French unions set to intensify struggle as Macron bypasses parliament on pension reforms

Peoples Dispatch | March 06, 2020

France pension reforms

Trade unions have been protesting the French government’s pension reforms since July 2019. (Photo: Romain Lafabregue/ AFP)

French trade unions and workers’ organizations are preparing for further struggles after president Emmanuel Macro’s government decided to bypass parliament to put into place the controversial pension reforms.

On March 3, Tuesday, the French government opted to use article 49.3 of the constitution to take this route and approve the pension reforms proposed by Macron. Workers in the country have been protesting the controversial reforms since they were proposed in July 2019. Outraged French trade unions staged a protest on Tuesday against the government’s move. The opposition parties have also moved two motions to censure the use of article 49.3 which allows the government to unilaterally pass financial or social security bills without consulting the parliament.

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In France’s Longest Protests Since 1968, Striking Workers Continue the Fight Against Neoliberalism

by Alan Macleod

MintPress News | January 17, 2020

France Strikes Neoliberalism Feature photo

ationwide protests against the government of Emanuel Macron entered their seventh continuous week today in France, as between 187,000 (a government estimate) and 250,000 people (the unions’ count) took to the streets to oppose Macron’s plans to radically alter the country’s pension plan, seen by many as the crown jewel in France’s substantial welfare state.

Led by transport unions, mass protests occurred yesterday across the country, including in Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Nantes, Dijon and Angers. Meanwhile, in Nice, there was a party atmosphere as activists organized a torchlight evening demonstration. Despite the light-hearted tone some of the protests took, they now constitute the longest and most intense actions against the government since the famous May 1968 “revolution,” an event that continues to define French society.Read More »

France: Operation ‘Dead Ports’ Makes Macron Feel the Workers’ Strength

teleSUR | January 16, 2020

Workers on strike attend a demonstration against pensions reform in Paris, France, Jan. 16, 2020.
Workers on strike attend a demonstration against pensions reform in Paris, France, Jan. 16, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Dockers have paralyzed the ports in response to the French government’s intransigence.

The dockers’ strike keeps French ports blocked for the third consecutive day, an action that responds to the call made by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform proposal.​​​


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Yemen war crimes: UN calls out U.S., UK, and France for complicity

A Journal of People report

The UN Human Rights Council slammed the U.S., UK and France for their complicity in alleged war crimes in Yemen.

The Council warned that abetting such crimes by selling arms or other aid is also illegal.

“States that knowingly aid or assist parties to the conflict in Yemen in the commission of violations would be responsible for complicity in the relevant international humanitarian law violations,” declared the UNHRC’s Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen in a report published on September 3, 2019.Read More »

Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests

by Mark Gruenberg

People’s World | August 23, 2019

Climate change, Amazon fires come to France with G7 protests
Powerful ranching and farming interests encouraged by Brazil’s right wing president, have been setting fires in the Amazon forests to “clear” the once protected land for capitalist development. | AP

BIARRITZ, France—The continuing controversy over international action – or lack of it – to deal with climate change, and the latest big threat to the environment, the massive Brazilian Amazonian wildfires, will descend on the G7 summit here this weekend.

The object: To force the leaders of the world’s top industrialized nations to do something about the issue, and to repudiate right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s snide lies that environmentalists have set some of the 72,843 wildfires (so far) in Brazil this summer.

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Rich and poor increasingly segregated in Paris region

France 24

Text by: Claire MUFSON

Date created: 03/06/2019, latest update : 03/06/2019

j paris.jpg
A public housing building in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a commune in the northeastern suburbs of Paris. Geoffroy Van der Hasselt, AFP [THIS PHOTO IS USED HERE FOR NON-COMMERCIAL, NON-PROFIT, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE]
Over months of Yellow Vest protests, public debate has centered on the urban rural divide and the resources eaten up by the Paris region of Île-de-France. But a new study shows that the country’s wealthiest region is also the most deeply unequal.

The larger Paris region of Île-de-France is home to nearly 19 percent of the French population and represents 30 percent of the country’s GDP, but the report “Gentrification and growing poverty in the heart of Île-de-France” published Monday by the Planning and Urbanism Institute (IAU) shows that inequality has grown considerably since the early 2000s.Read More »

The Yellow Vests of France: Six Months of Struggle

by Richard Greeman

am writing you from Montpellier, France, where I am a participant-observer in the Yellow Vest (Gilets jaunes) movement, which is still going strong after six months, despite a dearth of information in the international media.

But why should you take the time to learn more about the Yellow Vests? The answer is that France has for more than two centuries been the classic model for social innovation, and this unique, original social movement has enormous international significance. The Yellow Vests have already succeeded in shattering the capitalist myth of ‘representative democracy’ in the age of neoliberalism. Their uprising has unmasked the lies and violence of republican government, as well as the duplicity of representative institutions like political parties, bureaucratic unions, and the mainstream media.Read More »

The Commune at Lyons, St. Etienne and Creuzot

by Lissagaray

[From History of the Paris Commune of 1871, chapter IX]

All parts of France have united and rallied around the Assembly and the government. (Circular from Thiers to the Provinces, evening of the 23rd.)

What was the state of the provinces?

For some days, without any of the Parisian journals, they lived upon lying despatches of M. Thiers, 103 then looked at the signatures to the proclamations of the Central Committee, and finding there neither the Left nor the democratic paragons, said, ‘Who are these unknown men?’ The Republican bourgeois, misinformed on the events occurring during the siege of Paris — very cleverly hoodwinked, too, by the Conservative press — cried, like their fathers who in their time had said, ‘Pitt and Coburg’, when unable to comprehend popular movements, ‘These unknown men can be nothing but Bonapartists.’ The people alone showed true instinct.Read More »

Timeline of the Civil War in France

Journal of People report


January 10: About 100,000 people demonstrate against Bonaparte’s Second Empire after the death of Victor Noir, a republican journalist killed by the Emperor’s cousin, Pierre Bonaparte.

May 8: A national plebiscite votes confidence in the Empire with about 84% of votes in favor. On the eve of the plebiscite, members of the Paris Federation were arrested on a charge of conspiring against Napoleon III. This pretext was further used by the government to launch a campaign of persecution of the members of the International throughout France.Read More »