workers and ecologists together on May 1st

Paris, report

There were more than 200,000 of them, according to the CGTand 121,000, according to the Ministry of the Interior, throughout France, on Wednesday 1er may. In Paris, between traditional union balloons and left-wing party floats, the procession was largely tinged with Palestinian flags. The keffiyehs were followed by a banner against transphobia, while the collectives of undocumented workers slipped behind the flags of Kanaky, pro-independence New Caledonia. Among the demonstrators, trade unionists and activists have forged links between ecology and work. “ Unite ! » urged a sign.

Civil servants against anti-climate policies

To the rhythm of the fanfare, the demonstrators set off from the Place de la République. In the back of his van, Olivier Aubrun, maintenance agent on Transilien trains, works on serving drinks. Member of the CGT railway workers, he came to defend public rail, in particular freight, in the face of competition from the private sector.

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Olivier Aubrun, maintenance agent on Transilien trains.
© NnoMan Cadoret/Reporterre

Under his red chasuble, he wears a T-shirt with the inscription “ 1 train = 50 trucks ». According to him, the workforce in the Ile-de-France marshalling stations has shrunk dramatically, to the benefit of truckers. There “ destruction of public railway » and line closures go hand in hand with “ a deterioration of working conditions » for agents, between “ staggered hours », “ lack of equipment » And “ deterioration of security conditions ».

A few steps away, Élisabeth Pagnac joined the ranks of SNEFSU who called for mobilization on this 1er may “ against unconscious anti-climatic and anti-ecological policies ». Within the Climate Action Sub-Directorate (SDAC) of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, it is responsible for proposing analyzes for the formulation of energy and climate policy.

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Élisabeth Pagnac, from the Climate Action Sub-Directorate (SDAC).
© NnoMan Cadoret/Reporterre

Over the years, she felt a real “ loss of meaning » : “ We must deliver an element of consensual language within the hour, instead of taking the time to technically explore a file to guide concrete actions. »

Environmental struggles in search of an alliance with workers

As we approach the Place de la Bastille, a large banner has been hung on a facade: “ Stop Green Dock — Down with the logistics empire and its shitty jobs », in reference to the logistics warehouse project in the capital. The local committee of the Earth Uprisings of Seine-Saint-Denis, Plaine Tempête, passed by there. Some Extinction Rebellion flags (XR) float in the crowd.

XR takes a step towards workers’ unions, in particular to involve them in the mobilization against TotalEnergies, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary at its general assembly on May 24 », announces an activist. Objective: denounce “ the destruction of life »but also “ record profits and billions for shareholders ».

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Activists from Crem’arbre, the zad against the A69.
© NnoMan Cadoret/Reporterre

George [*] calls for this alliance between worker movements and environmental struggles. He spent five months occupying the Crem’arbre, the zad against the A69 project in Tarn. He holds up his sign “ Zad everywhere »and launches: “ It’s also work to be a Zadist ! » In Tarn, he went to the motorway construction site, to meet the workers, “ mostly in precarious contracts, Fixed-term contract and temporary workers ».

Established in market gardening and organic arboriculture for four years and coming from a family of farmers, the activist can only see the link between working conditions in the fields and climate change. “ In my area, droughts ravage cereal monocultures which require a lot of water. Farmers banned from watering their fields due to shortages »describes the market gardener, who hopes for “ transition from agricultural work ».

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The mascot Bernard Arnault, boss of LVMH.
© NnoMan Cadoret/Reporterre

Arriving at the Place de la Nation, the music and slogans gave way to clashes between demonstrators and state forces. Stun grenades and tear gas, against stone throwing and other projectiles. Nineteen people were taken into police custody, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

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