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International round-up: French teachers could walk out over schools reopening

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Issue 2703
Strikes against neoliberal attacks in France in March
Strikes against neoliberal attacks in France in March (Pic: Flickr/FO)

Teachers in France could strike next Monday in opposition to plans to begin reopening schools.

The Fnec FP-FO education union said, “In the absence of safety guarantees, we will support all personnel who refuse to return to their workplace by all means.” 

A petition circulated by the union has reached 60,000 signatures. It says the announcement by president Emmanuel Macron to “reopen creches, schools and educational establishments from 11 May is irresponsible, dangerous and impossible”.

In addition this week the Sud Education union has also called on “all staff to exercise their right of withdrawal from 11 May”. It adds, “Sud education will provide staff with all the tools to exercise this right, as well as a strike notice to cover all staff.”

And the SNUipp-FSU union has filed a “social alert” for 11 May, a procedure which may lead to a call to strike. Several of the union’s branches have already said they will strike.

It’s not just what happens in schools, but the danger of travelling to them.


Even Catherine Guillouard, the top boss of the RATP public transport network around Paris, said, “Social distancing is not feasible in such a dense network.” 

The schools are at the centre of a major fight over whether Macron can achieve his wish to restart profit-making.

Meanwhile, there were several arrests of activists who held socially-distanced May Day protests against Macron. 

And in Montreuil around 

20 people from a Solidarity Brigade group were questioned and then fined by police after they held a free distribution of fruit and vegetables.

But cops allowed Nazi Marine Le Pen, surrounded by media, to carry out a wreath-laying at the statue of Joan of Arc.

Send a message of support to the French teachers’ union at [email protected] and sign their petition here

Anger against Brazil’s far right 

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has been met with renewed anger over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. 

On Sunday he appeared for the second week running to support anti-lockdown protesters outside his palace in the capital Brasilia. 

They demanded that sanctions and restrictions are lifted, and some called for military rule. 

But protesters opposed to Bolsonaro also mobilised. 

They bang pots and pans and shout, “Get out, Bolsonaro!” in weekly protests from their homes. 


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