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A Saturday of mobilization in France: climate, yellow vests and angry pensions

There are many protests across France, especially in Paris, this Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Following a day of historic climate mobilization around the world, a new “March for Climate and Social Justice” is being organized in Paris on Saturday, September 21. In New York, the Youth Climate Summit will take place at the UN.

A day under heavy surveillance, as a demonstration of Yellow Gilets also took place on the Champs-Elysée in the morning, as well as a mobilization initiated by the Labor Force, not to mention the Heritage Days.

15,000 people marched for the climate on Saturday, September 21 in Paris. However, the protest was marred by violence: black blocks meddled in the procession as soon as he left and incidents broke out with the police. About 100 people were taken into custody, according to information received from the prosecutor’s office.

“Security forces have thrown dozens of grenades of disenfranchisement into the procession,” the black blocks are seen at the beginning of the protest, but also “pacifist” yellow vests in the procession.

Other demonstrations took place in the rest of France: more than 1,000 Yellow Gilets were in Toulouse. In Bordeaux, a rally brought together climate activists and the Yellow Gilets. Hundreds or even thousands of people have also walked for the climate in Rennes, Nancy, Nice or even Lille.

The march’s organizers’ calls had multiplied for a “convergence of struggles” between Yellow Gilets and climate activists.

This morning around the Champs-Elysées the situation became tense, with police and protesters charging them with rubbish bins and fences. Anti-police and anti-capitalist slogans were heard. Again, each crowd was surrounded and dispersed.

FO gathered more than 10,000 people in a protest against pension reform.

163 people were arrested in the margins of the various Paris protests this Saturday afternoon. The police prefecture also announces 395 verdicts and 120 police guards. Among the calls, one surprises: that of a police captain for “outrage and rebellion”.

He was then transferred to the police station in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, where he was detained for contempt and rebellion. He presented himself as “Gilet Jaune” to his colleagues. But in custody his attitude was such that according to our information, the police demanded a psychiatric examination.

“Yellow vests” were again trying to gather on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday night, after a day trying to form a procession on the avenue forbidden to mobilize by the Paris police prefecture and surrounded by security forces.

Tear-gas grenades and dispersal charges followed the arrival of several dozen protesters, many coming after watching the climate march in the 13th arrondissement in the afternoon. Occasionally, a crowd movement of about 100 people relaunches a short police charge, before returning to calm on much of the avenue.

“Let’s go, it’s enough now,” a CRS launches to passers-by in front of the Louis Vuitton store, at the intersection of Avenue George V. On a parallel street, BRAV (Violent Action Brigades) bikers stand on the ground and fly to pass the effects of tear gas. “They’re taken out of the device,” a Paris intervention company policeman told a fellow policeman. “That’s a good sign, isn’t it?” he says, as their departure could mean a decrease in tension around the protest.

Most groups of “yellow vests” have now left the Champs-Elysées. The same goes for the climate protesters, who stayed at the Place de la Bastille.

None of the two nocturnal rallies (the one at Place de la Bastille for the climate protesters and the one on the Champs-Elysées for the “yellow vests”) were planned or declared in the prefecture.

In the case of the 45 yellow jackets, entitled “Social and Climate Emergency”, 91,430 protesters “at least” were counted by the “Yellow Number” in its “first estimate” unveiled just before 7 PM.

The organizers of the climate march announced 50,000 people in Paris (according to the study firm Occurence, they were 15,200), 15,000 in Lyon (5,000 according to the prefecture), 10,000 in Grenoble and 5,000 in Strasbourg.

In Bordeaux, between 500 and 800 Yellow Gilets, according to AFP journalists, started marching with the climate protest using a “convergence” motto. But they went in the opposite direction after 500 meters. In total, ONG claim over 150,000 protesters across France.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019
RETIREMENTS: Days of Strikes + Events (London + France)
Single event “CGT, FSU, Solidarity; UNEF, UNL”
2pm: Place de la République > Nation (either Direct or by Bastille).

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