Demonstrators storm BlackRock headquarters in Paris
Massive protests against the Macron government’s pension reforms have swept the nation in recent weeks. Macron raises retirement age from 62 to 64.
Demonstrators, wanting to strike a nerve, took to the streets on Thursday and stormed the Paris headquarters of the world’s largest wealth manager BlackRock 10 trillion dollars under administration.
Demonstrators marched into the Le Centorial block with flares and smoke bombs. reported CNN.
The Telegraph reported that rail workers’ union members detonated incendiary devices in the atrium of the centorial building and filled it with smoke.
Around 100 people, including some unionists, chanted and shouted under BlackRock’s third floor office. Some spat out anti-capitalist slogans while others sang workers’ songs.
“The meaning of this action is quite simple. We went to BlackRock’s headquarters to tell them: The workers’ money for our pensions they take,” Jerome Schmitt, spokesman for the French union SUD, told BFM-TV.
While Schmitt indicated the meaning was simple, various protesters deduced other meanings from the incident.
A protester cited BlackRock’s ties to companies allegedly damaging the environment as the cause of the fiery incursion, the Telegraph reported.
The allegation that BlackRock’s chairman had campaigned for the breach of the French pension model was another justification.
The guard reported that hundreds of thousands of French people took to the streets after talks between unions and French President Emmanuel Macron collapsed.
During the talks, Cyril Chabanier, representative of the country’s eight largest unions, said: “We told the Prime Minister again that the only democratic result would be the withdrawal of the text. The Prime Minister replied that she wanted to keep the text, a serious decision. “
Macron, a former World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, took unilateral action in Marchbypass a parliamentary vote and push through his unpopular pension plan.
An Elabe poll in January found that almost three-fifths of French people are against the pension reform, reported Bloomberg. The same poll found that the majority sympathized with the planned protests, and 46% said they were willing to take part.
His government justified this by saying that the pension system would not slide into deficit. France has the lowest minimum age for a state pension among major European nations.
Reuters reported that a source close to Macron claimed: “If the role of a President of the Republic is to make decisions according to public opinion, no elections are needed. … Being president means making decisions that may be unpopular at the given time.”
While protests in January and early March were relatively peaceful — including the nationwide March 7 demonstration attended by 1.28 million people — Macron’s parliamentary bypass on March 16 sparked significant clashes between protesters and police officers.
On March 23 alone, 80 police officers were arrested and 123 injured. Damage to property, fires, barricades and smoke bombs have also been the order of the day in recent days.
Sophie Binet, general secretary of the CGT union, told BFM-TV: “The government will not be able to run the country unless it rolls back the reform.”