This past Sunday, in some corners of Paris, demonstrations for Labor Day led to riots. The police, approximately 1,500 mobilized, utilized tear gas to disperse the hooded men who looted real estate, bank branches, and restaurants. Firefighters were attacked by some hotheads when trying to put out burning containers and at least 45 people have been arrested for this.
The unions had planned a very demanding May 1 in defense of wages and public services and against the recently re-elected president, Emmanuel Macron. However, the message has been somewhat overshadowed by the incidents, especially in the country’s capital. There, a group of around 200 hooded anti-system men left destruction and damage to establishments.
In any case, the mobilization has gone globally without problems and has brought together some 21,000 participants. The unions want it to serve as a preview of the autumn of protests if Macron carries out reforms such as pensions.
This demonstration made up of unions and leftist parties took place amid a growing social fracture in France, blamed on the measures of the president, the liberal Macron. The protest comes a week after Macron beat the far-right Marine Le Pen in the second round, partly thanks to the votes of the left, which was eliminated in the first with a notable result (22% of the vote).
Among the messages of the demonstration, those who were in favor of a decrease in the retirement age, which Macron wants to extend, and an increase in the minimum wage stood out. Just five weeks before the legislative elections, the messages that circulated in the protest also had electoral overtones, especially due to the attempt by the left to unite in a joint candidacy to have a good presence in the Assembly that counteracts the power of Macron.