In France, the anger against the pension reform does not fall. This Saturday afternoon March 18, new gatherings took place in Paris. The mobilization was also very popular in the rest of the country.
In the capital, a rally started Place d’Italie from 18 hours. The ranks of the procession had grown considerably since the start. He was stopped short by the police who arrived in large numbers, reports our special correspondent, Amelie Beaucour. Garbage cans were set on fire, there was also some damage to street furniture. Gatherings at Place de la Concorde, as well as on the Champs-Élysées, had been banned by the Paris police headquarters.
Throughout France, rallies took place in large cities and in medium-sized towns. There were symbolic gestures, like Le Mans. Between 1 800 and 5 000 demonstrators threw rolls of toilet paper at the prefecture. Angry gestures, too. In Besançon, eastern France, a big fire was lit with a purpose : burn his electoral card.
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The forced passage of the pension reform in the Assembly by article 49.3 do not pass. In some cities, the demonstrators called to gather in front of the parliamentary offices of deputies. This is particularly the case in Brest, where the premises of the elected official Horizons, Jean-Charles Larsonneura member of the majority, had to be protected by the police.
In Nantes, the demonstrators want a radicalization
” Macron and the bosses, don’t touch to our pensions ! “, could we hear in the Nantes procession. For many opponents met in the city by our special correspondent Léo Hélaine, 49.3 was an electric shock and the traditional demonstration is no longer enough. ” Today, if we want to be heard, we no longer have a choice, we have to move up a gearbelieves Kévin, a peasant, who was present at a roadblock before the demonstration. Blocking actions like that, we see that this is what can be much more effective than major union demonstrations, so today, the 2nd half begins. There is like the specter of yellow vests. All of society agrees that today, if we don’t radicalize the movement, the government won’t budge. »
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This feeling is shared by Adrien and Nelly. Gag on the mouth and 49.3 mask on the head, they also want blockages, but no violence. “ Does it make sense to go and smash a shop? I’m not safe. On the other hand, it may make more sense to go and block in front of centers of power “says Nelly. “ We have to start attacking the economy more concretely and therefore blueoquer flows, warehouses, fuels “, resumes Adrian. This is what the CGT intends to do.
” We are not in favor of the demonstrations degenerating. What is called for, on the other hand, is radicalism in the workplace and therefore with blockages of the economy in one way or another “, says Fabrice David, secretary general of the CGT in Loire-Atlantique. What in particular by the strike in the 2nd total energy refinery of the country, not far from here. In Nantes, the demonstration was punctuated by some violence between demonstrators and the police: tear gas on one side, bottle throwing on the other.
Clashes between police and protesters
If the gatherings took place mainly in calm, they sometimes degenerated. Face-to-face meetings between police and demonstrators took place in Caen, Dijon, but also in Bordeaux. The shopping streets were invaded by a few hundred people.
Among the spontaneous demonstrations, in Marseille, in the south of France, the Saint-Charles station was briefly occupied. Everywhere in France, the demonstrators promise to continue the movement this Sunday.
On the strike side, the shutdown of the largest refinery in the country, the Normandy refinery of TotalEnergies, began on Friday evening. This operation will take several days and should not cause immediate fuel shortages at gas stations across the country. The PetroIneos refinery in Lavéra, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, could according to the CGT be shut down.
Rallies, blockages, barricades… The anger definitely does not fall against the government. In the National Assembly, Imotions of censure – filed by the independent group Liot and by elected representatives of the National Rally (RN) – will be debated and put to the vote on Monday from 4 p.m.
• Demonstrations, but also strikes throughout the country. Especially among garbage collectors. For several weeks, waste has been accumulating in the streets of Paris. Incinerators are blocked by strikers, as is the case in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in the Paris suburbs. In front of the factory, the workers are picketing, and intend to make the movement last. Report by Arthur Ponchelet.
It’s a tough job.
Garbage collectors on strike in Issy-les-Moulineaux