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Labour Code: Seven Things to Remember on this Day of Action

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets Tuesday in France against the reform of the Labour Code. 223,000 people demonstrated according to the Ministry of Interior against 400,000 according to the CGT.

Satisfaction of the CGT

“This is a first successful that announcement” , said the leader of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, from the Paris demonstration. The union leader, at the initiative of mobilization with Solidaires, FSU and the UNEF, welcomed “the strong mobilization already in the province.  At noon we were more than 100,000 “.  According to the CGT, the number of protesters reached 60,000 in Paris alone. According to the prefecture, they were 24,000, slightly less than for the first anti-demonstration work on the 9th March in 2016, where she reported from 27,000 to 29,000 participants, while the CGT claimed 100,000.

The Eiffel Tower was open to visitors, but only up to the second floor, some of the staff being on strike.

Several Lycees in Paris and its suburbs have been partially or momentarily blocked by students, but without violence.

The day was also marked by strikes, with transportation disruptions.

Clashes in Paris




The Parisian procession marched at 2.20pm from Place de la Bastille to the Place d’Italie to the sound of a lively fanfare by showmen, some dressed as clowns.

The procession was stopped repeatedly by the police forces who countered the spray of projectiles using tear gas and a water cannon.

The police headquarters, which reported the presence in the procession of “300 hooded”, reported “some damage” including windows and billboards, and said they had made three arrests. They also reported one injury, among the demonstrators, who were taken to hospital.

Hamon, Laurent and Corbiere in the parade

In the crowd of demonstrators, politicians like Benoît Hamon, former PS candidate for president, and Pierre Laurent, national secretary of the PCF, and the rebellious MPs, including Alexis Corbière.  Under placards, President Emmanuel Macron was targeted for his remarks in which he promised not to yield “or the lazy or the cynical nor extreme”“The loafers are running”, it read, or “Macron, you’re screwed, loafers are in the street” .

Between 7,500 and 60,000 demonstrators in Marseilles

In Marseille, the prefecture has counted 7,500 demonstrators, organizers say there was 60,000. They were between 8,000 and 16,000 according to sources in Toulouse. In Le Havre, the City of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, police counted 3,400 protesters.

In Strasbourg, five French Socialist MEPs, including Edward Martin, former trade unionist Florange, who took part in the plenary session of the European Parliament, participated in the event.

The parades were disrupted in Lyon and Marseille by militants of anarchist and anti-fascist movement. In Lyon, police made two arrests. In Nantes , where there were between 6,200 (according to police) and 15,000 (according to the CGT) protesters, the police also carried out arrests.

Mélenchon wants to “roll back” the President

In Marseille procession, the leader of France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, promised to “roll back” the president because “this country does not want the liberal world” .

Capping allowances, merger of representative bodies in enterprises, reform of the account hardship, increased up to the company agreement: orders resumed several campaign promises of President Macron. If for employers, they will “unlock afraid to hire”, the unions see it as a word “liberal” in the wake of the highly criticized labour law.  But the trade union front is disunited. FO did not join in this protest against the Labour Code, contrary to the protests against the Labour law in 2016, but some of its activists decided to march. Just as some sections of the CFDT, CFE-CGC, CFTC and UNSA.

The inflexible government

The stakes are high for Emmanuel Macron, who hopes that this reform is going to “win the battle of mass unemployment”“We will,” he told the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, when Christophe Castaner, spokesman for the government, noted that “the social debate is measured not only on the streets and protest” .

Another planned mobilization September 21st

The sequence, however, is difficult for the president – visit Tuesday in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma – falling in the polls, remind political scientists.

The CGT has called for further mobilization on September 21, the eve of the presentation of the project by the Council of Ministers and two days before that of the Infidel France.

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