Some of the most powerful labour unions in France called for a strike and a protest on Thursday to denounce the ‘historic’ €100 billion coronavirus stimulus plan to restart the economy and job losses during the pandemic.
Thousands joined the protest which took place in multiple cities across the country with the largest one taking place in Paris.
In Paris, the popular demonstration started at the Place de la Republique and thousands of protesters marched peacefully towards Place de la Nation.
The ‘national day of inter-professional action’ as it is being referred to, was organised by the country’s second largest trade union General Confederation of Labor [CGT], a group of trade unions known as the Solidaires, the Federation Syndicale Unitaire [FSU], the main education union and the largest public sector trade union.
Multiple youth organisations also took part and footage highlights many antifascist groups attended the event. A group of protesters waving Antifa flags could be seen singing a popular anti-fascist Italian football stadium chant, in Italian.
Protesters held banners and chanted against French President Macron. One protester held a sign reading: “The Angry Amish are in the street,” an angry reference to Macron’s on Monday in which he accused the portion of the population speaking out against the move to 5G as being “Amish,” due to their rejection of the new technology.
Approximately 9 million employees in France registered for the unemployment system in April during the height of the coronavirus crisis. The figure then dropped to approximately 2.7 million in July.