(Paris) Up to 1.5 million demonstrators expected by the unions throughout France for a “historic” and “festive” May Day: the inter-union intends to show on Monday that it is not giving up the fight against the reform retreats, even if the strategies could quickly diverge on the continuation of the movement.
“I think we will have hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, maybe a million or a million five”, estimated Sunday the number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, recalling that there were “300 assembly points” . The authorities are counting on 500 to 650,000 people throughout the territory, including 80 to 100,000 in Paris.
The first processions set off in the morning in Toulouse, Amiens or Mulhouse.
“Even if the reform is enacted, there is something broken. People have come back up,” said Aimé Lekoa, 47, general secretary of the health and social section of the CFDT in Lyon.
“ This workers’ day takes place in union unity and that alone is historic”, rejoiced the secretary general of FO, Frédéric Souillot.
The last united parade with the eight main unions dates back to 2009, in the face of the financial crisis (the CGT had counted nearly 1.2 million demonstrators, the police 456,000). In 2002 (900,000 to 1.3 million people), the unions also united to “block” Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Air traffic promises to be very disrupted for the return of the long weekend, with 25 to 33% of flights canceled at the largest airports, disruptions which should continue at Orly on Tuesday.
In the capital, the procession will set off at 2 p.m. from Place de la République towards the Nation, with the announced presence of trade unionists from all over the world. The authorities are also expecting 1,500 to 3,000 “yellow vests” and 1,000 to 2,000 “at risk” individuals, according to police sources. 12,000 police and gendarmes will be mobilized, including 5,000 in Paris.
Asked on Sunday about the possible presence of “black blocs”, the number one of the CGT Sophie Binet considered that it was “ a problem”, while saying she was “worried” about “ the announcement of drones for securing processions “, judging that we are” on a dangerous slope “.
The administrative court of Rouen partially suspended on Sunday a prefectural decree providing for the use of drones in Le Havre. Two decisions are expected on Monday concerning Paris and Bordeaux.
“ The drones are also there to protect the unions ”, argued on RTL the prefect of police of Paris, Laurent Nuñez.
This May 1, which is the 13th day of inter-union mobilization against the pension reform, nevertheless comes after the validation of the main part of the text by the Constitutional Council and its promulgation in stride.
The unions are looking to two new dates: May 3, when the “ Sages ” will vote on a second request for a shared initiative referendum (RIP), and June 8, when a bill from the group of deputies Liot repealing the reform will be on the menu of the Assembly.
The political left will also be present in the processions. “Like nearly 70% of the French, the political forces of Nupes will not move on. The withdrawal of this reform is more than ever our objective”, promised LFI in a press release.
If in the street as in the polls the anger remains strong, in the government some want to believe “ that we have spent the brunt in terms of protests ” and that this May 1st “ can be the last stand of the interprofessional ” .
Emmanuel Macron gave himself “100 days of calm” and “action” on April 17 to relaunch his five-year term. Elisabeth Borne will send invitations to the unions “ in the coming days ”, according to the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, Monday on BFM-TV.
“We are entering a new phase marked by the need for healing and reconciliation”, pleaded the president of the MoDem, François Bayrou, on LCI.
Within the inter-union, differences are beginning to emerge, even if Frédéric Souillot assures “ there is not a gravel between us ”.
Already, Laurent Berger has announced that the CFDT “would discuss” with the Prime Minister if invited, while Sophie Binet recalled that the inter-union had planned to take the decision “together” Tuesday morning.