Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Macron rushed out from theatre amid protest

Macron rushed out from theatre amid protest

The demonstration took place on the 44th day of a debilitating strike against the Macron government's proposed pension reforms. While they started initially as rallies against fuel tax hikes, the protests have since grown into a full-scale movement, with participants taking to the streets every Saturday.

Macron and his wife Brigitte had to be briefly moved from a theater in Paris after protesters tried to break in and interrupt the performance.

Police said 59 people were arrested in the early afternoon.

Young people wearing masks shouted "revolution, quot; when tear gas was dragged along the Bastille, the square where the French revolution broke out in 1789".

"The street is ours", chanted some demonstrators.

"When there are marches and so on, you hear people saying "Death to the Rotonde, Death to Macron", Gerard Tafanel, who owns the bistrot with his brother Serge, told AFP.

The clashes on Saturday occurred on the 45th day of a strike that hit rail and metropolitan traffic and caused misery for millions of commuters in Paris and its surrounding areas in particular. On Saturday, the Paris Metro Drivers Union, UNSA, announced that the drivers had voted to suspend their action as of Monday.

Annie Moukam, a 58-year-old teacher, said that too many people in France were suffering.

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"It is beyond dispute that he (Macron) touches our pensions. We have worked all our lives to be able to leave with a dignified retirement", she added.

The transport unions have joined forces with the yellow vests, who accuse Macron of ruling on behalf of an urban elite while ignoring people in the provinces and the countryside, many of whom struggle to make ends meet. On Friday, protesters blocked the doorway to the Louvre museum.

French capital visitors striving to see some of the world's most famous works of art had their plans abruptly canceled on Friday, after Louvre Museum in Paris posted a notice on its website alerting potential visitors that it couldn't guarantee entrance and their trip might be in vain.

It was the first time since the protests began on December 5th that the Louvre was fully closed.

On Saturday, musicians, singers and other members of the striking Paris Opera drew a crowd with a free concert in front of the Palais Garnier opera house.

Under a stream of confetti, they finished with "La Marseillaise", the national anthem.

Other visitors voiced support for the strike over planned pensions reform.

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