The French demonstrate “against the high cost of living” amid fuel shortages

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French demonstrate “against expensive living” amid fuel shortage

Trade union federations joined this mobilization organized by the New Popular Ecological and Social Union, a coalition of French left-wing parties.

Thousands of people marched in Paris on Sunday at the initiative of the left-wing opposition, which hopes to contribute to “the construction of a new Popular Front in France”, amid fuel shortages caused by a strike.

This march against the high cost of living and climate inaction, supported by associations and trade union federations, brought together 140,000 participants according to the organizers, 30,000 according to the police.

It's the great conjunction, it's us who are starting it with this march which is a huge success, welcomed the leader of the opposition party La France insoumise (LFI), Jean -Luc Mélenchon, from a truck in the middle of the crowd announcing the construction of a new Popular Front which will exercise power in the country when the time comes.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France insoumise, paraded in the presence of other left-wing leaders and the writer Annie Ernaux (on his right), who has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

He defended the idea of ​​a general strike on Tuesday, relaying calls for this, particularly in transport and in the public service.

The power of our march is a support for the mobilization of employees, especially the one that will take place on Tuesday, and we must think of all this as a whole, which shoulders each other, which helps each other, has made argue Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Sunday.

In the procession, representatives of all left-wing parties, as well as the Nobel Prize for Literature Annie Ernaux, had made the trip.

The message is simple: we want a better sharing of wealth, launched the number one of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure.

Protesters notably demanded a tax on the superprofits of oil companies.

For Christopher Savidan, 47, unemployed for five years and LFI activist, it's time to wake up. The people upstairs are above ground. We pay taxes, we don't know why, everything goes down the drain. Logic dictates that all struggles coalesce.

Many yellow vests as well as a large number of retirees were also visible in a colorful parade with some Phrygian caps and punctuated by songs, including music from Star Wars.

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Broken windows and a few scuffles broke out on the sidelines of the parade, noted an AFP journalist. The security forces made several charges and used tear gas after throwing projectiles in their direction. A bank branch was ransacked by men dressed in black and masked.

Law enforcement attempted to disperse the demonstrators using tear gas.

Before a speech expected in the evening by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, the Minister of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal castigated a march by supporters of the blocking of the country in reference to a strike for wages in the refineries and depots of TotalEnergies.

Started nearly three weeks ago, this strike is causing a fuel shortage that is affecting many sectors of activity.

Nearly one in three petrol stations (27.3%) were short of at least one product on Saturday, according to the government. In the Paris region, the situation was more tense with 39.9% of service stations in difficulty.

In addition to motorists and especially health professionals, who continued this weekend end their quest for fuel everywhere in France, many farmers fear not being able to sow their winter cereals on time, due to lack of fuel, especially in the north of the country.

Despite a wage agreement with two majority unions, the strike was extended by the CGT union until Tuesday for the Normandy refinery located near Le Havre, the largest in France, and until Wednesday for that of Donkeys.

Gabriel Attal found it unacceptable on Sunday that there is the continuation of blockages even though majority agreements have been reached to raise wages in companies.

This is not a normal strike, the right to strike has limits, stormed the president of the MEDEF employers' federation, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, saying he believed that the 150 people in the refineries were taking the French hostage and that it is necessary to go to the requisitions at TotalEnergies.

Paris gas station says out of stock .

The CGT therefore intends to hold until Tuesday, a day of mobilization and interprofessional strike to which other unions have also called (FO, Solidaires and the FSU) .

For Jacques Montal, a retired railway protester, the requisitions of the refineries that took place at Esso-ExxonMobil, it goes a long way. Today is a first step. On Tuesday, I think there will be a strong movement. And it's quite possible that it will continue after Tuesday.

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