The pension reform protests in France grew to new proportions. Protesters have not allowed the government to silence them. On Thursday, over 100 people stormed BlackRock’s office in Paris and nearly burned it down. “The meaning of this action is quite simple. We went to the headquarters of BlackRock to tell them: the money of workers, for our pensions, they are taking it,” a protestor told a CNN affiliate. The protest was organized and the message was clear.
We have seen a slew of failed protests in America where groups without leadership burn down the private property of their neighbors and small businesses. We’ve seen protests divided over the wrong causes, such as the nurses’ strike that failed because some felt the leadership was not diverse enough. Some protests, such as the BLM movement, became so obscure that no one even knew what they were protesting. Here, the Parisians are not allowing government mismanagement to change their retirement plans. It may seem like a small sacrifice to those without pensions, who could not dream of even retiring in their 60s, but the problem is much deeper than a change in the retirement age.
Governments historically target the people, who they see as the disposable Great Unwashed, when their plans fail. The French government believes the people should make a sacrifice due to the steep budget deficit. Across the world, governments are taking more from their citizens. People are asked to suffer to promote the climate change agenda, eat less meat, drive less, and even refrain from heating their homes. Inflation has made the cost of living unsustainable but that has not prevented governments from raising taxes and asking for more while we receive less. Give an inch, and they’ll take a mile (or a kilometer in this instance). This is why effective government opposition is essential to sustaining our fundamental rights. They will take as much as possible if we allow it to happen.