France: Macron resorts to article 49-3 to force through pension changes

Gauche Révolutionnaire supporters on a demonstration in France last week

Macron and his Elizabeth Borne-led government, unsure whether they would have a majority, have finally resorted to using article 49-3 of the Constitution to force through the breakup of pensions without a vote of the National Assembly.

Following this, the mobilization was massive. Thousands of people demonstrated all over France, very determined, with some chanting “Macron démission !” (Macron, resign!).

The powerful struggle that has been going on since January put the working class back on its feet and put pressure on the MPs, especially the right-wing MPs, leaving Macron and Borne unable to secure enough votes. It is the use of the 49-3 that marks Macron’s isolation and the lack of support for his policies.

From this weekend, let’s amplify the struggle, popularize the necessity of the strike and discuss it from Monday 20th in all workplaces. The next national strike day on Thursday 23 March cannot be just a 9th day of action. Let’s prepare for the most massive and determined strike, the only possibility to defeat Macron and his policies and to achieve victory for all our demands.

Below is the text of the leaflet we distributed at the demonstrations last Thursday.

After the 49-3, by our mobilization, we can defeat Macron and the capitalists
Let’s get organized!

Opposition to the retirement law has not weakened, quite the contrary. The gigantic demonstrations, the strikes by the hundreds, confirm a complete rejection of Macron and all his policies in the service of the rich. The working class is raising its head.

This reform has been the big straw for many of us. The big groups have reaped 172 billion euros in 2022 thanks to his policies. The money is there to solve all social problems! So we say stop! We do not want to put up with the unemployment of the old and the suffering of the young, the dismantled public services, the low wages while prices and profits are exploding… and the permanent authoritarianism of Macron.

49-3: Macron and the capitalists are feverish

Macron tries to appear inflexible, but in reality, he is very weak. The strike has again shown that his policies have no support among the population. It is explosive. The use of the 49-3 shows that Macron has, in a way, already lost. The workers and the youth have raised their heads!

All our urgent demands are now on the table: for higher wages, price freezes, the repeal of anti-unemployment laws, racist laws… and the struggles will continue.

The strikes show that it is the workers who run the companies, the buses, the trains, and the whole society, not the handful of the super-rich and the politicians who serve them. They show the social strength of the workers when they collectively enter into struggle. This force has the means to change society, to get rid of Macron and all his policies. Enough of losing our gains one by one and being crushed by the capitalist machine and its dictatorship of profit!

Against capitalism, let’s fight for socialism

To satisfy our demands, we will need another government that will oppose the capitalists and their parties. A government that will have a firm program: to put into public ownership the big sectors of the economy that the big shareholders own today (energy, banks, large-scale retail, pharmaceuticals…). This should be the role of a government born of struggle, that is to say, of its general assemblies, together with representatives of trade unions and political organizations.

We want a society where we decide in a democratic way how to manage the economy, production and distribution, culture, education, health, etc., a socialist society. It is by fighting for such a just society that we will be able to lead this confrontation against the capitalists… and win!

Come discuss and organize with Gauche Révolutionnaire to fight for socialism!

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March 2023