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History Repeats: Austerity Measures under attack in France May 8, 2018

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , trackback

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Paris to protest against the stream of economic reforms brought in by French President Emmanuel Macron since coming to power a year ago. Bruno Barbey’s photos of Paris under siege in 1968 are a monochromatic echo of the contemporary protests.

Photo Bruno Barbey MAGNUM

Protesters bearing “Stop Macron” banners and chanting “one year is enough” were cheered on by drummers and marching bands in an anti-celebration of Mr Macron’s time in office organised by a member of the hard-left France Unbowed movement.

French riot police have used water cannon and teargas on hundreds of hooded protesters who smashed shop windows and hurled petrol bombs at the start of an annual May Day rally in Paris.

A carnivalesque atmosphere followed a tense May Day rally in Paris, when hundreds of masked and hooded anarchists torched cars and hurled rocks at police on Tuesday, hijacking a demonstration called by labour unions.

Saturday’s demonstration, under a large police presence, came almost a year to the day since 40-year-old Mr Macron won the presidential race on a centrist platform and with a pledge to shake-up rigid institutions and revitalise the economy.

A wave of reforms soon followed, including an overhaul of labour laws that has made it easier for companies to hire and fire, earning Mr Macron the tag of “president of the rich” among detractors and sparking discontent from labour unions.

With a political opposition in tatters, Mr Macron vowed to press on with his bid to reboot the economy, even as he faces one of his sternest tests to date with a rolling strike by rail workers protesting a shake-up at state-owned train company SNCF.

Members of France Unbowed, headed by Jean-Luc Melenchon who also stood for the presidency last year, have sought to fire up a backlash against Mr Macron’s policies by getting backers onto the streets.


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