Protests against Emmanuel Macron

Protests against Emmanuel Macron
The protests
Date 7 May 2017–present
Location France
Caused by
Methods Demonstrations, riots, vandalism, arson, assault
Status Ongoing

Since Emmanuel Macron was elected President of France on 7 May 2017, a series of protests have been conducted by trade union and left-wing activists in opposition to his neoliberal policies,[1][2][3] his support of state visits by certain world leaders,[4][5] his positions on labor code reform,[6][7][8] and various comments or policy proposals he has made since becoming president.[9][10]

According to Amnesty International, the state of emergency that has been in place since the November 2015 Paris attacks has been used to clampdown on protests with authorities using emergency powers to stop protests related to the Labor law reforms 574 times.[11]

Post-election protests

On May 8, 2017, only a few hours after Macron was announced the winner of the 2017 French Presidential Election, union protesters began clashing with French authorities in Paris under fears that Macron's economic program would take away workers’ rights.[12][13] The protest was organised by "Social Front", which had already staged protests before the second round to protest the two frontrunners, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.[14] One specific protest organized by the Social Front had 950 to 1,500 protesters[7] with individuals trying to occupy publicly owned buildings like a railway station in Rennes.[15] Nearly 150 protesters were arrested after reports of missiles being thrown at the police and mass vandalism being done.[16]

The May 8th protest was supported by the CGT and SUD unions.[8]

Protests during Macron's presidency


After Macron was inaugurated on 15 May 2017, there were numerous risks from Labour unions about the prospect of a large organized protest.[17][18] The CGT Union has attempted numerous times to organise a large-scale demonstration against Macron with one currently taking place on September 12, 2017.[19] Macron has actively tried to prevent this by opening Labor code reform negotiations with trade unions.[8] The reception among the unions has been mixed with the head of the FO union supporting the negotiations,[20] the CFDT deciding to stay neutral, not participating in the September 12th protests[21] and the CGT denouncing the negotiations alongside its ally SUD.[6] Jean-Luc Melenchon from La France Insoumise has spoken in support of the September 12th protest encouraging members to attend. Melenchon himself organized a protest on July 12, 2017.[22][23]

President Donald Trump's state visit to France during Bastile Day was met with protests, protesters gathered around Place de la République to create a "No Trump Zone".[24] Protesters were reportedly protesting about the Trump visit and Macron's policies with the ranks of the protesters being made up of socialists, pro-Palestinian groups, migrants’ rights activists, environmentalists and anti-fascists.[4] Despite mass protests, 59% of French people approve of Trump's visit.[25]

Following Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's announcement of the plans for immigration reform, a small protest was led by a group of LGBT activists in Paris holding up a sign reading "Macron starves migrants, queers without borders"[9]

A series of protests by wine producers in the South of France have been ongoing since Francois Hollande's presidency. These demonstrations generally involve arson, sabotage and assault.[10] These protests are caused by the importation of wine rather than buying it from French producers and the loss of culture. These protests have led to a 25% decrease in sales for Spanish wine producers.[26] Spanish tankers transporting wine are usually the target of these attacks.[27][28]

Pro-Palestinian protesters began to demonstrate against Macron offering Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu a place at the Paris Holocaust Ceremony.[29] The French Communist Party also opposed Netanyahu's visit. The organizers of the protest were unknown but Le Muslim Post, a religious radioshow promoted the demonstration, encouraging listeners to attend.[30]

23 March 2018

200,000 rally against Macron nationwide.[31]

19 April 2018

Tens of thousands of striking rail workers, public sector staff and students rallied across France against President Emmanuel Macron. SNCF and CGT were the major unions in the protests against plans by Macron to remove job-for-life guarantees and pension privileges for new recruits.[32]

13 May 2018

Transport workers continue protest against rampant privatisation efforts in France. Key SNCF services are reduced on Sunday.[33]

