An independent count put at least 14,000 people protesting in Paris

“Resistance! », “We are here even if Macron doesn’t like it! » : At least 14,000 people protested in Paris on Saturday, January 21, after a bill to postpone the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 was to be submitted to the Cabinet on Monday. A media conglomerate, incl the world According to a police source, the demonstrators numbered around 12,000, and the organizers estimated the number of participants at 150,000. ” Walk against dear life Organized by the “rebels” last October, it filtered down 140,000 according to the incitement, 30,000 according to the police.

The youth-led march, but involving all generations, took place without significant incident between the Places de la Bastille and Place de la Nation. We were a far cry from the mass seen during the day on Thursday, which brought together 1.2 to 2 million demonstrators across France, according to estimates by the Interior Ministry or the General Confederation of Labor (CGT).

Young people are afraid “Decreasing number of jobs”, explained Noemi Stigan, representative of the Federation of Free and Democratic High Schools (FIDL). More broadly, they want to “Stop this anti-social act” The statutory retirement age should be extended to 64. “We are agitated, we want to fight it, we want to say we will not be the sacrificed generation”Zoé Lorioux-Chevalier, a member of Generation, said before the procession left.

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Jean-Luc Mélenchon “curses” Emmanuel Macron

The procession left the Place de la Bast at 2:15 p.m. Later, police conducted 1,700 searches and arrested three people for possession of prohibited weapons, Paris police headquarters announced.

“Revolt” leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon expressed his anger at Emmanuel Macron: “Cursed for wanting to commoditize our entire existence (…), Dirty it all, spoil it all, reduce it all, measure it all », he told the crowd during a harangue. According to the former presidential candidate, the legal retirement age cannot be raised “One person does not work”. “More unemployed, more sick and above all less life”He pleaded. “The key to the future is not to produce more, but to be more expendable. But to produce better, to do that, you have to work less.He further argued.

Olivier Besancenot, spokesman for the New Anti-Capitalist Party, called out the protesters “General Strike Activists”. “We’re going to block the community, we’re going to freeze the economy.”He chanted, while the Bill will be tabled in the Cabinet on Monday. “Something is happening, something similar to past mobilizations where we are winning”Mr Besanso assured.

François Ruffin (LFI) to complement the amount, “You have to expand, expand, expand. For young people, for “yellow vests,” for single mothers, for entrepreneurs. (…). Let the river overflow”.

Don’t “blame” unions

However, despite doing well, it did not succeed. Mr. The movement, founded by Mélenchon, rallied behind ten youth organizations that were too timid to organize this demonstration.



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“We realized that young people want to put themselves forward, they are worried first”, Mr. Juravar explained. The latter admitted that LFI also knows it needs to show its credentials to unions. “crushed” The date was announced to them beforehand: “We were very careful and a few days after the announcement on the 19th, we increased our contact for the 21st.

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This did not stop CGT General Secretary Philippe Martínez from insisting on BFM-TV: “Now is not the time for separation. Given Thursday’s mobilization, everyone understood what the important date of the week was. »

“Our role is to support all mobilizations.”, the vice president of Val-de-Marne Louis Boyard, responsible for youth at LFI, allowed during a press conference on Saturday. Before getting angry: “Can’t you see that the youth are in a great dilemma? This is the only subject we want to talk about today. “It is not a question of competition between mobilizations, it is complementary.”Eléonore Schmitt, the spokeswoman for L’Alternative, insisted.

The Head of State shows his determination

France’s National Union of Students (UNEF), the main student union, did not participate in the demonstration; Its president, Imane Ouelhadj, wanted to “A united trade union front to organize the struggle as widely as possible”. And, unlike the march on October 16, the left-wing coalition of the New People’s Environmental and Social Union (Nupes) does not support the initiative: ecologists, the Communist Party (PCF) and the Socialist Party (PS) believe. , in this case, we should leave the unions to their own devices.

Emmanuel Macron, who ignored the tax imposed on his government to avoid a chinlock, recalled from Barcelona (Spain) on Thursday evening that democracy means respecting the legitimacy of his election. No matter how big the controversy. “We have to do this reform.”He began: “I made it clear during the campaign [présidentielle]. »

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Even if some of his constituents hired him to fend off the far right. “It seems to me that I opposed Marine Le Pen because the French chose me to be in the second round. “It doesn’t mean that all the people who voted for you really voted in the second round. [approuvent]. (…) But a first lap kept me going. We cannot act as if the election did not happen a few months ago.He insisted.

This argument by the head of state contradicts his past statements. “I know that many of our comrades voted for me not to support the ideas I hold, but to block the views of the extreme right.He said on the evening of his re-election on April 24, 2022. I know this vow binds me for years to come.. After nine months, put it in place “Confirmation”President warned.

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