May 24. 2024. 6:49

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Angry youths challenge Macron and his pension law


Charles Chauliac, a teenager, is furious that French President Emmanuel Macron wants to delay retirement for hard-working people like his parents. He bypassed parliament in order to do this.

The 18-year old has been taking to Paris’ streets every evening for the past few days to force a U turn.

He marches through Paris, dodges police, and joins other young people in spontaneous protests, singing: "We’re here, we’re here, even though Macron doesn’t want it!"

The reform, which increases the age at which most people are eligible to draw a retirement pension by two years to 64 is more relevant to their parents and less to young people like Chauliac.

Youths are joining protests in increasing numbers since the government chose to bypass parliament. This is a concern for authorities, in a country where young people can be crucial in street protests.

Chauliac said: "We are really upset about the bill being forced through."

This latest wave of protests has been the most severe and serious challenge to Macron’s authority ever since the revolt of disgruntled workers class people four years back.

Chauliac’s friends and family are commuting because of the rising retirement age.

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The youngster said that his parents are killing themselves and causing damage to their health. He does civic service and helps students in junior high schools.

Many were further upset by Macron’s leadership style, and the government’s decision not to go through parliament. Recent graffiti on Paris’ walls has targeted Macron or simply stated: Democracy.

Elisa Ferreira, a fellow teenager protester, said, "When institutions don’t listen when demonstrations are held that are peacefully and that are declared,"

Ferreira, Chauliac and other students join spontaneous protests through private groups on social media to avoid being noticed police. He said that he showed a message on his cellphone asking: "Who’s coming tonight?" ".

Chauliac claims he hasn’t been attacked by protestors who have set fire to bins and hurled rocks at police officers.

He adds, "A more radical movement...because no one listens to me"


Writing by Ingrid Melander, Yiming Woo; Editing By Christina Fincher

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