A coalition of three union confederations in France — the CGT (General Confederation of Labor), the Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU — mostly educational workers) and Solidaires have held major protests the first three weekends of November behind a banner reading “Halt the massacre in Gaza and West Bank, immediate cease-fire!”

Paris, France, November 2023. Unions take action to demand a cease-fire in Gaza.

Speaking in torrential rain, Secretary General Sophie Binet of the CGT said, “France must immediately call for a cease-fire so that the guns go silent.”

The CGT, besides proposing the political direction of this coalition, set up bus schedules and pick-up points, so when it reported that 60,000 people marched in Paris, along with 40,000 elsewhere in France, it had the facts to support this assertion.

France is a major imperialist power in Europe, with the largest Jewish community in Western Europe. In France, Islam is the religion with the largest number of active practitioners, with most of them coming from North Africa or the Middle East.

The French imperialist regime and the openly pro-capitalist parties supported a Nov. 12 mobilization, allegedly to combat antisemitism and promote republican values, which in reality supported the Israeli regime’s massacres of civilians in Gaza. 

A day earlier, a coalition of left parties and militant unions held a protest against the “massacres in Gaza.” The leaders of the major parties considered on the parliamentary left also marched: Marine Tondelier from the Greens, Communist Fabien Roussel, Socialist Olivier Faure and Mathilde Panot, a leader of France Insoumise, were present.

Other mass demonstrations in France, some of which were suppressed by the police, have expressed positions more clearly in solidarity with Palestinian liberation.

The union coalition is projecting more demonstrations and dismisses President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a “cease-fire” as a sop.

G. Dunkel

G.Dunkel@workers.org

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