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Over One Million on Streets Protesting Against CPE In France!

SJ | 18.03.2006 17:23 | French CPE uprising 2006 | Education | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | World

First major estimate's of today's massive french protests put the figure above one million. Le Figaro is reporting that unions believe well over a million are now demonstrating against the CPE labour reform on the streets of France.

The Agency France Presses is now quoting organisers as giving a figure of 1,145,000 people...

Initial estimates:

Paris: 300,000
Marseille: 130.000
Toulouse: 50.000
Nantes: 45.000
Rennes: 35.000
Lorraine: 28.000
Lyon: 25.000
Caen: 20.000
Montpellier: 20.000
Rouen: 20.000
Pau: 15.000
Roanne: 15.000
Strasbourg: 10.000
Poitiers: 10.000
Le Havre: 9.000
Tulle: 7.000

In total there are over 150 different protests around france...

68% percent of French people are in favor of getting rid of the CPE according to the latest polls.

Villepin has said he's willing to negotiate, but some in Trade Unions are talking of a potential general strike. The Sorbonne university is due to re-open after the weekend following its closure after the eviction of the occupation. It will be interesting to see how things develop as next week progresses...



First french reports of clashes coming in....

18.03.2006 19:06

There are reports of clashes in PARIS and LILLE....

breaking news

A Great Day!

18.03.2006 20:24

Up to one and a half million out on the streets marching in protest! The authorities say just over 500,000 in total across france, with only 80,000 in Paris (as opposed to the 300,000 - 350,000 - 400,000 reported by organisations involved).

There was some trouble in Paris but so far isolated. At Le Place de la Nation police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of youths who fought with police. Around 14 arrests reported. 12 protestors and 4 police injured.

There was also touble in Marseille as protesters clashed with riot police, while protesters were also tear gassed in Rennes and Lille where clashes were more serious. In Rennes police charged protesters blocking the railway line while a group of demonstraters attacked a local office of the ruling UMP party. There were also reports of a small clash in Tours.

Either way and regardless of any clashes the stage is now set for a growing confrontation over the coming week or two...


Account from Marseille (libcom)

18.03.2006 20:25

An account from our reporter in Marseille

Red and Black Flag flies over Marseille Town Hall.

Organisers have reported over 130,000 demonstrators in the City of Marseille this afternoon, the largest demonstration outside Paris. The demonstration left the Porte D`Aix, under Marseilles own Arc de Triomphe at 3 p.m. to take a circular route around the city to arrive at the Vieux Port.

As the crowds dispersed a small group of youths then left the main group and succeeded in entering the City Hall overlooking the port. To applause from others they briefly flew the black and red flag of the anarchist group alternatives libertaires from the ceremonial balcony before the CRS police were called and evacuated by force the symbolic demonstration. A number of arrests were made.

Jean-Paul Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille, Deputy Leader of the UMP ruling party, Vice President of the French Senate, and member of Opus Deii was as yet unavailable for comment.
As we go to press violent conflict has erupted in Paris at the Place de Nation where this afternoons demonstration ended earlier. French Television is showing images of the square with massed ranks of CRS police partially hidden behind dense smoke and tear gas. Currently there are around 300 demonstrators in the centre of the square, surrounded by CRS police.


more numbers reports

18.03.2006 21:34

Libcom reports more numbers for todays demonstrations - with 30,000 marching in the northern city of Caen and 9000 in nearby Rouen. 7000 are reported marching in the Breton town of Angers.

extra time


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