Socialist Worker

Millions in new French protests against pension attacks

Issue No. 2222

On the march in Paris  (Pic: Filtre rouge/

On the march in Paris (Pic: Filtre rouge/

Some three million people poured on to the streets of France last Saturday in the latest stage of the movement to defend pensions.

The marches, which took place in 230 cities and towns, saw a brilliant mood of defiance and readiness for struggle.

Over 300,000 marched in Paris, 125,000 in Toulouse, 65,000 in Grenoble, 60,000 in Montpelier, and many more.

It wasn’t just those workers directly affected who marched. There were also students, young workers and groups of migrant workers.

If anything, the marches had a more militant and determined atmosphere than any of the previous mobilisations.

An opinion poll last weekend showed that 71 percent of the public supported the demonstrations.

And a further day of mass strikes and protests has been called for next Tuesday to follow two in September and one in June. So far each has seen increasing levels of strikes.

But by this time the pensions law will be completing its final stages through France’s upper house, the senate.

It is now urgent that there is an escalation of the struggle.

This should take two forms: a general strike for more than one day and indefinite strikes in key sectors.

A victory for workers could spell the end for Sarkozy, whose regime has been rocked by a series of scandals.

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Tue 5 Oct 2010, 17:44 BST
Issue No. 2222
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