FRANCE was shut down by strikes across the public and private sectors today as workers took action against President Emmanuel Macron’s attacks on pensions and the retirement age.
The Eiffel Tower was closed, trains did not run and aircraft were grounded as rallies took place in all the country’s major cities.
Schools and businesses did not function and the presidential palace was barricaded shut, with an extra 6,000 police deployed to the streets of Paris and 65 people arrested before the main Paris demo even began.
Marchers wore yellow vests in solidarity with the huge gilets jaunes movement against neoliberalism or red ones symbolising their trade union membership.
Health workers, students and environmental campaigners joined demonstrations to decry the “social crisis” provoked by Mr Macron’s neoliberal regime, which has attacked workers’ rights and launched a wave of privatisations.
Supportive unions included the CGT, Force Ouvriere, Solidaires, civil servants’ union the FSU and many more. Unions say the action is open-ended and they hope to force government concessions within a week. The Paris Metro strike will last at least until Monday, organisers said.