14th National Day of Mobilization Against Pension Reform in Rennes: Interviews with Protesters Jacqueline, Fabien, and Michael

June 6, 2023 at 10:09 p.m. – Modified: June 6, 2023 at 10:14 p.m. by Dolorès CHARLES

About 10,000 demonstrators in Nantes, between 5 and 10,000 in Rennes, more than 500 in Brest, a little less in Saint-Nazaire, more than 3,000 in Lorient and Angers, etc. The mobilization of this 14th day against the pension reform is down. In Paris, the headquarters of the Olympic Games has been invaded… The inter-union plans to exchange on Tuesday, June 13, to take stock, and of the vote scheduled for Thursday in the National Assembly.

They were still more than 5,000, this Tuesday noon, in the streets of Rennes for this 14th national day of mobilization. Some still believe in the withdrawal of the pension reform, and are ready to mobilize for the time it takes: this is the case for example of Jacqueline, nursing assistant in Ehpad. She didn’t miss a single day of action, she lost pay by taking days off, but she was marching again in the capital of the Brittany region today (June 6).

“You saw how long ’68’ lasted and in other manifestations…sometimes it takes a long time to get to the brain. At least, we are worthy and I will leave with my head held high, because I will have done everything to try to make certain people understand things, who don’t know or who don’t want to see. I don’t want my children to have a life in that society. In France, we were lucky at one point to have things: the National Council of Resistance and Refoundation, and we are in the process of deconstructing all that. “

“The match is ending, the reform is on its way to being adopted” recognized the leader of the CFDT, Laurent Bergé. Indeed, there were only 800 people in the streets of Cholet, a thousand in Ancenis, 1,500 in Vannes, 3,000 in Angers, 4,000 in Saint-Nazaire, a little over 5,000 demonstrators in Brest, and 10 000 in Nantes where the forves of the order faced a few thugs.

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In Rennes tensions erupted and several people were arrested. A policeman was injured.

Titre :Jacqueline

Credit :Yann Launay

The non-resigned

Fabien, a student in Rennes, does not expect an immediate withdrawal from the reform, but he does not intend to resign himself: “success, we may have it later. This reform is initiated by a whole economic and social system, which does not guarantee equality for all. All the next reforms, which are in this logic, the people will continue to go out in the street. If the street responds, if the strike responds, the government will have to react, otherwise we don’t see how it will be able to hold on… We must continue to mobilize because it can bear fruit, as has been done in the past..”

Titre :Fabien

Credit :Yann Launay

“With laws, the dice are loaded!”

Other demonstrators say they are a little disillusioned: this is the case of Mickaël, who marched above all to denounce the attitude of the government. With all the same a small hope of seeing the LIOT group’s bill repeal the reform.

A proposal debated this Thursday, June 8 in the Assembly: “I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen and maybe this will give some meaning to the mobilization, even if I don’t have too much hope, because in the Senate, they still have the possibility of canceling, and then there is still the Constitutional Council.. With the laws, the dice are loaded, but you still have to show your opposition. I think if there were 30 million people on the streets, it would make the government think, with people on standstill and massive strikes, it would change things… That’s what I don’t I don’t understand, the unions, for the moment, have not called for a general strike.”

Is this 14th day of mobilization against the reform the last?

Some union representatives suggest this. For Rennais Fabrice Lerestif, departmental secretary Force Ouvrière 35, the movement will continue in other forms: “We will continue to welcome ministers as it should be… because we are not going to do anything else. We must not trivialize all that. Never! You have stolen two years of our life from us when there are thieves in in front of me… They are thieves, there is nothing to discuss… Maybe at some point the social movement will resume in other forms, but this theme of retirement will resume because finally, it is a desire for dignity and social justice.”

Titre : Fabrice Lerestif – FO 35

Credit :Yann Launay

This Thursday (June 8) the deputies of the LIOT group will defend their plan to repeal the reform. But the flagship measure of their text, which aimed to restore the retirement age to 32, was withdrawn, deemed inadmissible.

For her part, Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday again that the LIOT group’s bill was unconstitutional.

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