Millions March in France
Posted on Oct 17, 2010
In demonstrations across France, protesters have marched repeatedly against plans by the Sarkozy government to cut social programs and hike the retirement age as short-term budget woes have given the center-right president the opportunity to push through neoliberal reforms. —JCL
The clouds hung heavily over the Place de la République and the statue of Marianne, France’s heroine, was draped with demonstrators’ balloons.
As protesters marched on the historic Parisian site of proletarian revolt, 17-year-old Romane scowled at the rain-filled sky. “At least this is proof we’re not just here for the good weather,” she said. On her jacket was pinned a placard scrawled with marker pen. “Carla, we’re like you,” it read. “We’ve been screwed by Sarko too.”
Nicolas Sarkozy had feared that the rentrée – the time after the holidays when France returns to normal – would be warm, encouraging protesting masses on to the wide, Haussmann-designed boulevards, and he was right to be worried.
AP / Claude Paris
Thousands of people jam the streets of Marseille on Saturday as part of a nationwide protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s planned social program cuts, including raising the retirement age to 62.