The anger does not subside. Rallies against the pension reform and the passage in force via the 49.3 of the government were enamelled with incidents, Friday evening, in particular in Paris, Lyon and Strasbourg, with several dozen people arrested, mainly in the Capital.
Several thousand people gathered in the evening at Place de la Concorde in Paris, a few hundred meters from the Assembly. A brazier was blazing, lit by demonstrators, and the atmosphere became tense at nightfall, according to AFP journalists. Hundreds of people clashed with the police in small groups, throwing projectiles. Around 9:30 p.m. the place was completely evacuated. According to the police headquarters, 61 people were arrested there in the evening.
Six arrests in Lyon, degradations in Strasbourg
In Lyon, demonstrators burst into a district town hall and lit a fire, but the police quickly extinguished it and arrested six people, according to the prefecture. Also in Lyon, a few hundred young people set fire to trash cans, overturned scooters, smashed billboards, threw firecrackers and tagged shop windows. The police responded by using tear gas.
In Strasbourg, it was on Place Kléber that 1,600 protesters gathered. “We too will go through in force,” chanted the demonstrators. The prefecture reported “damage” in the city center, but no arrests. A thousand people marched in the center of Lille, and a procession of a few hundred demonstrators dispersed smoothly in Bordeaux.
Motions of censure examined on Monday
The motions of censure should be examined in the National Assembly on Monday from 4 p.m., parliamentary sources told AFP, subject to validation just before the session.
In this climate of crisis, the small group Libertés, Indépendants Outre-mer et Territoires (Liot) tabled a “transpartisan” motion of censure co-signed by elected officials from Nupes. The latter is more likely to be voted on by right-wing MPs unfavorable to pension reform. But the absolute majority bar to bring down the government seems difficult to achieve. This Liot group, which has 20 deputies from various political tendencies, thus finds itself in a pivotal position.
The National Rally filed its own motion of censure. “And we will vote for all the motions of censure presented,” said MP RN Laure Lavalette.
“Anger is rising”
For the secretary general of the CFDT Laurent Berger, if President Emmanuel Macron wants to “extinguish the fire” of social anger, he must “withdraw the reform” or “do not promulgate it.
Thursday, 310 people had been arrested in France, including 258 in Paris, announced the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin denouncing “burnt effigies” in Dijon and “targeted prefectures”. Urban violence also took place in Nantes and Rennes on Thursday evening.
At the same time, the intersyndicale called for “local local rallies” this weekend, as well as a 9th day of strikes and demonstrations on Thursday March 23. The SNCF unions call for “maintaining the renewable strike” started on the 7th and “to act massively” next Thursday.