26 May 2018

A day after the Emmanuel Macron "suggested he could be close to victory in a public battle over his reform agenda,"[34] Several thousands people across France, led by CGT trade union and some 80 other organizations protested against Macron’s reforms of the public sector, described by the organizers as imbalanced and "brutal."[35] According to CGT 80,000 people participated in the protest in Paris, and 250,000 came out across the country. However, France Police said that 21,000 people participated in the Paris protests and that 35 protesters were detained for various "offences".[36] Seven police officers were injured.[37] Police fired tear gas and deployed 2000 officers to the event and the demonstrators were holding placards reading "Stop Macron!".[38]

See Also


  1. "France: Struggle over workplace rights looms as Macron secures power". Green Left Weekly. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  2. Haddad, Tareq (2017-05-07). "French riot police fire gas canisters in face-off with anti-capitalist groups". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  3. "Ready to use those tough negotiating skills, Monsieur Macron?". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  4. 1 2 "Anti-Trump protests erupt in Paris as President attends Bastille Day rally". The Independent. 2017-07-14. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  5. "Protesters in Paris rally against Israeli PM's visit". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  6. 1 2 "Macron vs unions vs other unions". POLITICO. 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  7. 1 2 "France election: Teenagers protest at candidates Macron and Le Pen". BBC News. 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  8. 1 2 3 "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  9. 1 2 "LGBT activists protest French president Emmanuel Macron over asylum plan". Attitude Magazine. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  10. 1 2 Williams, David (2017-07-16). "Wine, protest and Macron: why southern French wine producers are so angry". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  11. "France: Unchecked clampdown on protests under guise of fighting terrorism". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  12. "Paris protest shows the challenges facing Macron". Sky News. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  13. Paris, Adam Sage | Charles Bremner,. "Left-wing protesters march against Macron". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  14. "IN PICS: Just one day after Emmanuel Macron's election and Paris holds its first protest". 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  15. ""Ni Le Pen, ni Macron" : manifestations houleuses de lycéens à Paris, Rennes et Nantes". 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  16. "French election: Emmanuel Macron elected new president - CBBC Newsround". 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  17. "The French President Is Spending His Summer Fighting Unions". 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  18. "French far-left leader calls day of protest, says Macron drunk on power". Reuters. 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  19. "French CGT union calls for Sept 12 strike against labour reforms". Reuters. 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  20. "Jean-Claude Mailly : " Avec le gouvernement, il y a une vraie concertation " | Force Ouvrière". Force Ouvrière (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  21. "Laurent Berger (CFDT) : "Il n'y a ni confiance aveugle ni défiance généralisée" au sujet de la réforme du Code du travail" (in French). Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  22. Editorial, Reuters. "French far-left leader calls day of protest, says Macron drunk on power". Reuters UK. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  23. "French far-left leader calls day of protest, says Macron drunk on power". Reuters. 2017-06-05. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  24. "Protesters set up 'No Trump Zone' in Paris". The Independent. 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  25. "Most French approve of Trump's visit (even after all he's said about France)". 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  26. "Angry French winemakers destroy Spanish wine in protest over imports | Toronto Star". Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  27. "Angry French winemakers attack Spanish lorries, block depot - Decanter". Decanter. 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  28. "Furious French wine makers hijack Spanish tankers, pouring 90,000 bottles down the drain". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  29. "French groups to protest Netanyahu attendance at Paris Holocaust ceremony". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  30. "Protest planned for Paris Holocaust memorial event during Netanyahu visit". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  31. Mowat, Laura (23 March 2018). "PARIS ERUPTS: Furious scenes on streets of France as 200,000 rally against Macron".
  32. 19 Apr 2018 18:58 GMT (2018-04-19). "Thousands protest against Macron reforms across France | France News". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  33. Bellamy, Daniel. "Emmanuel Macron faces a wave of strikes and protests in France". The Economist. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  34. Chazan, David (26 May 2018). "Anti-Macron protests as president claims victory is close in battle with unions". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  35. "Thousands across France protest President Macron's 'brutal' policies". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  36. Staff. "France's far left leads protests against Macron reforms". U.S. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  37. "Seven police officers hurt by masked thugs as riots break out in Paris". Mail Online. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  38. "Macron Is Depicted as a King Amid Protests of 'Soft Dictatorship'". The New York Times. 5 May 2018. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
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