The protests in France continue. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, go on the streets daily. The strikes continue as well, affecting refineries, garbage collecting, education and transportation. 13,000 police have been deployed to repress the protests, which is a record high amount in France. Human rights organizations have raised concerns over the treatment of protesters: police attacks even peaceful demonstrations and many have been seriously injured or arbitrarily arrested. The police has also attacked journalists who have been clearly identifiable as members of press – attacking even the own press freedom of the bourgeoisie.
French government spokesperson told the media that ”life goes on as normal” and even tourists are welcome. However, there is daily clashes with the police, with tear gas and smoke from fires filling the streets, many important transportation ways are being blocked and trash is piling up on the pavements. Even the world famous tourist attraction, the museum of Louvre, was closed due to a strike on Monday. 20% of flights had to be canceled on Wednesday, and many protests have occupied airports.
The youth is taking part to the protest enthusiastically. 200 schools have been blocked by their students according to a high school union. The numbers of youth participating in protest have grown especially since the use of the article 49:3 of the French constitution, which overrode the vote in the National Assembly for the pension reform law. “A more radical movement is emerging … because no one listens to us”, said one teenager to Reuters.
On the 30th of March, Nouvelle Epoque reported on Twitter that there is a blockade in progress at several high schools in Grenoble against the pension reform and other ”reforms” like the new baccalaureate.
On Wednesday, activists of Jeunes Revolutionaires participated in a blockade of a main roundabout leading to the city of Guingamp. They report on Twitter that the demonstration tried to proceed to the house of the sub-prefecture, which is a local administrative organ, but the police did not allow this and were faced with the protesters throwing thrash cans at them. They also confiscated a flag of the activists and arrested six of them.
In Toulouse, a combative demonstration unfolded on the 28th of March.
Some of the union leadership, especially of the big unions CGT and CFDT, is worried about losing control of the movement: they call for ”de-escalation” of protests and ”dialogue” with the government. The protests have since the use of the article 49:3 of the constitution started basing themselves more on the masses organizing themselves regardless of the union leadership, and started going beyond the demand of withdrawing the pension reform. ”A growing number of proletarians are abandoning all illusions about the bourgeois state. Hard strikes, occupations and blockades, although they alone cannot lead to the fall of the bourgeois state, are schools in which the proletariat is trained for its struggle”, writes the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist review Le Drapeau Rouge (The Red Flag).