The unions called on the President of the Republic on Saturday to "consult the people" on the pension reform, during a seventh day of action which mobilized significantly less than the previous six and at the start of a decisive week. where the government hopes to see the reform definitively adopted.
The Ministry of the Interior counted 368,000 demonstrators in France, including 48,000 in Paris, less than February 16, the day that has mobilized the least since the start of the protest on January 19. The Interior then announced 440,000 demonstrators, including 37,000 in Paris.
The CGT counted more than a million demonstrators, including 300,000 in Paris, against 1.3 million, including 300,000 in Paris on February 16. The count made in Paris by the cabinet Occurrence for a group of media, including AFP, amounts to 33,000.
In the provinces, the figures were almost everywhere down from the 16th: for example 10,000 in Toulouse according to the authorities (against 14,000 in mid-February), 2,350 in Saint-Etienne (against 4,450).
The secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, recognized before the start of the Paris demonstration a smaller crowd than on March 7, when the mobilization had been historic everywhere in France, but the determination is "strong", he said. assured.
A new day of demonstrations, the 8th, is scheduled for Wednesday, in parallel with the meeting of the joint joint committee, during which deputies and senators could agree on a text, before a final vote in stride in both chambers. .
"I implore those who run this country to get out of this form of denial of the social movement", said Mr. Berger, expressing the "stunned" activists at the decision of the President of the Republic not to receive the union representatives, as they solemnly requested in a letter on Thursday.
In a press release on Saturday evening, the inter-union denounced the "contempt" of Emmanuel Macron, and challenged him "to organize a citizen consultation (on pensions) as soon as possible".
"Since he is so sure of himself, the President of the Republic, he only has to consult the people. We will see the response of the people", declared the secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez.
The leader of rebellious France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, reacted to this proposal by recommending from Marseille "that we go to a consultation of the people themselves so that we can decide". "We have to find a way out, so we will find one by force," he also said.
The Parisian procession, between the Place de la République and the Place de la Nation, was quickly enamelled with tensions: throwing of projectiles at the police, burnt bins, stoned windows ... At 6:30 p.m., 32 people had been arrested.
When the demonstrators arrived at the Place de la Nation, tensions arose between the CGT security service and radical activists, and the police intervened to separate them, noted the journalist from the AFP. The procession and the CGT truck were "targeted by radical elements", said the police headquarters.
Tensions also erupted in Lyon, Rennes and Nantes.
In the processions, the demonstrators were always determined: "They tell us bump and die, we say long live the strike", we heard them chant in Paris.
"We keep hope", assured Philippe Anselme, 65, retired who came with his wife to demonstrate in Bordeaux, (3,400 demonstrators according to the prefecture, 18,000 according to the inter-union). "We may be in the last square of resistance, but we will be there," he promised.
The senators resumed Saturday morning the examination of the reform, before the ax of the end of the debates Sunday midnight.
If the reform should be voted on in the Senate, it seems uncertain that the government will manage to find a majority of deputies to approve the text and it could resort once again to article 49.3 (adoption without a vote), which would place it in a perilous political situation.
"The use of 49.3 for a bill that has not been discussed would be an unacceptable form of democratic blockage", warned Laurent Berger on Tuesday.
The use of this constitutional weapon could reinvigorate the mobilization of the street, and the renewable strikes still in progress in several key sectors: refineries, energy, waste collection, rail and air transport.
According to the town hall of Paris, there were 4,400 tonnes of uncollected waste in the capital on Saturday at midday, on the 6th day of the garbage collectors' strike (against 3,700 tonnes on Thursday). The mobilization of air traffic controllers caused flight delays on Saturday. In Lyon, they exceeded two hours on average, according to the specialized site FlightAware. Several dozen flights have also been canceled at several French airports.
According to an Elabe poll for BFMTV published on Saturday, 63% of French people approve of the mobilization against the reform, but 78% (14 points since March 3) nevertheless think that it will be voted on and applied.
03/11/2023 20:27:46 - Paris (AFP) - © 2023 AFP