Diners at a French cafe could be seen casually enjoying a glass of wine next to a flaming pyre of garbage amid riots against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform.
The viral video, posted on TikTok, shows the outdoor seating area at the Place de la Victoire, in Bordeaux, where rioters set fire to the roads on Thursday, the most violent day of the protests.
While many looked on at the scene and others hurried away, one couple seated at the restaurant appeared to pay it little mind, focusing instead on their wine and conversation.
Another couple is then seen taking seats at the table next to them, with the woman nonchalantly placing her coat over her chair as she keeps her eyes glued to her phone and not the fire nearby.
Her male companion, however, appears to be more worried about the spectacle behind him, opting to move his chair so he could have a clear view of it.
Throughout the video, the fire could be seen flaring up at times and sending embers flying up high, but the diners remained unfazed.
The burning roads have become commonplace in the French region in recent days following Macron’s push to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 last week.
Macron’s administration controversially used executive power to adopt the pension reform without votes from elected representatives, sparking public outrage.
Protesters against the change previously set fire to Bordeaux’s historic town hall, as well as multiple police cars, with France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin attributing the acts of arson to “far-left” demonstrators.
French officials said Thursday was the most violent day of demonstrations since the start of the riots, with more than 450 people arrested.
Darmanin said that the slew of protests that erupted nationwide has left an officer and demonstrator critically injured, with at least 29 others suffering lighter injuries.
Other officials and protest organizers, however, estimate that hundreds have been injured in the demonstrations.
Macron has condemned the violence around his country and rejected claims of police brutality against protesters, saying his officers acted “in an exemplary manner.”
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