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Rally starts in Paris against pension reform, violent groups on stage

The rally against the government’s pension reform started Thursday afternoon in Paris, with the participation of violent groups.

This is the ninth day of planned mobilization since January, with thousands of workers protesting and walking out in various sectors, including transportation, energy, and education.

Protests earlier were held in other cities as well.

Violent groups infiltrated the parade in Paris and once again vandalized street furniture and set fire to dumpsters and trash, according to Anadolu correspondent on the ground.

Police used tear gas to disperse those groups.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Tuesday evening said 12,000 police officers, including 5,000 in Paris, will be deployed during those demonstrations.

The French government used special constitutional powers last week to force the plan through, prompting opposing parties to submit no-confidence motions that were later rejected.

Macron and Borne decided to invoke Article 49.3 of the constitution, a mechanism that lets the government adopt a draft bill without parliamentary approval.

The decision was driven by fear that lawmakers would be able to block the reforms as the government does not hold an absolute majority in the legislature.

The government revealed the reform project in January and parliament started examining and debating the draft bill the following month.

Workers and trade unions have since expressed growing outrage by holding demonstrations and walkouts.

The reform project includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030, requiring at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension.

*Umit Donmez in Paris contributed to this story.

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