France brought to a standstill by latest round of anti-pension reform protests

Morning Star | March 07, 2023

People demonstrate against President Macron’s pension reform plans on March 7, 2023 in Nantes, western France

FRANCE came to a standstill today when protesters marched nationwide during the latest round of strikes against a planned rise in the retirement age to 64.

Unions described the protests as their biggest show of force against the deeply unpopular proposal from President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

According to the AEF news agency, 63 per cent of French people oppose the government proposal.

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Anti-NATO, Anti-EU, Anti-War, Protest Rallies Hit Germany, France, Italy

Countercurrents | February 27, 2023

Rallies against the U.S.-led NATO bloc, the EU, supply of weapons to Ukraine and anti-war have been held across France, and in Italy and Germany. At protest sites, demonstrators defaced and tore down NATO and EU flags.

Berlin

Tens of thousands of Germans braved the elements to attend the Uprising for Peace, a massive rally organized by Die Linke (Left Party) politician Sahra Wagenknecht and author Alice Schwarzer on Saturday.

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Massive Strikes Hit France: More Than One Million People Join 200 Protest Marches

Countercurrents | January 20, 2023

A massive strike has hit France on Thursday. Workers and other earners joined hands in protesting pension reform. Trade union sources said the number of people joining more than 200 protest marches was 2 million. Police had to use tear gas to contain the protesters in Paris.

Teachers, railway workers and public sector employees abandoned joined the protest marches to oppose a planned increase in the retirement age

Citing France’s interior ministry, media reports said:

About 1.12 million people took part in protests across France.

Of the about 1.12 million people who joined the protests, 80,000 were in Paris alone, BFMTV said.

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Buenos Aires Streets Full of Joy to Receive the Argentine Team

teleSUR | December 20, 2022

Obelisk on 9 de Julio avenue, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 20, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @elnuevomariscal

Currently, the city of Buenos is chaotic due to the presence of thousands of people on the avenues through which the bus carrying the Argentine team could travel.

On Tuesday, thousands of fans overflow the streets of Buenos Aires to receive the players of the Argentine team who return after consecrating themselves as “World Champions” in Qatar 2022.

Their caravan left amid an explosion of joy, tears, and songs from citizens who camped on the outskirts of the Argentine Football Association’s stadium, in the Buenos Aires province.

Initially, it was expected that their bus would start its way along General Paz avenue, continue along Lugones avenue, and arrive at the Obelisk on 9 de Julio avenue.

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Ukraine’s revenge on the West

Three main power centers within the Eurozone (Germany, France and Italy) and Britain are entering a period of deep crisis. Their capacity or level of interest to fight Russia in Ukraine is getting severely limited

M.K. Bhadrakumar

People’s Dispatch | October 06, 2022

Russian Duma ratified the accession of four Ukrainian territories into the Federation, Moscow, October 3, 2022

The Russian Duma’s ratification of the annexation of four regions of Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions) and the adoption of the relevant laws thereof creates a new dynamic and will take time to create a new balance of forces on the ground.

Meanwhile, the external environment is also phenomenally transforming. The deepening energy crisis in Europe following the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines becomes a serious contradiction.

Thus, a complex situation presents itself against the backdrop of a massive Russian military build-up around Ukraine in the Kharkov region and in the southern Black Sea region with long convoys of armor reportedly heading toward Crimea from Russia.

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Wildfires Ravage Spain, France, Portugal As Heatwave Kills Hundreds In West Europe

Countercurrents | July 17, 2022

Wildfires ravaged parts of Spain, France and Portugal Friday in the blistering heat, burning forests and prompting widespread evacuations. The ongoing heatwave has already claimed hundreds of lives in the west European countries. There is a spike in heat wave-related casualties in Western Europe.

On Saturday, La Vanguardia reported that there were more than 360 deaths in Spain caused by the unbelievable heatwaves, and in Portugal, 238 deaths were recorded between July 7 and July 13.

France is currently on high alert for severe weather this weekend into next week.

Italy, Greece, Morocco and the UK are also bracing for extreme weather — including fire warnings — attributed to this week’s heatwaves.

About 14,000 people have been forced to flee France’s south-western Gironde region due to dozens of wildfires that have spread across Portugal and Spain. The fires have been attributed to soaring temperatures not seen since 1757 across Europe.

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Yellow Vest Win: The death of Western parliamentary democracy as the most progressive government

“The failure lies in the fact that Western Liberal Democracy simply is not a democracy, in the sense that neither majority rule nor the supreme rule of the people is ever achieved…”

The reign of Louis Philippe I is known as the era of reform and was in the beginning dominated by wealthy industrialists and bankers. Louis-Philippe—an avid colonizer—has the dubious honour of seizing Algeria. We know how that ended.

(This is the fifteenth chapter in a new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. Please click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)

People often do not realise what a historically recent concept this is in human society – the primacy of the people and not just a person.

Perhaps the biggest change for the average Frenchman in the changeover from Charles X of the Bourbons to Louis-Philippe of the House of Orleans in 1830 is that the latter accepted to be the king “of the French” instead of the king “of France”. This brand change did nothing on a practical level but it reflected the legacy initiated in 1789: the people’s newfound sense that only they bestow legitimacy, instead of a claimed divine theocratic right. Louis-Philippe would be the last unelected royal in France, but it took World War I to wipe away arrogant, unelected royalty in most of Europe (12 monarchs still reign in Europe, which has about 45 nations). Thus the change from millennia of a falsely divine monarchy is a very historically recent one, and much this book aims to remind that the cultural traits of autocracy – for those who cannot divine it in the governance style of Emmanuel Macron – is pernicious and pervasive today, still.

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Negotiations Needed to Bring Ceasefire in Ukraine: Macron

teleSUR | June 15, 2022

President Emmanuel Macron in NATO’s battlegroup in Romania, June 15, 2022.. | Photo: Twitter/ @JFC_Naples

“We want to build peace, which means that at some point the fire must stop and the talks must resume,” the French president said.

Ukraine’s President Vodolymyr Zelenzky will have to negotiate with Russia, and the Europeans will also be present at the negotiating table, bringing security guarantees, visiting French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) base in southeastern Romania.

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Spying On Users: Google, Facebook Hit With More Than $200M In Fines By French Regulators

Countercurrents Collective | January 07, 2022

A French privacy watchdog accused the tech giants Google and Facebook of making it difficult for users to opt out of tracking their activity.

France’s online privacy regulator has ordered Google and Facebook to cough up some €210 million ($237 million) between them, fining the firms for their questionable use of data-tracking ‘cookies’ on their sites.

A report by The Hill (https://thehill.com/policy/technology/588551-google-facebook-hit-with-more-than-200m-in-fines-by-french-regulators) said:

An investigation found the sites “offer a button allowing the user to immediately accept cookies” but they do not provide an option to “easily refuse the deposit of these cookies,” the CNIL data privacy watchdog announced on Thursday.

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The G7 reality check

Natalie Rhodes

People’s Dispatch | July 01, 2021

The G-7 meeting in Cornwall.

There were cautious hopes for the G7 meetings held in early June this year, where the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the world’s seven economically wealthiest countries – came together to discuss key global issues. A remnant of the neo-colonial nature of such forums, they represent a place where decisions with global impact are made. 

The G7 produced two notable outputs that concern global health governance: the first being the Carbis Bay Health Declaration which commits to taking efforts to prevent a pandemic similar to COVID-19 occurring again in the future; and the second being a commitment to provide more than a billion vaccine doses for low and low-middle income countries over the next year. 

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