Various organisations will be protesting in France over the next two days

Climate, Police Violence, “Yellow Vests” … What you Need to Know about the Major Climate and Social Mobilisations of Friday and Saturday

General News

PROTESTS: Associations with various demands foresee massive mobilisations on March 15th and 16th. From yellow vests to environmental NGOs to undocumented collectives. And this time, they want to do (partly) common front

  • Two major climate mobilisations are planned this week in France. The global student strike at the call of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg on Friday, and the Walk of the Century, Saturday, opened this time to all.
  • In parallel, will also be held this Saturday, Act 18 “yellow vests” and solidarity marches in several cities in France to denounce police violence and “state racism.”
  • There are bridges between these climatic and social mobilisations, assure the organisers who will bring the proof this Saturday, in Paris, forming only a procession on a part of their course.

Solidarity march , act 18 of “yellow vests” , Walk of the century , global climate strike… There is enough to get lost between the multiple citizen movements planned for Friday and Saturday.

If these mobilisations have their own demands, their organisers also rely on their convergences, stressing “their common struggle against a system that destroys both the environment and the human when others seek to divide us,” says Valentin Prelat, of the Crid , one of the associations mobilised in the markets for Climate.

What will be the routes taken in Paris? How will the various processions interact? What is planned in the provinces? What mobilization to expect?

What are the claims of everyone?

  • The march of solidarity is organised this Saturday. Since 2018, she has been wedged between the International Day Against Police Violence on March 15 and the International Day Against Racism on March 21. At the initiative of families of victims of police violence and undocumented collectives, she intends to mark the connection between the two dates. This march denounces the police violence  and what its organisers call “state racism”.
  • Act 18 of the “yellow vests” . No need to present this social movement which is reflected every Saturday by demonstrations in France since mid-November. The starting point of the challenge was essentially the increase of taxation on road fuels. The claims have since expanded to demand greater social and fiscal justice. “Saturday, the group of” yellow vests “Ile-de-France calls a maximum of demonstrators to join the march of solidarity, says Adel, one of its representatives. There will be other mobilization actions planned in the capital Saturday, but this march will certainly be a highlight. “
  • The global climate strike It is she who will open the ball of demonstrations this Friday. This is the day long chosen by Greta Thunberg for his call for a “global strike” of high school students to demand a reinforcement of actions to fight against climate change. Since August, the Swedish teenager dries the courses each Friday to stand in front of the Swedish Parliament and recall the climate emergency to its political leaders. His approach was quickly copied by high schools and students around the world until reaching France, late in mid-February.

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  • The march of the century. It echoes the global climate strike, but the call is not just for young people. This mobilisation is organised by the collective Citizens for the climate already at the origin of the various marches for the climate organized last autumn after the resignation of Nicolas Hulot of his post of minister of the Ecological transition and solidarity. The name, “walk of the century” echoes the“Case of the century” , the petition to two million signatures launched by four NGOs last December and threatening to sue the French State for its climate inaction.



What will be the routes taken in Paris by these different events?

The global climate strike will leave the Pantheon at 1 pm on Friday to join the Invalides via Montparnasse, says Claire Renauld of YouthForClimateFrance. “But this day will not be limited to a walk,” she says. We call on high school students to leave school all day and boycott the debates that the Minister of Education is planning to hold in high schools on Friday afternoon. We will debate outside this framework, during the march and the Invalides. Claire Renauld also talks about non-violent civil disobedience actions all day long. But without saying more.

On Sunday, the organisers of the Solidarity March give them an appointment at 13:12 to Madeleine. The procession will then pass by Opera to finally go to Stalingrad where will be held a community village.

For the March of the century, finally, a departure is scheduled at 14 hours of Opera direction the Place de la République where are notably planned concerts and animations. “So much for the main march, says Elodie Nace, from the NGO Alternatiba Paris . But upstream, three first steps, each focused on a particular theme, will bring the protesters to Opera. One will leave Trocadero and will address this issue of the link between climate and social justice. A second procession will leave Parc Monceau and will be devoted to the preservation of biodiversity. The last, finally, will focus on mobility and will leave the Invalides.

Interactions are expected Saturday between solidarity march, “yellow vests” and walk of the century?

There will be no complete fusion of the processions. “It seemed good that everyone could make his claims heard and that one of the mobilizations is not drowned by another”, justifies Elodie Nace. Nevertheless, the two processions will meet on part of their respective journeys, between Opera and Republic. At 3 pm, at a time when the two processions will normally be reunited, the participants of both marches will be invited to kneel in Paris and elsewhere in France. “It will be our way of showing that we stand in solidarity with our struggles and ready to defend another sustainable and solidarity-based project of society,” says Valentin Prelat.

What are the planned mobilisations outside Paris?

“The global student strike for Friday’s climate will not be limited to Paris, far from it,” says Claire Renauld. YouthForClimateFrance has already listed nearly 200 student mobilisations across the country that the association compiles on an interactive map. Elodie Nace evokes on her side 170 events organised in France, Saturday, for the march of the century. They are listed on the site ilestencoretemps.fr.

Finally, solidarity marches to denounce police violence are also planned in Grenoble, Lyon and Montpellier while collective trips will be organised to Paris from Rennes, Strasbourg or Amiens.

What will be the scale of these different mobilisations?

Not easy to say … as always. According to the Ministry of the Interior, Act 17 of the “yellow vests” movement gathered just under 30,000 participants throughout France last Sunday, the lowest level since the beginning of the protest. But the main organizers are betting on the end of the big debate to revive the mobilisation. “We expect a lot of people in Paris Saturday, promises in any case to Adel. What boost the march of solidarity that the collective of “yellow vests” Ile-de-France calls to join priority.

For the march of the century, 130,000 people said they were interested and 19,000 said they want to go on the Facebook page of the event. But this indicator is to be taken with tweezers. These climatic marches – that of the 15th as well as that of March 16th –  have in any case been prepared for a long time by environmental and student organisations who wish to make it a highlight of climate mobilisation. “Not only in France,” says Elodie Nacé. Nearly 1,000 climate student strikes are expected across 100 countries on Friday in response to Greta Thunberg’s call.

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