Protests in France: Have police gone too far? | UpFront (Special Interview)

Protests in France: Have police gone too far?

A special interview, from Al Jazeera UpFront – below copy from their YouTube Channel:

This week, President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms went to Parliament and tens of thousands of protesters in France returned to the streets in opposition.

Demonstrations have become a regular feature of Macron’s presidency, during which French police have been accused of using excessive force.

According to French journalists, 325 people have suffered head injuries, 25 people have lost eyes and five have lost hands during protests.

La Republique En Marche member of Parliament Roland Lescure says some protesters are going to the demonstrations just to cause violence, and that is an attack on French democracy.

“I’m not happy that a few of them have lost an eye or a hand, but those people are – it’s insurrection. You know, they’re violent. They’re there to actually kick the police and that’s not what peaceful democratic demonstrations should be about,” Lescure said.

Protesters are angry over Macron’s pension plan which will turn 42 different pensions into a universal one. They say reforms will mean some people will have to work longer and retire later in life.

“It’s true to say that … some of them, bus drivers, train drivers and a few of these, are probably going to be not as well off as they are today,” Lescure conceded.

“And yes, on every one of those reforms, you always find someone in France who is going to oppose them, but on the whole, I think we’re beginning to have results. Unemployment hasn’t been as low as it is today for the last 11-12 years. There’s job creations, there’s company creations, foreign direct investment is coming into France again,” he added.

This week’s Special Interview, La Republique En Marche member of Parliament Roland Lescure.

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In This Story: Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is a French politician who has been President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 14 May 2017. In the legislative elections a month later, Macron’s party, renamed “La République En Marche!” (LREM), secured a majority in the National Assembly. At the age of 39, Macron became the youngest president in French history.

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