. pic.twitter.com/ftwfhA406O
Passants et manifestants sont sous les gaz dans la rue la plus commerciale de la ville : la rue Alsace Lorraine . Les manifestants n’ont pas l’air prêt de quitter les rues.Beaucoup de jeunes sont présent ! pic.twitter.com/yPm9s6NUG2— Gilets Jaunes Toulouse 👷♀️🌍 (@GiletsToulouse) December 7, 2019
The Organisation of European Transport Transporters, a large trade union in France, called upon its members to block roads across the country, saying that the suggested tax increase would be forcing drivers to spend an additional 800 euros per year on fuel.
The weekend rallies marked the third day of transport disruptions in Paris that are expected to continue as trade unions plan more strikes next week. Millions of public workers have been angered by the government’s plan to universalize pensions for fear of losing profession-specific benefits.
France, especially Paris, has been swept by yellow vest protests since mid-November 2018. Started initially as rallies against fuel tax hikes, the protests then grew into a full-scale movement which representatives took to the streets every Saturday. After the government abandoned its plans on raising the fuel tax, protesters continued hitting the streets across France, demanding fewer taxes, wage hikes and even the resignation of Macron.