Earlier, around 200 mostly young people had gathered outside the police station in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, where two students had been arrested in the morning. Around fifteen university sites were blocked and around twenty others occupied across the country on Friday, according to the student association L'Alternative.
Some schools were also blocked in Paris on Friday. "We managed to mobilize all the students. It really shows that there is a consensus," said 16-year-old Nina from one of the blocked high schools in Paris.
The wave of strikes does not stop either: According to the French air traffic control authority (DGAC), 30 percent of all flights in Paris-Orly and 20 percent of all flights in Marseille-Provence will be canceled on Monday due to the air traffic controllers' strike.
The four trade unions of the French railways SNCF called on Friday to "continue" the strike that began on March 7 and "to take massive action on March 23" to oppose the pension reform. They also called on rail workers to launch "coordinated actions in all areas beginning this weekend" in response to President Emmanuel Macron's announcement that pension reform would be passed through a special article in the constitution without a vote in parliament.
The pension reform provides for a gradual increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years. In addition, the minimum pension is to be raised to EUR 1,200 for a full contribution period and the employment of senior citizens is to be promoted.