The Paris orchestra from Opera Bastille played a free concert at Place de la Bastille in Paris on Tuesday, after almost a month of silence since the musicians joined the nationwide strike against planned pension reform. The musicians indulged the audience in Hector Berlioz's 'Damnation of Faust' and Prokofiev's 'Dance of the Knights,' from Romeo and Juliet. Footage shows protesters holding banners reading: "Endangered culture," and "Paris Opera on strike." "Our culture minister didn't even respond [to] a letter that Philippe Jordan (Paris Opera music director) wrote [to] him. They asked him and (ballet dancer) Aurelie Dupont to be able to speak with the government, it was rejected. So they don't want to talk, they just want to impose a reform, that we don't want. Nobody wants it," said Emilie, a Paris Opera violinist. Andre, a protester, promised that the protesters "are not ready to stop." The musicians have been on strike since December 5.
Violence broke out during the 24th day of the pension strike in Paris on Saturday, which coincided with the 59th consecutive week of Yellow Vest protests. Footage shows riot police firing tear gas and using their batons on the Ruptly producer at the scene, as huge swathes of protesters took over the streets in the French capital. Several lay injured as protesters from several public sectors, including the transport sector, brought Paris to a standstill. Macron's government is aiming to introduce a universal pension system, but trade unions say that this will result in millions of private sector workers having to work beyond the legal retirement age in order to get a full pension. The reform will see many workers retire at 64 rather than the current 62 to earn their full pension. Talks between the government and unions are set to resume on January 7.