FRANCE: Macron and His Pension Reform Plan Must Go!

[Statement by the Independent Democratic Workers Party – March 18, 2023]

Who Is Leading the Country to Chaos? Macron and the Fifth Republic!

They and Their Pension Reform and Anti-Worker Policies Must Go!

Rejected by the vast majority of the people, Macron is holding on to power. He is holding on because a handful of capitalists and speculators need him to destroy our pensions, block our wages, and drive up prices.

Macron is holding on because Biden and NATO need him to extend the war ever further (413 billion euros for the next military financing law). He holds on because the military hierarchy needs him to enroll young people in the compulsory universal national [military] service (SNU). He is holding on because the Fifth Republic is the regime of the permanent coup d’état which allows laws to be passed without a vote of any legislative assembly. And when all this is not enough, Macron unleashes the most brutal repression against the demonstrators who protest against his power grab.

(Photo: He seeks to ram through his pension reform. He Must Go!)

Should we break with Macron or not?

It must also be said that Macron is only able to hold on is because those who oppose his policies refuse to break with the Fifth Republic. After Macron resorted to Article 49.3 [1] to impose his pension plan, we heard the spokespersons of the NUPES [2] coalition declare that “Macron and Borne are illegitimate” (Ruffin, LFI deputy) or that “the Fifth Republic is in agony” (Éliane Assassi, PCF senator) or that it is necessary to move to “a Sixth Republic” through the election of “a Constituent Assembly” (Jean-Luc Mélenchon). All this is fine and good.

But then, why don’t the leaders of the NUPES call for a mass mobilization to demand that Macron step down ­ to demand an end to the Fifth Republic now, for the election now of a sovereign Constituent Assembly? Should we accept the reform under the pretext of its “adoption” by Article 49.3?

Millions of people have gone on strike and demonstrated in the streets. Since the coup de force of the 49.3, the Intersyndicale [inter-union federation coordinating committee] has called for a new day of strikes and demonstrations on March 23. Without waiting, spontaneous demonstrations are springing up in every city in the country. In some sectors, the strikes are renewed. In many workplaces, the workers are meeting and taking positions, with their trade union organizations, for “the tous ensemble [everyone on strike in unity], for the general strike until the withdrawal of the pension reform to be called by the national Intersyndicale.” Often, they accompany this position with the setting up of committees of workers’ representatives to prepare the strike at all levels. It is a certainty: The general strike until the withdrawal of the pension “reform” is the way to force the government to back down.

For a workers’ government

The Independent Democratic Workers’ Party fights to put an end to Macron and the Fifth Republic, for the establishment of an authentic workers’ government and democracy.

On March 26, the Independent Democratic Workers’ Party will pay homage to the Paris Commune, at the Wall of the Federated where the last Communards fell. The first workers’ government in history, the Paris Commune, in less than 100 days, laid the foundations of an authentic social and political democracy based on equal rights.

We fight for a workers’ government that will have the audacity to confiscate the hundreds of billions of speculation, the hundreds of billions of the war budget, to allocate them to urgent needs: to hospitals, to schools, to public services, to the general increase of salaries and to the guarantee of pensions for all in the conditions in which they were acquired.

We fight for a workers’ government that will not be afraid to take on the rich in order to allow the poor to escape from the misery into which the government is plunging them ever deeper. We fight for an authentic workers’ government that will be able to establish relations of peace and international solidarity between the workers and peoples of the whole world, breaking with NATO and the European Union, the war machines of the capitalist class.

– To pay homage to the workers’ government of the Paris Commune of 1871;

– To affirm the necessity of a workers’ government now, in France and internationally; Let’s meet on March 26 (Meeting at 2:30 p.m., main entrance of the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris – Père-Lachaise metro)

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[1] Translator’s Note: Article 49.3 of the French Constitution, adopted under De Gaulle in 1958, enshrines an “imperial” presidency, also called a “permanent coup d’etat”; that is, it allows the president to rule by decree, bypassing both the National Assembly and the Senate.

[2] Translator’s note: The New Popular, Ecological and Social Union (NUPES) was the electoral coalition for the June 2022 legislative elections headed by Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of France Unbowed. The coalition included France Unbowed, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV).

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