May Day in France this year was dominated by the ongoing protests against pension reform. While the government had been hoping that the movement — which has been going on for three and a half months — would run out of steam and gradually fade out, the unions, left-wing, anarchist and autonomous organizations wanted to prove with their mobilization that the resistance was unbroken and heads toward new frontiers.
According to the organizers, 2.3 million people took part in the demonstrations throughout France, 550,000 of them in Paris alone — for a May Day, this is a great success. It’s near the peak of the twelve coordinated action and strike days against the reform starting on March 7, when a total of 3.5 million people took to the streets.
Even the prognosis of the state, 500,000 to 650,000 people marching in France, including 80,000 to 100,000 in Paris, was exceeded, with 782,000 demonstrators according to the Ministry of the Interior, including 112,000 in the capital, Paris.
The authorities deployed 12,000 police officers on May 1, 2023, with 5,000 in Paris alone. Nevertheless, it was unable to pacify May Day.
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