More than three million people took part in strikes and protests across France on September 23. They were demanding the withdrawal of laws that will dramatically reduce the right of workers to access pensions. The protests, which had been called by a coalition of seven of France’s union confederations, showed that the passage of the Pension Bill through France’s lower house of parliament had done nothing to weaken opposition to the attack on pensions.
Tens of thousands of people joined counter-protests against far-right marches across Germany on May 1. Sozialistische Alternative website said in Berlin, 15,000 people blockaded the Prenzlauer Berg district, restricting a march by 400 neo-Nazis to just 350 metres of their intended six-kilometre march route.
More than 150,000 people joined protests in France on June 13 against plans by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government to make working people carry the costs of the global economic crisis.
On March 30, France’s eight union confederations issued a joint statement announcing they would organise a general strike on May Day.