France

Thousands took part in the latest round of yellow vest protests in France on January 12 as President Emmanuel Macron announced a national debate in a bid to quell the growing unrest.

More than 84,000 demonstrators took to the streets across the country, a rise on the previous week according to official figures as the movement shows no sign of abating, Morning Star Online reported.

Concessions offered by Macron, including a pause in the fuel tax which triggered the protests and a rise in the minimum wage, have been rejected as protests continued for the ninth week.

Many "yellow vest" anti-government protesters in France vowed to press on with their demonstrations on December 11, a day after wringing out fresh concessions from President Emmanuel Macron. SBS.com.au reported that Macron announced a series of measures the previous night in an address to the nation, including a hike in the minimum wage and tax relief for pensioners and on overtime work.

In recent weeks, a new protest movement called the “yellow jackets” took to the streets of France. They are protesting the rise of petrol prices, issued by President Emmanuel Macron in order to cut CO2 emissions.

The yellow jackets movement, seemingly spontaneously born on the internet, immediately spread on a national scale. It brought hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of Paris on November 24. The protesters are worried because rising petrol prices will directly affect their everyday life.

French police attacked demonstrators with tear gas and water cannons on November 24 as hundreds of thousands demanded President Emmanuel Macron resign over the rising cost of living.

The “yellow jacket” protests, named for the yellow high-vis jackets French motorists are obliged to have in their cars in case of breakdown, were sparked by rises in fuel duty that the government says is aimed at encouraging people to switch to electric cars.

Demonstrators built barricades in the streets and some ripped up paving stones and starting fires.

"I don't want to lie to myself anymore. I don't want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means we're up to the challenges, and so I've decided to quit the government." With those words, France's environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced during a live radio interview that, after 15 months in the role, he was parting company with President Emmanuel Macron.

Tiziri Kandi is an officer with the hotel workers’ branch of the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) – a major confederation of French trade unions. Following the 111-day Clichy Holiday Inn strike in Paris, she spoke with Joe Hayns about the strike, outsourcing, and the limitations faced by railway workers in their struggle against President Emmanuel Macron’s attack on the state-owned railway operator, SNCF.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the dramatic May-June 1968 upsurge in struggle by workers and students in France. The effects of this turbulent period, writes Stanley Blair, were felt around the world — and for years to come in France.

1968 was one of those extraordinary years when millions of people were involved in trying to change the world for the better. Hall Greenland writes that the year's most compelling events took place in May and June on the streets of France.

The world was shaken by an unprecedented wave of protests and rebellions against imperialism, racism, social injustice and the lack of real democracy. 1968 has been compared to 1848 because of the sheer number of countries shaken to their foundations.

Thousands of people flooded the streets of France to demonstrate against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms on May 27. "In the name of the poor, the humiliated, the homeless and the jobless, we are telling you, 'Enough, enough of this world'," leader of the left-wing France Unbowed party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, said.

French police and protesters clashed in Paris on May 22 after unions — angered by years of public-sector pay cuts and President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms — urged state employees to stop work and join nationwide street protests.

Riot police charged at protesters with batons in central Paris, firing stun grenades and tear gas. Police said 20 demonstrators were arrested.

The demonstration was called by the large labour unions plus many smaller ones, and involved the organisation of street rallies in about 140 cities, towns and villages across France.

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