There is no optimism. It is as if people feel that something worse and larger than raising the retirement age is creeping up on them
On March 7, the eve of International Women’s Day, France was very crowded. There was a nationwide strike against the increase in the retirement age announced by the authorities.
Workers in various spheres and sectors – from utility workers and chauffeurs to architects, nuclear workers and actors – took to the streets. People came out both as part of trade unions and in the ranks of various movements.
Artists and employees of the Théâtre du Soleil carried the figure of Themis, the goddess of justice, who had abrasions and bruises on her head.
Workers and students from the Ecole Nationale d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville also came out to protest. The banners read that architects were left on starvation rations. “No money today – no projects tomorrow,” “Your ‘paper’ reforms are only good for our layouts,” “Without education there is no renovation” (renovation of buildings, structures, etc.), “Architects are outraged.” These are just some of the inscriptions on the posters.
In the crowd, you can see a small placard saying that culture is being sacrificed.
And another poster shows a skeleton digging his own grave under the inscription “Thank you, Macron!”
Members of the Police Alliance, the largest police union in the country, marched in an organized group with blue flags.
It is worth noting that the protest turned out to be surprisingly narrow – clearly focused on one topic: pension reform. There was no connection between the raising of the retirement age and France’s deliveries of military and other equipment to Ukraine, not a word in condemnation of NATO, and not a word about the revival of fascism in Europe.
Probably the only place where these issues were raised in one way or another was the protest and information point organized by the movement Pole of Communist Revival in France (Pôle de renaissance communiste en France).
At their improvised bookstore, where you could peruse books on contemporary history and beyond, the book in greatest demand was The Coup in Ukraine orchestrated by the United States.
Looking at the photos, it’s hard to escape the thought that the protest was somehow energyless, sad, and depressed. There is no optimism. People feel as if something worse and larger than raising the retirement age is creeping up on them, something they cannot give a name to, and therefore cannot fight it.
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency