France strikes turn violent, as police clash with protesters

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1:22 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Protests continue as darkness falls

From journalist Antoine Crouin in Paris

A 52-year-old metro driver, who went by the name of Robert, told CNN that it's "not a pleasure" to be protesting on Thursday because he's "losing money," but said it was an important message to be part of.

We are fighting for our pensions and if we need to close the metro for a long time, we will."

Here are a couple of pictures after the sun set in Paris:

Two protesters stand next to a fire in Paris.
Two protesters stand next to a fire in Paris. ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters gather near the "Triomphe de la Republique" statue among flares.
Protesters gather near the "Triomphe de la Republique" statue among flares. AFP via Getty Images
France scrambled to make contingency plans for the strike against pension overhauls.
France scrambled to make contingency plans for the strike against pension overhauls. ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP via Getty Images

12:02 p.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Demonstrators head east to Place de la Nation

Protesters in Paris are moving in droves towards Place de la Nation -- which lies on the eastern side of the French capital.

As of 5 p.m. (11 a.m. ET), police had detained 87 people for questioning.

11:45 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Live from Paris as police clash with protesters

CNN Correspondent Melissa Bell is live in Paris. Watch the stream below to follow what's going on and find out more about why tens of thousands of workers across France are on the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to overhaul the pension system:

11:28 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

"We'll be here until the end of the night," protester tells CNN

From journalist Antoine Crouin in Paris

Protesters in Paris are now at Place de la République. Eventually, their plan is to move down Boulevard Voltaire towards Place de la Nation.

Currently they're gathered around the statue in the center of the square -- which is of Marianne, a symbol of the French Republic.

"We'll be here until the end of the night," one protester, who went by the name of Charles, told CNN.

Protestors gather around a statue at Place de la République which represents Marianne, a fictional woman who represents the French Republic since the revolution.
Protestors gather around a statue at Place de la République which represents Marianne, a fictional woman who represents the French Republic since the revolution. Antoine Crouin

10:57 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

In pictures: Protests start to turn violent in Paris

From journalist Antoine Crouin in Paris

Violence has started to break out at Place de la République in Paris, as black-clad protesters began setting objects on fire and throwing bricks.

Police responded by firing tear gas towards demonstrators and blocking streets.

Here are some pictures from the scene:

Clashes between police and demonstrators break out.
Clashes between police and demonstrators break out. Antoine Crouin
A protester rips up bricks from a sidewalk in Paris.
A protester rips up bricks from a sidewalk in Paris. Antoine Crouin
Police pin down a protester after hurling tear gas at demonstrators.
Police pin down a protester after hurling tear gas at demonstrators. Antoine Crouin
Demonstrators overturn a container in Paris
Demonstrators overturn a container in Paris ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI/AFP via Getty Images
Police have asked protesters to move along to Place de la République.
Police have asked protesters to move along to Place de la République. Antoine Crouin

10:26 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Paris police fire tear gas

From journalist Antoine Crouin in Paris

Police deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters.
Police deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters. Antoine Crouin

French police have deployed tear gas near Paris' Place de la Republique in a bid to disperse demonstrators.

It comes after radical protestors, clad in black, set trash cans on fire and hurled objects at riot police. Chants of "Macron, resign!" echoed along Boulevard de Magenta.

A trailer was also set ablaze and CNN witnessed a protester climb a gate and destroy a security camera.

As of 3:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET), police had detained 71 people for questioning and carried out 9,350 preventative checks.

A protester, clad in black, destroyed a security camera.
A protester, clad in black, destroyed a security camera. Antoine Crouin

10:08 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Paris police order businesses to close

Police officers block the Place de la République. Photo: Antoine Crouin
Police officers block the Place de la République. Photo: Antoine Crouin

The Paris Police Prefecture has ordered all business owners -- including premises serving alcoholic beverages and restaurants located on Boulevard de Denain, Boulevard de Magenta, Place de la Republique, Boulevard Voltaire and Place de la Nation -- to shutter until the conclusion of the protests on Thursday.

Officials also reminded owners that the protection of their businesses from damage or theft falls to them.

9:49 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

People are marching in multiple French cities

Paris' famed boulevards continue to fill with people but it isn't the only French city where mass demonstrations are taking place today.

Marseille

Firefighters lay on the ground as they take part in a demonstration to protest the proposed pension overhauls, in Marseille. Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images
Firefighters lay on the ground as they take part in a demonstration to protest the proposed pension overhauls, in Marseille. Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images
Also in Marseille, dockers march with smoke bombs in hand. Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images
Also in Marseille, dockers march with smoke bombs in hand. Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP via Getty Images

Rennes

Scores of protesters demonstrate in Rennes, western France on Thursday. Photo: David Vincent/AP
Scores of protesters demonstrate in Rennes, western France on Thursday. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Bayonne

Police officers joined protests Thursday outside Bayonne police station with a banner reading: "We are attached to our police." Photo: Bob Edme/AP
Police officers joined protests Thursday outside Bayonne police station with a banner reading: "We are attached to our police." Photo: Bob Edme/AP
Members of France's CGT union hit the streets in Lyon. Photo: James Colburn/ZUMA Wire
Members of France's CGT union hit the streets in Lyon. Photo: James Colburn/ZUMA Wire

Lyon

9:33 a.m. ET, December 5, 2019

Macron says he is “calm and determined” in the face of protests

From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell in Paris

A woman in Marseille holds a placard picturing Macron with the word "the fall." Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty Images
A woman in Marseille holds a placard picturing Macron with the word "the fall." Photo: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrations are taking place in several French cities Thursday but they are not throwing the French President off.

Emmanuel Macron is “calm and determined” in the face of the strikes and mass protests, according to a spokeswoman with the Elysee Palace.

As of 2 p.m. (8 a.m. ET), police had detained 65 people for questioning and carried out 6,476 preventative checks in Paris.

CNN’s Melissa Bell describes the atmosphere at the Paris march as “enthusiastic” and “electric."

The CGT trade union earlier announced that Paris transport operator RATP will prolong its strike until Monday, severely impacting transport in the capital.