The 5 December strike mobilised a number of demonstrators not seen in France since the struggles of autumn 2010 (against the Sarkozy government’s pension reform). While we do not know the exact number of striking workers, it is likely that no interprofessional strike has had such a big impact on France’s economy since December 1995.

Yesterday’s general strike against Macron’s pension reform saw a “convergence of struggles” from across French society. According to the CGT (the trade union federation at the head of the strike), 1.5 million people took part in the demonstrations, which would make this the biggest movement since the battle against Alain Juppé’s package of attacks in 1995. The spirit of the gilets jaunes can be felt on the streets, where (despite the limitations of their leadership) the workers are directing their fury, not just against the pension reform, but the government as a whole.

"Today, I'm going to commit the irreversible, so if I target the building of the CROUS [student services authority] in Lyon, it is not by chance". Thus begins the Facebook post written by A.K., a 22-year-old student and activist of Solidaires, before sprinkling his clothes with gasoline and immolating himself in front of CROUS headquarters in Lyon on Friday, 8 November. Burned on over 90 percent of his body, he is today lingering between life and death.

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