after 49.3, unions call for rallies this weekend
In the wake of the use of 49.3 by Elizabeth Borne, the inter-union called on Thursday for new rallies this Saturday and Sunday, to continue the protest against the pension reform and denounce the government’s forced passage.
They don’t intend to let the pressure drop. The unions are planning “local local rallies” this weekend to continue the protest against the unpopular pension reform, which has triggered, since the use of 49.3, two motions of censure in an attempt to overthrow the government and mobilizations everywhere in France.
The inter-union called on Thursday, in the wake of Elisabeth Borne’s appeal to article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a text without a vote, except for a motion of censure, to rallies this Saturday and Sunday, as well as a 9th day of strikes and demonstrations on Thursday 23 March.
The SNCF unions are calling on them to “maintain the renewable strike” started on the 7th and “to act massively” next Thursday.
The 49.3 was felt “like an insult. We haven’t been listened to for weeks, it generated a lot of anger,” Philippe Melaine, SVT teacher at a public high school in Rennes, told AFP. more than 2,000 people marched on Friday, including several hundred high school students.
Friday evening, several thousand people gathered in the evening at Place de la Concorde, in Paris, a few hundred meters from the Assembly. A fire blazed, lit by demonstrators, and the atmosphere became tense at nightfall, according to AFP journalists.
Hundreds of people clashed with the police in small groups, throwing projectiles. Around 9:30 p.m. the place was completely evacuated. According to the police headquarters, 61 people were arrested there in the evening.
In Strasbourg, it was on Place Kléber that 1,600 protesters gathered. “We too will go through in force,” chanted the demonstrators. The prefecture reported “degradation” in the city center, but no arrests.
In Lyon, demonstrators burst into a district town hall and lit a fire, but the police quickly put it out and arrested 36 people, according to the prefecture.
Also in Lyon, a few hundred young people set fire to garbage cans, overturned scooters, smashed billboards, threw firecrackers and tagged shop windows, chanting: “Whose is it? Whose is it? It’s ours !”, according to an AFP journalist on the spot. The police responded by using tear gas.
Motion of “transpartisan” censure
A thousand people marched in the center of Lille and a procession of a few hundred demonstrators dispersed smoothly in Bordeaux.
The motions of censure should be examined in the National Assembly on Monday from 4 p.m., according to parliamentary sources.
In this climate of crisis, the small group Libertés, Indépendants Outre-mer et Territoires (Liot) filed a “transpartisan” motion of censure co-signed by elected officials from Nupes. The latter is more likely to be voted on by right-wing MPs unfavorable to pension reform. But the absolute majority bar to bring down the government seems difficult to achieve.
>> To read on France 24.com: Liot, the small parliamentary group that hopes to bring down the government
This Liot group, which has 20 deputies from various political tendencies, thus finds itself in a pivotal position.
The National Rally filed its own motion of censure. “And we will vote for all the motions of censure presented,” said MP RN Laure Lavalette.
Blocking of the Paris ring road, Toulon or Bordeaux stations, strike at the Opéra de Lyon, demonstrations… opponents of raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 have resumed the fight sporadically Friday, most often at the initiative of the CGT.
In Bordeaux, on the rails or on the station platforms, waving their flags in the colors of the main unions, 200 people shouted: “Anger is rising”.
“The 49.3 has tensed everyone,” said Rémi Vinet, general secretary of the CGT Cheminots in Bordeaux, predicting that the strike would “spread to other sectors”.
The CGT also announced the shutdown of the TotalEnergie refinery in Normandy this weekend.
Dispatched to the morning TV and radio mornings on Friday, government heavyweights tried to put out the fire. “We have a vocation to continue to govern,” said spokesman Olivier Véran. Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt refused to present the use of 49.3 as “a failure”.
But for the secretary general of the CFDT Laurent Berger, if President Emmanuel Macron wants to “extinguish the fire” of social anger, he must “withdraw the reform” or “do not promulgate it.
Thursday, 310 people had been arrested in France, including 258 in Paris, announced the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin denouncing “burnt effigies” in Dijon and “targeted prefectures”.