People are protesting against a wide range of issues, including the sitting president’s labor reforms touching upon privatizations, social security and protection of workers, as well as police powers.
Paris has been hit by mass demonstrations and rallies for a month now, with thousands of people joining May 5 protests against President Macron’s policies. Authorities are taking measures to quell the crowds to avert violence on the streets. The manifestations are going under the slogan “Let’s make a holiday for Macron,” ("Fête à Macron") on the anniversary of the president’s election.
Thousands of civil servants, rail workers, teachers and students have rallied against Macron’s reforms, with peaceful and calm manifestations turning violent. While public workers protested against unpaid leave and the elimination of some 120,000 jobs in the public sector, rail workers took to the streets to show their opposition to the reform of the state-owned SNCF railway company.
The reform aimed to open the railway sector, currently monopolized by the SNCF to competition and put an end to the special status of railroad workers, which gives them the right to certain perks, such as early retirement and job security. The rail strikes began on April 3 and are expected to continue until the end of June, unless the government and the unions reached a consensus.