Photogallery – Paris, clashes and tear gas on the Place de la Concorde
Burnt effigy of Macron An effigy of President Emmanuel Macron was also burned on the square by the protesters. Tensions have also erupted in Bordeaux between protesters and the police. Tear gas was fired into the street and police charges were carried out. Tensions were also reported in Lille.
In the square of the guillotine La Concorde, where the silhouette of the guillotine stood out at the time of the Revolution, is now becoming a symbolic place of the revolt against the pension reform wanted by Emmanuel Macron: after the impromptu rally on Thursday evening to protest against the government’s decision to override parliament and the serious clashes that followed, the historic square has once again become the center of protest.
Retired at 64 (from 62) Groups of protesters, many young people, and more and more “yellow vests” gathered in the largest Parisian square. A few tens of meters away, on the other side of the Seine, is the highly armored Assemblèe Nationale, where the government has defied popular anger by taking the shortcut of “trust” to pass a law imposing an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old, disliked by 70% of the French.
Thursday already 300 stops Thursday’s flare-up of protests ended late at night with serious damage and more than 300 arrests across the country, 258 in Paris alone. But it seems only the beginning of another season of revolt and for this very reason the authorities appear concerned by the reappearance of many leaders of the “yellow vests” among the demonstrators.
The move of the oppositions On the political front, weapons are being sharpened for Monday’s clash, when the oppositions will try to optimize the last institutional opportunity they have left: bring down the government of Elisabeth Borne. Which, in its fall, would also drag the detested reform with it. For now, two motions of censure have been presented: one by Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National, which would not collect the votes of the left; the other – more strategic – by the small group of independent Liot deputies. The alliance of leftists, Nupes, also immediately signed it, with the consequent withdrawal of the motion of the Melinchonians of La France Insoumise, who desisted to direct maximum votes to that of Liot.
But the goal is difficult The objective remains very difficult, since even if Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Me’lenchon have all the votes, and adding a share of “disobedient” Rèpublicains to the top allied government, we remain quite far from the 287 votes needed: between 25 and 15 votes would be missing, according to the latest counts released by the Le Figaro website. On the ground, the union leaders have already declared another day of mobilization for Thursday 23 March, hoping to reverse the trend of recent weeks of declining participation.
Strike of garbage collectors, streets of Paris submerged in rubbish
The strikes to the bitter end The sectors in which the indefinite strike declared on 7 March is still working are above all those of urban sanitation (10,000 tons of garbage infest Paris, even if the precepts have started today) and that of energy. The CGT, one of the most important unions, has announced the shutdown of the TotalEnergies refinery in Normandy. The largest gas storage plant in Europe was also put out of service by the employees: the flow was reduced to 70,000 cubic meters per hour, “technically the minimum so as not to damage the machines”.
But transport works The rest, albeit with some inconvenience, continues to function, including transport which is traditionally the sector that brings the country to its knees and which this time has a strike rate that does not create too much inconvenience. Beyond the proclamations of the trade unions – up until now they have always remained a unitary bloc – Mèlenchon went beyond, “encouraging” the “spontaneous mobilizations throughout the country”. With the decision to override Parliament “we have achieved our objective – he increased the price – this text has no legitimacy, those who rebel are right”.