On the tenth day of mobilization in France against the pension reform will take place this Tuesday afternoon, in a tense atmosphere, with 240 demonstrations throughout the country. The unions ask for “mediation” with the government, a stop street violence which threatens to plunge the country into a total crisis. A high-risk event. 1,000 radicalized protesters are expected to attend, many from outside France.
“We have to stop at the age of 64 and mediate,” asked Laurent Berger, leader of the moderate workers union CFDT.
He was joined by Philippe Martinez, the now former leader of the CGT, who announced that the inter-union will write to President Emmanuel Macron a proposal to resolve the social conflict. “Taking into account that the mobilization is not weakening, we have once again proposed to the government and, above all, to the President of the Republic to suspend his project and appoint a mediator,” said Martínez, who has just left his leadership.
Fear of black blocks
The government so far does not give in and fears this Tuesday an out-of-control mobilization taken over by the Black Bloc, which is even worse than last Thursday. In Paris alone 5,000 policemen will be deployed and 13,000 throughout the country, where some marches had already started previously.
Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin warns an “unprecedented” safety device. to frame demonstrations and avoid violence. The fear that the scenes of extreme violence will be repeated in Sainte Soline, in Deux Sevres, where five people were injured in a coma. Or violence like in the Grands Boulevards and at the Opera, where the clashes were brutal and ended in the destruction of stained glass windows, the burning of buildings and leaving Paris stunned by violence and fires.
The demonstration in Paris will start at the Place de la République and end at the Place de la Nation. The path seems armored in the 11th arrondissement of Paris: the merchants of boulevard Voltaire, where the original procession will pass so far, have covered their windows with metal structures to protect it from destruction.
Traders fed up with violence
Restaurants and boutiques fear the worst. Banks like the LCB and insurers look like a fortress. But those who fear the most are the small traders: those who have a small market or a kiosk, who protect themselves by lowering the metal curtain, in Voltaire and its surroundings.
Bars suffer just like restaurants. Parisians don’t go out out of fear to the processions but also to the wild demonstrations that arise at any moment.
“We are tired. First the Yellow Vests, then Covid, now the strikes. no one goes to the office. There are 9 million people in teleworking and they don’t consume,” explained Semroud Amara, manager of Chez Papa on Boulevard Voltaire.
The police warned him that “today will be terrible. They have already warned us. The tension will be terrible and there is a risk of a drama”, he adds.
Since Monday evening, the police have already been deployed in the most sensitive points along the route and adjacent streets. If the black blocks They manage to infiltrate at the head of the march, the procession slows down and is diverted to other roads to preserve the peaceful demonstrators.
The police fear the Black Block and young people, who they will be the majority in the march. High school students and students joined the movement. At least 60,000 are expected at the rally.
“The risk today is real. Anything can be produced. The fire risk is real and we have warned the traders,” warned Emmanuel Gregoire, first deputy in the Paris mayor’s office.
Anger spreads and it centers on President Emmanuel Macron. Union demonstrators want to demonstrate peacefully but believe that presidential stubbornness is at the origin of this quarrel, which leads to violence.
Macron met the Council of Ministers on Tuesday and said so “will continue to turn” to the unions. For them, maintaining order is the responsibility of the state and up to now they have mediated the protests by only showing violence and not just the demonstration marching peacefully.
“We will continue to protect peaceful protesters. What overflows, the vandals, the Black Bloc are the responsibility of the state. The unions displaced 400 people to guarantee our demonstration,” explained Laurence Escure, general secretary of the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions.
Ban Brav M
A petition to ask for the elimination of Brav M, the brigade for the repression of motorized violent actions, reaches 100,000 signatures. It is made up of two policemen on motorcycles: one drives and the other shoots grenades or gas. It is not a unit for maintaining order but an invention of a former prefect during the conflict with the Yellow Vests, which serves to stop “casseurs” or vandals, which is now being used for radicalized demonstrations.
The brigade behaves brutally in the use of Mutilating grenades and repression. He leaves injured and mutilated in his interventions and his abuse of him has been recorded, which is being investigated. Specialists believe that they should be sent for retraining to the Saint Astiere gendarmerie training center.
The strike continues in France. There are canceled flights on Thursday and Friday. Reduced trains and subways. Tension started in Rennes, where firefighters were forced to leave under taunts when they wanted to put out a blaze by protesters.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.