(Paris) Opponents of the pension reform are demonstrating again everywhere in France on Tuesday, for a tenth day of high-risk action with “ significantly more ” young people upset against an inflexible government, and an “ unprecedented” security system.
“ Macron explosion ”: in front of the Lycée Montaigne, in Paris, anger is mounting against the Head of State. A final year student, Oriane, 17, blocks this establishment in the beautiful neighborhoods with others “to put pressure on the government and show that young people are taking part in the fight”.
Here as elsewhere, the use of 49.3 to get the bill passed acted as a detonator. “It only added fuel to the fire”, says Alex, 16, in first class at the prestigious Thiers high school in Marseille.
Many other blockades of high schools and universities were reported, from Avignon to Le Havre, from Lille to Bordeaux.
Even middle school students are getting into it, like those from Berthelot in Montreuil (Seine–Saint-Denis), where Arsène, 11, in 6th grade, “ prefers to stay to demonstrate than to go back ” home, while one of his comrades hold up a sign “ Error 49.3, democracy not found ”.
Also in the demonstration in Rennes, Maëlys, 19, in the final year, expresses her concern: “ We are told that we are in a democracy, but we high school students, we are starting to no longer believe in it too much ”.
A youth whose mobilization is scrutinized like milk on the fire. The information anticipates “ a much larger presence of young people ” in the processions, according to a police source who predicts “ a doubling, even a tripling ” of their number compared to previous mobilizations.
In total, the authorities are counting on 650,000 to 900,000 demonstrators in nearly 200 cities, including 70,000 to 100,000 in Paris, where the procession will connect in the afternoon the place of the Republic to that of the Nation.
“The mobilization is still just as important”, with “a lot of young people” in the processions, confirmed from Clermont-Ferrand the leader of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, who sees in it “the proof that the movement is not running out of steam”.
To “find a way out” of the social crisis, the number one of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, called on France Inter on Tuesday to set up “mediation” without waiting for the decision of the Constitutional Council, which must decide on ‘here three weeks on the bill.
A proposal immediately dismissed by Olivier Véran: “ We do not necessarily need mediation to talk to each other”, declared the government spokesperson, who emphasized the “ illegitimate violence ” on the sidelines of the demonstrations.
Fearing “very significant risks of disturbing public order”, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has planned an “unprecedented security system”: 13,000 police and gendarmes, including 5,500 in the capital, where “more than 1,000 radical elements” are expected.
After the clashes during the last demonstrations, then the clashes around the Sainte-Soline basin during the weekend, many are worried about the ambient “chaos”.
On the ground, opposition to the reform remains strong. Morning road blockages were reported in Rennes, Caen and Lille, among others. Rail traffic is also disrupted, with three out of five TGVs and one out of two TERs on average, according to the SNCF.
Difficulties also in Parisian transport, where the RATP has reduced traffic on most metro and RER lines. On the surface, 7,300 tons of waste still litter the sidewalks of the capital. Ditto in Marseille, where garbage cans overflow into the wealthy districts of Prado and Boulevard Périer.
In Education, the ministry identified at midday just over 8% of striking teachers.
Inconvenience assumed by the unions, which continue to demand the withdrawal of the reform and its flagship measure: the postponement of the legal age from 62 to 64 years old.
At the Élysée, where Emmanuel Macron received the executives of the majority and the government on Monday, the Head of State nevertheless said he wanted to “ continue to reach out to the union forces ” on other subjects, according to a participant.
A dialogue of the deaf which risks adding tension, when the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, intends on the contrary “ to bring appeasement ”.
The left, by the voice of several of its tenors, including the leader of the PCF Fabien Roussel, on the contrary accused Tuesday Emmanuel Macron of “ playing the decay ” of the social movement.