French President Emmanuel Macron narrowly avoided being heckled and booed by opponents of the controversial pension reform during a recent visit to a French region.
However, the battle against the president and his government shows no sign of abating, with protestors brandishing pots and pans as their weapons of choice.
Hoping to change the narrative and portray a population that favors the pension reform or, at the very least, understands why the legal retirement age needs to be raised from 62 to 64, Macron made his way to Ganges in southern France, where police were ordered to keep protesters away from the school he was visiting.
Despite this peacekeeping strategy, unions and other anti-reform groups remain determined to disrupt every presidential visit, their new tactic of “unwelcome committees” leading to interrupted visits and power cuts.
Macron’s public appearances before voters are intended to turn the page and show he is willing to engage with his critics, but the deep tensions created by his unpopular reform suggest that opposition may continue indefinitely.