MARSEILLE, France (AP) — French police say they arrested 13 people after gas and power meters were strewn Monday outside a government building in an unusual trade union demonstration against unpopular pension reforms.
The act of disobedience in the southern city of Marseille comes amid an uproarious climate of protest in France sparked by President Emmanuel Macron’s push to increase the French retirement age from 62 to 64.
Macron will address the nation on television on Monday evening.
Before his address, in a protest against the retirement changes, disused gas and electricity meters were dumped in front of a regional administration building in Marseille by striking energy workers, said Gilbert Benhamou, a former leader of the energy workers branch of the CGT union in the city, who was at the demonstration.
He said the strikers also let off a small firecracker.
Marseille-region police said there was a loud blast as the meters were being spilled and that a police officer on guard was hit by flying debris.
Police said officers then chased after a truck that dumped the meters, stopped it and arrested 13 people who were aboard.
The 13 are all CGT Energy union members who were striking against the pension reforms, Benhamou said in a phone interview.
Police say they are investigating.