The headquarters of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games was stormed by French anti-pension reform protesters on Tuesday in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron‘s decision to raise the retirement age.
An estimated 281,000 took to the streets in a last-minute attempt to pressure lawmakers into reversing the decision, which led to the HQ building located in Aubervilliers in northern Paris briefly being occupied.
French protesters stormed the headquarters of the 2024 Olympics in Paris earlier today to protest against Macron’s pension reform. pic.twitter.com/dqvi4CoVZY
— MintPress News (@MintPressNews) June 6, 2023
“There was no violence and no damage,” a Games spokesperson said, according to Reuters.
There were far fewer protesters on Tuesday compared to the previous demonstration on May 1, which attracted an estimated 782,000.
Trade unions have been fighting Macron’s move to make French citizens work longer to reach retirement age dating back to January, with numerous strikes and protests having taken place over the last six months.
Macron has said it was a necessary move to lift the legal retirement age by two years to 64 to fill in a widening pension deficit, though trade unions have suggested the money could be plugged in other ways, such as raising taxes for the wealthy.
Some protesters have threatened to disrupt next summer’s Paris Olympics if there isn’t change, with some of the banners seen during the protests reading: “No retirement, No Olympics.”
French parliament is set to review an opposition-sponsored motion aimed at canceling the minimum pension age increase on Thursday. It’s expected to be rejected (under the constitution, lawmakers cannot pass legislation that impacts public finances without measures to offset those costs, as reported by Reuters), though unions hope a big protest turnout could pressure lawmakers into holding a vote.
“We need to prepare for what’s to come (after the summer),” said Jean-Luc Carbonari, a 60-year-old sewer works engineer, according to Reuters. “We need to reverse the political balance of power.”