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French unions call for mass protests against far-right

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
French unions call for mass protests against far-right
A protester holds a placard reading "Popular Front" during a demonstration at the Place de la Republique against the victory of French far-right party Rassemblement National (RN) in the European elections, in Paris, on June 10, 2024. (Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

French unions and left-wing parties have called for mass protests this weekend against the growing influence of the far-right in France.

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France's largest unions, the CFDT, CGT, UNSA, FSU and Solidaires have called for demonstrations this weekend, in response to gains made by the far-right in the European elections and the upcoming parliamentary elections.

For an updated list with the locations of planned protests, click here.

Following a large defeat for his party in the European elections and historic wins for the far-right - with Rassemblement National (RN) gaining over a third of the vote - French President Emmanuel Macron made the unexpected decision to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections.

In response, unions published a shared statement calling "for people to demonstrate as widely as possible" this weekend and ahead of the vote (scheduled for June 30th and July 7th).

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"We need a democratic and social revival. Otherwise, the far-right will come to power," the joint statement warned, also calling for an increase in salaries and pensions, as well as pushback against reforms of the unemployment system.

Left-wing political parties and groups - the greens (Écologistes-EELV), La France Insoumise, le Parti communiste français, le Parti socialiste, Place publique, Génération-s, and the 'gauche républicaine et socialiste' (GRS) - all signed a public letter outlining their intention to form 'a new united front'.

The signatories also urged people to protest in the lead-up to the parliamentary elections, encouraging people to turn out this weekend.

There have already been several protests, with thousands taking to the street across France on Monday night.

In Paris, more than 3,000 people gathered at Place de la République, another 2,200 people protested in Marseille, to the east there were at least 2,800 protesters in Lyon, and to the west there were over 2,500 demonstrating in Rennes, police told Le Figaro.

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