On Sunday 16 October, thousands marched through Paris in protest against rising prices. After weeks of strikes in oil refineries demanding higher wages, there was a call to general strike.
Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of La France Insoumise (a hard-left party), marched along with Annie Ernaux this year’s Nobel Prize Winner for Literature. Today, he declared a general strike (18 October).
He stated to the crowd, “You’re going to live a week like no other because we started it by the march.”
Melenchon followed the lead of four unions – not France’s largest, but the moderate CFDT – which called for strikes and protests Tuesday to demand wage increases.
The unions protested the government’s order to requisition some workers at oil refineries. This was a violation of their constitutional rights, according to unions.
The march was called by the NUPES parliamentary alliance. It hopes to change public perceptions about domestic violence allegations, which have long been a problem for senior officials.
Gabriel Attal, Budget Minister, said that the left-wing coalition was trying out the current situation. This can be seen in the ongoing strikes at French utility EDF and at French petroleum refining stations.
On France’s Radio Europe 1, he said that “Today’s March is a march of supporters who want to end the country.”
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