Tens of thousands of people marched across France on Sunday for May Day, amid the political climate between the June presidential and legislative elections. Trade unions and unions have called for greater social and environmental policy.
The processions were sometimes tense. At the official rally, student and high school student organizations joined the union with demands for wages, public services, social security and ecological change.
Pension reform is one of the points of tension on this day, which is “a little exceptional this year” because it comes a week after the re-election of Emmanuel Macron, underlined by the General Secretary-General of the Procession. CGT, Philippe Martinez, for whom the possibility of a new mobilization “before the start of the school year, because the level of dissatisfaction with pensions or salaries is very high”.
“We resolutely oppose it, and we want to say it, in any way to raise the retirement age,” said Yves Veyrier, the FO’s general secretary who was present at the protest.
“Politicians are playing their game in legislative elections. If we confront power we think it will happen through struggles (…),” said Solidarity leader Simon Doodle. According to Ansa, its deputy general secretary, Guilloh Trichard, stressed the problem of purchasing power “until the presidential election and the legislative elections.”
This has a particular meaning for the Left on May 1, and reaching an agreement for the Assembly elections is in a scattered line in the wake of difficult negotiations. Jean-Luc Mலlenchon (LFI), a stage speaker or Olivier Farrell (PS) was on the move when the Parisian procession moved.
Shortly after the procession began, there was tensions between the demonstrators and the police, police allegations and tear gas bombs, AFP journalist noted. A very mobile group of black-clad and masked protesters broke away from the main procession.
Broken windows were also found on the Boulevard Voltaire. According to an AFP reporter, nearly twenty brands, mostly McDonald’s, insurers, real estate agencies or banks, were damaged when the car broke down and the trash can caught fire.
In the slogans: “Zero police, more justice and medical personnel”, or “No repression, in all neighborhoods, in all regions”.
Elsewhere in France, protests rallied a few thousand people per city, for example 1,900 to 4,500 in Bordeaux or 1,500 to 2,500 in Strasbourg, depending on the sources. According to the CGT, a total of 255 assembly points are planned in the country.
In Rennes, a morning-organized demonstration was followed by a peaceful protest by nearly 2,000 people, but far-left activists later gathered in front of the town hall and police fired tear gas, the AFP reported.
In Nantes, far-left activists sought to lead the march. “They did a lot of damage and there was police intervention to disperse them,” the provincial council said. The AFP photographer noted that the windows of real estate companies were smashed. The police used tear gas bombs to retaliate to the protesters’ rocket attack.
At the call of the Never Again group, associations and voluntary organizations mobilized on environmental issues were also involved. Also foreign delegates (Kurds, Algerians …) were in Paris.
CFDT, France’s leading union, stands surprisingly unique in organizing a “climate promise on May 1”.
This article was automatically published. Sources: ats / afp
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