Fri Jun 14, 2024
June 14, 2024

The French working class shows us how to struggle

On May Day, many workers’ rallies and demonstrations were staged around the world. France certainly held the most prominent place among them.

It was a great day of struggle that continued the very hard resistance of French workers and youth against the pension reform. Emmanuel Macron’s government and the French bourgeoisie aim at increasing the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64 years old and want to impose it at all costs.

Macron’s government bill initiated several months ago was firmly rejected by French workers and generated a string of general strikes and demonstrations that set the country on fire and put the government on the ropes [1]. This situation means the bill could not pass in Parliament, so Macron resorted to using special constitutional powers, article 49.3, which allows the government to pass a bill through the Assemblée Nationale without a vote [2].

This “decree” was endorsed by the Supreme Court of France. It shows that when it comes to defending the interests of the bourgeoisie, all the institutions of the bourgeois state support each other (if the Court did not endorse the decree, Macron would have to renounce the bill) [3].

Within this context, French workers have not yet given up because they have not accepted the “institutional dictate” and have returned to the struggle this May Day: the Interior Ministry itself reported that “300 demonstrations called by unions took place, in which 782,000 people participated” throughout the country. The organizers estimate that the total number of demonstrators exceeded 2,000,000. Once again, on May Day, repression fell violently on the social movement, determined to fight in spite of everything. Many people were injured and arrested once again.

In this way, the French working class continues to be one of the central references to the workers’ struggles around the world against the attacks of governments and the bourgeoisie. It is an example to be followed.

Notes:

[1] Read, for example: France in Flames: Anger Against Macron Grows

[2] Macron impuso por decreto la reforma jubilatoria: paso de 62 a 64 años – Bing video

[3] Máximo tribunal francés respalda el impopular proyecto de Macron para elevar la edad de jubilación a 64 años (cnn.com)

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