The draft pension reform has been debated in the National Assembly since Monday, 6 February 2023. Albi, Le Puy-en-Velay, Le Havre, Châteauroux, Coutance… everywhere in the country calls for mobilization were announced on Thursday 16 February, to protest against the text. 1,300,000 people beat the pavement: a figure that shows anger that is not rife.
It was ‘Act V’.
After the huge popular success of the demonstrations of 19 January, 31 January, 7 February and 11 February, the national inter-union called for a new day of mobilization on Thursday 16 February throughout the country.
1,300,000 people throughout the country, including 300,000 in Paris, 55,000 in Albi and 15,000 in Grenoble, beat the side of the inter-syndical call for strikes and demonstrations.
Last Saturday, Act IV of 11 February, brought together 2,500,000 demonstrators.
Large-scale events took place in small and medium-sized towns: 350 in the island of Groix, 600 in Saint-Claude, 1200 in Decazeville, 3500 in Douai, 1400 in Saint-Malo.
Protests have even taken place where they have never existed until now, as in the Guerche in the Cher, for example.
Over the course of the day, the results of the mobilization fell:
- Villefranche de Rouergue: 500
- Caen: 10000
- Slain: 800
- Brest: 12000
- Quimper: 4000
- Carhaix: 1300
- Toulouse: 65,000
- Saint Malo: 1400
- Châteauroux: 3500
- Romorantin: 800
- Le Puy en Velay: 5500
- Reims: 2500
- Epernay: 1000
- Châlles en Champagne: 1350
- Maubeuge: 1000
- Valenciennes: 7000
- Douai: 3500
- Costs: 600
- Saint Lô: 400
- Argentan: 800
- Alençon: 2500
- Pau: 7000
- Calais: 3500
- Boulogne: 3000
- Arras: 2000
- Le Havre: 20000
- Dieppe: 2500
- Rouen: 12000
- Avignon: 5000
- Draguignan: 1500
- Belfort: 2500…
More than 250 places of mobilization are identified as symbols of an entire country standing against this reform.
A massive presence despite the period of school holidays, of an inter-branch and intergenerational nature in all the processions, marked by a strong determination, in a festive atmosphere, testifies to the unanimous rejection of the Macron project.
Beyond this day of national mobilization, initiatives take place every day, like torch-birth pensions.
Since January 19, the population has repeatedly demonstrated their very strong determination to reject the government’s pension reform project through strikes, demonstrations, but also the online petition that has reached a million signatures.
Upcoming meetings on 7 and 8 March
This social movement, unprecedented in scale, is therefore now rooted in the landscape.
Over the weeks, polls show an increase in this massive rejection, as more than 7 out of 10 French people and 9 workers out of 10 say they oppose the reform project.
While, despite everything, the government and parliamentarians remain deaf to popular protest, trade union organisations are calling, in the cross-industry context, to tighten the movement and to stop France in all sectors on 7 March, including daily disconnections; what professional sectors such as energy, the oil industry, the railway workers or the ports and dockworkers have already decided.
The CGT calls on all professional sectors to decide on the forms of renewal of the strike from 7 March.
According to a recent survey, 68% of respondents believe that France’s blockade will be the responsibility of the government.
Inequalities between men and women, which persist alarmingly, are further strengthened at the time of retirement. The inter-union will take up 8 March, the International Day for Women’s Rights to highlight and denounce the major social injustice of this pension reform towards women.