Nantes, France: April 9th demonstration – Some colour in the monotony

Since the Socialist Party came to power, we no longer count the protesters killed, mutilated and imprisoned. The most draconian anti-terrorism laws have been adopted, the undocumented hunted, social rights under attack like never before. In the almost universal indifference of “the left”.

On Thursday 9th April, the large unions finally decided to call a strike against yet another neo-liberal attack orchestrated by the government. This day of action only confirms – unfortunately – the difficulty these days in unions mobilising, in the context of repeated retreats and ‘security considerations’. Under a nice spring sunshine, some 5,000 people lined the streets of Nantes, behind a yellow banner which only the small union bosses hold the secret to making.

Nevertheless, a more energetic procession of about 200 people, together with libertarian and anti-capitalist collectives and individuals – joined by college and university students – insert themselves into the Nantes parade. Colourful and dynamic, they break off from the rest of the rather gray and apathetic demonstration. Banks and buildings of power – the town hall, prefecture and PS [Socialist Party] office – are redecorated in passing, under the ulcerated eyes of FO [Force Ouvrière] unionists. When a fast food place is hit, they even threaten to denounce the protesters and try desperately to protect banks coming up.

Tags and a massive pasting of stickers lined the route with chants of:

“From Nantes to Athens, Resistance, Resistance!”

“Strike, blockades and sabotage”

“I hate the state, its cops and its Macron [Economy Minister]” and other slogans against the socialist government.

To note, a police car with an open window on the edge of the parade was repainted from the inside by a beautifully aimed egg paint-bomb shot.

At the time of the dislocation, the BAC [Anti-Criminality Brigade police] are completely fuming, but the troublemakers had already evaporated.

While it’s evident that a few hours walk never worries the government, this day of mobilisation was a small achievement in the context of widespread fatalism.

They want us to stay resigned, diffuse the revolt!

more pictures: Nantes Indymedia