Demonstrations, strikes… France has states that the state does not know

After the march, last Sunday in Paris, against the high cost of living and the climate inaction of the Nudes under the sign “more social justice”here is that “laborious” France puts the protest back in the streets by bringing down a number of union demonstrators there, this Tuesday, October 18, 2022.

The day of mobilization and interprofessional strike for a rise in wages without having been exceptional will all the same have attracted beautiful people in France, since some 107,000 people, according to the Ministry of the Interior, and 300,000 according to the CGT (organizer of this day with FO, Solidaires, the FSU and the youth organizations FIDL, MNL, UNEF and the High School Life demonstrated in the streets of France). In short, we will say that thousands of demonstrators pounded the pavement in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes and elsewhere, noting in passing the few customary incidents at this kind of event, particularly in Paris, with a few windows smashed by thugs and clashes between demonstrators dressed in black and the police.

The Ministry of the Interior reported eleven arrests in the capital of France and four others in the region. Nine law enforcement officers were “slightly injured” including eight in Paris, according to Place Beauvau. In the capital precisely, the procession was strong with more than 70,000 demonstrators according to the CGT. In Marseille, 2,200 people demonstrated according to the police. They were 2,200 in Lyon according to the prefecture. Mobilizations of 1,000 to 3,000 people, according to estimates by unions and the authorities, were also observed in Strasbourg, Martigues, Le Havre, Montpellier and Rennes. The CGT counted 4,000 people in Nantes and 7,000 in Bordeaux.

In Paris, the movement was little followed in transport, and 23% of strikers were recorded in vocational high schools. The Ministry of Education announced a rate of strikers of 5.67%, climbing to 22.94% in vocational high schools, mobilized against the reform wanted by the government. About thirty high schools have been blocked, or 1.6% of establishments according to the ministry, in particular in Paris. In the state civil service, 5.04% of strikers were counted at midday. In transport, the strike was moderately followed at the RATP, where the movement should not be renewed tomorrow Wednesday, according to the CGT.

On the SNCF side, despite disturbances in the Paris region, the network did not encounter any major traffic problems. As for the fuel crisis, the CGT was to decide this Tuesday evening on the continuation of the movement in the four refineries of TotalEnergies completely stopped. The other three refineries in the country, operated by Esso-ExxonMobil and the Petroineos group, have been operating since their takeover. The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, reported a “significant improvement” as for fuel supplies, with less than 25% of service stations now out of stock, instead of a third the day before.

Before the departure of the procession, the number one of the CGT Philippe Martinez pleaded for “an Orsec plan” on wages and promised “follow-ups” to this movement, considered “stronger” than during the last day of action of the September 29 in view of the number of professional fields called to stop work. In addition to the subject of wages and the requisitions of strikers, other ingredients stir up social anger, the prospect of a 49.3 – probably Wednesday, according to government spokesman Olivier Véran – to have the budget adopted in the Assembly, the forthcoming tightening of unemployment benefit rules and the pension reform expected by the end of the year. It’s hot !

In France, social tensions which have never been so high as in recent years have various sources. They are either of an economic order with the stagnation of income and the increase in expenses, especially in the face of the high cost of living in these times of crisis (Covid and Ukrainian conflict, etc.), and of a social order with the rise of certain forms of precariousness. Also, the French taking to the streets are only expressing resentment both vis-à-vis the policy pursued by the government and with regard to the economic system. The rulers are not immune to unpopularity in this context of social unrest.

This has also been verified at the ballot box recently, when Emmanuel Macron was elected only by default with the rise of the far right and the unified left. The Legislatives, which followed, confirmed the deterioration of the social situation. The Macron government will have every interest with the discontent movements which are only beginning to increase social benefits while refocusing them on the most modest people and in particular towards this France-Yellow Vests. The macronie has reached its limits both in terms of costs and effectiveness and it only contributes to segmenting the country and fueling frustrations or resentments.

Previous Post Next Post