After the activation, Thursday afternoon, March 16, of Article 49.3 of the Constitution by Élisabeth Borne to impose her pension reform, and before the vote on two motions of censure on Monday 20, the inter-union called for ” local local gatherings” everywhere in France this weekend of the 18th and 19th.
On Friday evening, the protest grew further with spontaneous rallies which sometimes degenerated. In Paris, several thousand people gathered in the Place de la Concorde, opposite the Assembly, the situation becoming tense at nightfall with the throwing of projectiles at the police who evacuated the place around 9.30 p.m. to 61 arrests.
Refineries threatened with blockage
1,600 people gathered at Place Kléber in Strasbourg shouting “We too, we will go through in force”, while in Lyon, demonstrators lit a fire in a town hall, which was quickly extinguished. A thousand people also marched in the center of Lille and a procession of a few hundred demonstrators dispersed smoothly in Bordeaux, according to AFP.
“We will not allow spontaneous demonstrations and anything,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin warned on RTL on Friday morning.
On the strike front, twelve unions representing 60% of teachers have called for a strike to monitor the anticipated baccalaureate exams which are due to begin on Monday, March 20.
The government threatens to carry out requisitions
And after the garbage collectors who renewed their movement until Monday, it is the refineries that are threatened. Those of Lavéra (Bouches-du-Rhône) and Gonfreville-l’Orcher (Manche) could be shut down this weekend or Monday, according to the CGT.
Industry Minister Roland Lescure hinted Saturday that the government could make requisitions. “We showed in the fall that we knew how to take our responsibilities, we will take them,” he told AFP, referring to the requisitions taken in the fall to unblock oil sites during strikes for the workers. wages.
The minister was critical of the leader of the CGT Bouches-du-Rhône Olivier Mateu whom he, without naming him, called “arsonist firefighter (who) tries to create panic, anguish so that people go to get gasoline and that suddenly we find ourselves potentially without”.
“The lack of response turned the protest into anger”
The candidate for the succession of Philippe Martinez at the head of the CGT during the congress which must begin in ten days, had advised Monday to “comrades who get up in the morning to go to work” to “stock up, because it is not going not last forever. “We are not calling for calm,” SUD-PTT also states in a leaflet.
While the protest against the pension reform had so far resulted in peaceful demonstrations, questions arise about the ability of the unions to contain social anger.
“The absence of any response from the executive in the face of this citizen expression, experienced as contempt, has gradually transformed the protest into resentment, even anger”, worried the national office of the CFDT on Friday.
The future of Elisabeth Borne at Matignon in question
“When we wrote to the President of the Republic to ask him to receive us, we ended on the risk of social explosion if we were not heard, recalled Friday evening on BFM the president of the CFTC Cyril Chabanier. This warning is coming true. »
“There is anger amplified by the government’s forced passage with 49.3”, continued the leader of the Christian union, acknowledging that “a somewhat radicalized minority is trying to transform this anger into violence”. “We will continue to organize rallies trying to ensure that these violent movements are as few as possible,” he concluded.
On the political level, while the future of Elisabeth Borne at Matignon is questioned even in the majority, Emmanuel Macron could speak in the coming days.