Protesters blocked a key highway around the French capital and escalated strikes at refineries on Friday (Mar 17) in a new show of anger after President Emmanuel Macron pushed through a contentious pension reform without a parliamentary vote.

Macron’s move sparked protests across the country on Thursday night, with more than 300 people arrested nationwide, according to the interior minister.

On Friday morning, some 200 protesters briefly blocked traffic on the ring road outside the capital.

Soumaya Gentet, 51, a CGT union member from supermarket chain Monoprix, said she was incensed and would continue to protest until the Bill was revoked.