Emmanuel Macron evacuated from theatre as protesters try to find him

Maya Oppenheim
French president Emmanuel Macron arrives at an airbase in Boulay-les-Barres near Orleans, France: REUTERS

Emmanuel Macron was evacuated from a Parisian theatre as dozens of demonstrators tried to get inside the building to find him.

Critics of the French president’s pension reforms assembled at the Bouffes du Nord theatre on Friday evening where Mr Macron was seeing a play with his wife Brigitte Macron.

Protesters overrode police efforts to block them going into the building and managed to storm inside as they chanted “Macron, resign!” and “We are here, even if Macron does not want us, we are here”.

The president and his wife were watching a play called La Mouche, which translates as The Fly in English, when Taha Bouhafs, an activist journalist who was sitting several rows behind, shared pictures on Twitter.

Mr Bouhafs jokingly asked his social media followers if he should hurl his shoes at the president – a reference to the Iraqi journalist who made headlines worldwide for throwing his shoes at former US president George W Bush back in 2008.

The journalist said: “I’m kidding ... the security is looking at me weirdly right now.”

Mr Bouhafs was arrested and transported to a police station but it is not known if he was taken into custody, reports France24.

Mr Macron reportedly came back to the theatre to see the performance after being whisked away in a car.

The saga took place on on the 44th day of strikes against the French government’s controversial plans to change the nation’s pension system and comes after visitors were blocked from entering the Louvre on Friday after those demonstrating against the overhaul obstructed entry to the museum.

Mr Macron has been caught up in an increasingly bitter dispute with the Labour unions since early December last year.

The French leader’s plans to centralise the country’s retirement scheme into a points-based structure would benefit some workers but hurt others.

French trade unions have blocked ports, disturbed power production and staged transport strikes.