Opponents of the immigration law have not said their last word. If the legislative battle ended up being lost after many twists and turns, some do not despair of winning it in the streets. Thus, 200 personalities are launching, this Sunday, January 7, a call for a “citizens’ march”, which will be held on Sunday, January 21. The announcement was made this afternoon by the general secretary of the CFDT, Marylise Léon, at the microphone of France Inter. This march will take place “in Paris and throughout France,” added the trade unionist. If she explains that she is calling for mobilization in her own name, and not as number one of the CFDT, her organization has widely expressed itself publicly against the law, which it has not hesitated to describe as a “law of shame”. and “loss of fraternity”. Like many left-wing figures, Marylise Léon sees it as a “victory for the extreme right”. “We are at a turning point,” she added to justify this call.
Despite the confidence displayed by the Secretary General, the bet is risky for the signatories. According to the first polls, the French do not seem unanimously hostile to all the measures. Mobilizing massively risks being a challenge. And in the event of low attendance, this march could comfort the government, which would not fail to highlight this failure and see it as an implicit expression of public support for its policy.
The latest experiences do not speak in favor of the organizers. Thus the four months of massive mobilizations against the pension reform, which benefited from broad support from public opinion, did not make the government bend. Unless it is a strategy by the unions to return to the center of the game and to come together. If the ending had not been happy, their determination against raising the starting age to 64 brought them many members. When questioned, Marylise Léon announced the arrival of “more than 85,000 new members” to the CFDT in 2023.
This mobilization also gave rise to an unprecedented “inter-union movement”, which has since struggled to maintain a semblance of union. Finally, leading an emblematic struggle would allow the new union leaders to establish themselves in the minds of the French. Philippe Martinez but especially Laurent Berger emerged from the retirement battle with popularity at its peak. Conversely, their replacements (Sophie Binet for the CGT and Marylise Léon for the CFDT) have so far failed to match this notoriety.