Where does the “through the pans” challenge come from?
After Emmanuel Macron’s speech last Monday, François Ruffin urged the French to show their rejection of pension reform by reviving the popular protest movement: the “casseroles” that have deep and ancient revolutionary origins.
This act of opposition has its roots in France in 1832, when the French opposed the July Monarchy, pots in hand. It is not surprising that it is the hexagon, said to be the king in matters of revolution, that is the origin of this tradition of popular revolt. From then on, the saucepan or “casserole concerts” of banging those kitchen utensils together shake the calm of French nights as our revolutionary-minded fellow citizens mobilize from their homes against the government’s most criticized measures.
The French concept of making noise to be heard by senior leaders is spreading beyond our borders as it appeals to countries around the world. This is how cooking pot concerts are gradually emerging in all corners of the world. In 1961, for example, in the departments of Algeria, this Hullabaloo phenomenon rumbled among the Pied-Noirs, who continued to advocate the preservation of French Algeria. From their windows or balconies, they put on concerts in the middle of the night, with pots and pans banging loudly.
This phenomenon also spread across Europe in the 21st century, particularly in South America with Chile fighting against the inauguration of President Salvador Allende, in Africa and in Canada, where more than 70 cities demonstrated for the help of these metal paraphernalia in the 2012 student strike Quebec.
In France this metallic symphony is gaining momentum this year with the social movement against pension reform. After the phone call from François Ruffin, every Monday at 8:49 p.m. and 3 seconds, as a reminder to use 49.3 to approve this reform, the cacophony of cooking pots resounds on all television channels during the commercial break. Whistles, saucepans, kitchen utensils, the slogan “Macron resign”… Everything is used by the people to sing about their opposition and their revolt! On April 3, 2,000 people mobilized to riot in Nantes. Then, in response to the President of the Republic’s speech, 370 town halls and prefectures across France echoed with the noise of these kitchen appliances.
Also read: Presidential election 2027: will François Ruffin be a candidate?
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