between 100,000 and 300,000 demonstrators in the streets

► Mobilization in the street

Between 100,000 and 300,000 demonstrators descended on several cities in France, Tuesday, October 18 according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior and the CGT, for a day of mobilization and interprofessional strike in favor of a rise in wages and against the requisitions of strikers in the refineries.

According to the police, the demonstrators were 3,650 in Le Havre, 1,800 in Montpellier, 2,200 in Lyon and 2,700 in Lille, around 800 in Dunkirk, 2,600 in Rennes, where the procession chanted “It can’t last any longer, it’s going to blow up”. They were between 2,100 (police) and 7,000 (CGT) in Bordeaux. In Nantes, the CGT has identified 4,000 participants, Toulouse, Bastia or Ajaccio, being also mobilized.

In Paris, the procession – with more than 70,000 demonstrators according to the CGT, 13,000 according to the Ministry of the Interior – set off around 2:15 p.m. from Place d’Italie, behind a banner calling for increases and to “respect for the right to strike”. Incidents occurred at the end of the afternoon, with a few windows smashed by thugs and clashes, in particular with projectiles, between demonstrators dressed in black and the police. The police headquarters reported 6 arrests.

► Institutions and public service

From the start of the morning, several high schools were blocked, especially in Paris. The Ministry of Education announced a rate of strikers of 5.67%, climbing to 22.94% in vocational high schools mobilized against the reform wanted by the government. In the state civil service, 5.04% of strikers were recorded at midday.

► Return to normal in transport on Wednesday

In transport, the strike was moderately followed at the RATP. On the SNCF side, despite disturbances in the Paris region, there were no major problems on the network.

The SNCF is planning a “gradual return to normal” Wednesday on most of its train lines, although “Disturbances are nevertheless still possible locally” in particular on certain suburban and RER trains in Île-de-France.

► “Significant improvement” in service stations

In the oil industry, where the conflict started at the end of September, the CGT will decide on Tuesday evening on the continuation of the movement at TotalEnergies, in the refining and/or fuel depot teams. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne reported on Tuesday a “significant improvement” with less than 25% of service stations now deprived of fuel, instead of a third, during the session of questions to the government in the Assembly.

Some 400 people gathered in front of the Gravelines power station (North), the largest French nuclear power station, while the Cordemais coal power station (Loire-Atlantique) was also on strike.

The previous day of interprofessional mobilization, on September 29, brought together 118,500 people, including 13,500 in Paris according to the police (250,000 and 40,000 according to the organizers).

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