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Since mid-January, the streets of Paris have become the scene of fervent protests following the bill extending the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.

Gladpow, (Collage d’après : Jean-François Millet, Des Glaneuses, huile sur toile, 1857), mars 2013, Rue Amelot © @gladpow 

In addition to the two-year increase in the legal retirement age, the controversy over the pension reform stems from the utilisation of Article 49.3 by the prime minister. 49.3 is an article of the French law which only the prime minister can use to pass a law, thus depriving the deputies of the national assembly of their voting power.

Unknown artist, 49.3 Raisons d’être en colère, Paris XIIIe, mars 2023 © Marie le Palec ; Mifamosa, 49.3, mosaïques, Limoges, 2023 © @mifamosa 

This reform provoked numerous protests that are expressed through strikes and demonstrations. Under the impetus of the trade unions organisations, systematic strikes have taken place in various sectors such as public transportation and hygiene and environmental professionals.

Bienplacé, « Poubelles la vie », march 2023, Paris © @_75flowers ; Unknown artist, « Collecte des Capitalistes », Paris XIIIe, 2023 © Marie le Palec

These strikes have profoundly impacted France and its capital. For several weeks, Parisians stumbled over the garbage piling up in the streets. 

Artist has also produced a series of works that use the mountains of trash cans abandoned by garbage men to transform them into monsters as terrible as ridiculous thanks to the addition of eyes and mouths.

Marcel Delaville, Monsters, Paris, 2023, © 

From the French Revolution to the Yellow Vests movement and the Commune, the streets of Paris are the favorite place for popular revolutions and social mobilisations. That is why protesters from all over France arrived in Paris to make their voices heard. This resulted in violent clashes between them and the police.

Unknown artist, Stencil « Lache une caiss, Gaze un CRS », Paris XIIIe, © Marie le Palec

To support this social movement against pension reform, artists mobilized. Artist , responsible for creating a sale for the benefit of the strike fund, create the banner «No Pasaran!» for a demonstration in the city of Cahors.

Nô, « No Pasaran! », Cahors, march 2023 © 

But also the mural «No Justice, No Peace» painted by the collective of committed artists Black Lines.

Itvan Kebadian, Bricedu Dub, « No Justice, No Peace », Paris XIXe, march 2023 © @blacklinebl

Urban artists are witnesses to the protesters’ demands, they use the walls and the streets as an exhibition space to express themselves.

Between two mural projects and under the supervision of the talented Thom Thom, the wall of 84 rue Amelot displays in all letters a French hashtag  as a support from the artists to the strikers #soutiendesartistesauxgrevites.

Thom Thom, #soutiendesartistesauxgrevistes, 84 rue Amelot, Paris XIe, march 2023 © @84amelot ; @thom_thom_2000

Artist MsBeja, who is not insensitive to puns, placards posters with a closed fist to highlight that the fight isn’t over yet ! 

Ms Beja, Stencils, Paris, 2023 © @msbeja_art ;

The French capital has been on fire since the beginning of 2023. Urban artists without much hesitation have stepped up to support the strikers.

Editor : Marie le Palec