Strike against the pension reform: more than a million French on the streets and afterwards?
The day of anti-pension reform demonstrations on Thursday, January 19, mobilized 1.12 million people, including 80,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry. In short, a successful day, which raises questions about the process.
More than a million demonstrators, strikes in schools, in the energy and transport sectors followed: the trade unions managed to mobilize vigorously against the pension reform this Thursday and have already announced a new day of action for the end of January.
If the CGT has nuanced these numbers and pushed “more than two million” people who have demonstrated in the country, it has totaled more than 200 demonstrations in Paris and the regions, the vast majority at rest, to push back the government. on his plan to raise the statutory retirement age from 62 to 64.
However, some clashes, tension or deterioration were reported in Paris, Lyon or Rennes. In the capital, police headquarters reported 44 arrests for carrying a prohibited weapon, contempt and rebellion, and throwing projectiles.
Protest is a fundamental right. It is the honor of the police and gendarmes to have allowed this right to be exercised in the best possible conditions throughout France.
— Gerald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) January 19, 2023
“Protesting is a fundamental right. It is the honor of the police and gendarmes to have allowed this right to be exercised in the best conditions throughout France,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin wrote on Twitter. On the police side, 10,000 police officers were mobilized in France, including 3,500 in Paris.
Regarding the protesters, nearly three in ten civil servants (29.5%) went on strike Thursday midday in the state’s civil service, which comprised 2.5 million civil servants, according to the Health Ministry.
The strike rate was 14.4% in the territorial civil service (just under two million employees) and 19.6% in the hospital public service (1.2 million employees).
A “just and responsible” reform for the President
Head of State Emmanuel Macron, from Barcelona, where he is currently traveling, also made exceptional comments on the internal situation in the country, in relation to the demonstration against the pension reform, which he considers “fair and responsible”.
“It is a fair and responsible reform, democratically presented and validated,” Emmanuel Macron said of the pension reform pic.twitter.com/KGQvQfS6AY
— CNEWS (@CNEWS) January 19, 2023
The reform, he assures us, was “democratically presented and confirmed” during the spring elections, which won him a second term but only a relative majority in the National Assembly.
Despite certain obstacles for the RN candidate Marine Le Pen during the elections, for Emmanuel Macron “the fact that things were also explained clearly and democratically” remains for Emmanuel Macron “we can neither pretend that there were no elections a few months ago ,” he pleaded.
In addition, during his speech, the security of the Élysée had to fetch a young man from the room who had written on his T-shirt: “No to your pension reform”.
a new meeting on 31
At the end of the day, the eight largest unions agreed to a new day of strikes and demonstrations against pension reforms to take place on Tuesday 31st January.
CGT Oil also expressed its intention to go on strike for 48 hours that day and 72 hours on February 6th. Another demonstration is also planned for Saturday in Paris, at the request of youth organizations and with the support of rebellious France.
The latter, however, will have to face a Borne government determined to redouble its efforts to defend its reform.