French lawyers dance in protest to government pension reforms
Jiving for justice!?
French lawyers opted to express their anger at the government’s proposed changes to the pension system this week through the medium of dance.
In stark contrast to the comparatively reserved legal aid protests this side of the Channel, a group of robed up advocates plying their trade in the French city of Rouen opted to get their boogie on outside the local courtroom.
Lawyers from Rouen dance outside the courthouse in protest against the governments pension reform #GreveGenerale #Greve22janvier #France #Macron #reformedesretraites
— nonouzi (@Gerrrty) January 22, 2020
The unusual protest is in response to the French government’s plans to streamline the country’s complex pension system, merging 42 individual systems into one universal points-based system, and ending a special retirement system for lawyers and others who work in the legal sector.
Thousands of French legal workers have downed tools in recent weeks, with videos on social media showing lawyers throwing their robes on the floor, carrying a ‘coffin of justice’ and spelling out ‘SOS’ with law books.
En grève dure depuis une semaine, les avocats du Barreau de #Marseille déposent leurs robes et annoncent le dépôt de 300 demandes de mise en liberté. pic.twitter.com/ivek3xrjBz
— Christophe Casanova (@Telesantaclub) January 13, 2020
This isn’t the first time the country’s lawyers have taken to the streets to have their voices heard. Planned cuts to legal aid in 2015 triggered angry clashes between lawyers and riot police outside a courthouse in Lille. Meanwhile, in 2014, lawyers constructed a makeshift wall using their hefty practitioner’s texts to block access to a court in Nantes.