The left marches in Paris to raise the social temperature

The left marches in Paris to raise the social temperature

The left, united in the Nupes, is organizing its “march against the high cost of living and inaction against the climate” on Sunday in Paris, with the reinforcement of associations and certain union federations, hoping to contribute to the social simmer of autumn.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon had launched this idea of ​​a march in July because he believed that by joining forces with the unions the left should stimulate social protest against the government, but they didn’t wait for him to raise the temperature.

In fact, the march comes amid a strike at TotalEnergies’ refineries that is causing fuel shortages. And after the September 29 mobilization, another interprofessional day was launched for Tuesday by the CGT with FO, Solidaires, FSU and youth movements.

The head of the powerful federal government, Philippe Martinez, has little sense for the initiative of the left: “The trade unions must be supported and we must not draw any parallels,” he said on Friday.

Sandwiched between the two union demonstrations, the “march” complements the efforts of the CGT, organizers say. For example, Deputy LFI Aurélie Trouvou, director of the Sunday event, predicts: “Experience has shown that when there is an insurgent climate, there are people at a demonstration.”

The Secretary General of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, with striking employees of the ExonMobil site in Gravenchon, in Port-Jérôme, in Seine-Maritime on October 12, 2022 (AFP/Archives – LOU BENOIST)

According to the former Attac spokesman, a hundred buses were chartered to Paris, more than for candidate Mélenchon’s march, which attracted tens of thousands of people last spring.

30,000 demonstrators are expected by the police. However, there are “real fears” of “the arrival of violent people from the ultra-left, ultra-yellow vests who want to disrupt the demonstration.” “The organizer has been informed of these concerns,” added a police source.

– “Meeting en Marchant” –

The prospect angers Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who asked AFP: “How often do we have to put up with people being afraid to go to a demonstration?”

Striking workers and unionists in front of the TotalEnergies site in Donges, Loire-Atlantique October 14, 2022 (AFP - LOIC VENANCE)
Striking workers and unionists in front of the TotalEnergies site in Donges, Loire-Atlantique October 14, 2022 (AFP – LOIC VENANCE)

But he was also pleased that the event allowed Nupes to “get back on the horse” after the painful cases of Quatennens and Bayou.

If the coalition continues to experience disagreements, its components (LFI, PS, EELV and PCF) will all march in the procession, which departs from Nation for the Bastille at 2:00 p.m. Communist leader Fabien Roussel and ex-ecologist presidential candidate Yannick Jadot were skeptical of the nupes but suggested they had better things to do.

The First Secretary of the PS, Olivier Faure, criticized Mr Mélenchon’s comparison of the march to an episode of the French Revolution. But he will be present and will speak during a “walking meeting” on the truck leading the procession, as well as Léa Balage El-Mariky for EELV, Ian Brossat for the PCF and… Jean-Luc Melenchon.

And this despite reservations expressed by some partners about the merits of the intervention of the head of the LFI. “He is not a unifying personality and does not sit in the parliamentary Intergroup of Nupes,” estimates an environmentalist in private.

Although Jean-Luc Mélenchon, despite pressure, had to refrain from calling for a joint demonstration by the trade union federations, certain federations such as CGT Commerce and CGT Energie Île-de-France will be there. A CGT delegate from the striking Gravenchon refinery in Normandy, Germinal Lancelin, will attend the meeting.

The procession includes five areas of entitlement: retirement at 60 and a raise; Autonomy allowance of 1,100 euros for young people; price freeze; taxation of super wins; ecological fork.

“The price increase is unbearable: it is the biggest loss of purchasing power in forty years,” criticized LFI MEP Manon Aubry on Saturday. “It’s time the billions piling up in the big boxes upstairs were redistributed to those who are struggling.”


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