These Photos And TikToks Show How The French Have Been Protesting The Retirement Age Rising

The strikes have affected garbage collections, transportation, and schools.

fire burns in the foreground as protesters stand on an elevated surface documenting the scene with the Eiffel Towerin the background

Workers in France have been on strike since March 7 and last week saw some of the demonstrations turn violent. The protests are in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform that will raise the age of retirement in France from 62 to 64 years old without a vote. 

Among a group of protesters, debris is set on fire and a protester in a mask runs by

Police wearing riot gear were deployed to areas in Paris where the protests turned violent and tear gas was used against the striking workers. The clashes led to police banning protests on the Champs-Élysées after protesters burned an effigy of Macron.

at night, police in riot gear stand in a line holding shields
A pedestrian speaks on the phone as she walks by a pile of trash that reaches her height

The strikes have affected garbage collections, transportation, and schools. For almost two weeks, the sidewalks in Paris have been covered in trash bags as the sanitation workers have been on strike. Garbage collectors' age of retirement will be raised from 57 to 59 years old in the new bill.

Videos of the trash piling up are all over TikTok, and of course people have seen the funny side of garbage overflowing onto the roads. People are making jokes about their exes and Emily in Paris. Some have gone as far as posing in front of the fires from the protests.

A vote of no confidence was held Monday, and Macron’s government survived by just nine votes. Another vote of no confidence is expected, with politicians already expressing skepticism of Macron. “The government is already dead in the eyes of the French, it doesn’t have any legitimacy anymore," hard-left lawmaker Mathilde Panot told the Associated Press.

a protester climbs a pole and yells above the protesting crowd
a group at night raises their arms and chants are illuminated by a flare
a split image of the French leftist party marching and people holding up cardboard protest signs that say "NON" in bold letters
A person wearing a black head covering and mask to obscure their identity poses, as if dancing, in front of a flaming barricade
a protester wearing a bike helment and a mask throws projectiles at the police
protestoes dressed in black with goggles and face masks hold up an umbrella, a wooden palette, and a wire fence as cover while shooting fireworks
The entrance of a town hall building, marble with decorative filigrees, has been vandalized by spray paint, flaming trash cans, and shattered glass doors
a protester leads the crowd in chants with a bullhorn from the top of a marble statue of three women where a sign says "MACRON DEMISSION" which means "MACRON RESIGN"
Hundreds of railway union members and supporters holding flags and wearing high-visibility vests fill a train station
A union worker throws a tire into a burning pile
Protesters watch as a four-story-high fire burns between two buildings
Feminist collective members wear jackets with patches and bandanas tied around their heads hold their arms up in the "Rosie the Riveter" pose with their faces painted like skeletons
Riot police run down the street that has been vandalized with the tag "ACAB"
A protester wears a homemade mask with a picture of Macron's face and holds a badminton raquet
Skip to footer