Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Macron Celebrates Bastille Day by Teargassing Healthcare Workers in Paris

On July 14, France celebrates Bastille Day. This year, healthcare workers planned mobilizations throughout the country. In Paris, Macron’s police welcomed protesters with tear gas and repression.

Facebook Twitter Share
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

France celebrates Bastille Day on July 14, the anniversary of the French revolution. It was the day when the Bastille was taken by protesters, a historic that dealt a mortal blow to the monarchy in 1789. 

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, President Macron promised to pay tribute to healthcare workers. So in this year’s  Bastille Day celebration, healthcare workers in white coats replaced the military in the parade, which was attended by Macron, as well as the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.. It was a cynical tribute from a p who has attempted to make working-class people pay for the economic crisis and has refused to adequately fund healthcare. But the event did not proceed without interruptions. Activists flew banners overhead which read: “Behind the tributes, Macron is suffocating hospitals” and “Savings cost us lives.”

In central Paris, protesters marched to the Bastille.  Workers spoke out against staff shortages, low wages, and overcrowding in hospitals.  Other protesters spoke against police violence and racism, some holding Black Lives Matter signs. Others wore yellow vests. 

The protest took place one day after Macron and some unions agreed on contract, which is being touted as a victory because it gives healthcare workers a raise of $183 a month. However, for many it is too little too late: there is no increase in hospital beds and almost no increase in staff. The pay increases are minimal under any circumstances, but especially as healthcare workers battle the coronavirus.  “These salary increases do not match our demands,” Thomas Laurent, a nurse at a Lyon hospital and Inter Urgences union member, told France24. Some unions refused to sign this deal, also indicating that it was vastly insufficient in the coronavirus crisis. 

Riot police surrounded the protesters and tear gassed the “healthcare heroes” that Macron pretends to support. 

Just a few weeks ago, a declaration by healthcare workers said: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown (if anyone was not yet convinced) that public hospitals are essential, and they need sufficient staff and equipment to meet the healthcare needs of the population.” It continued: “We have to stop closing hospitals and reducing the number of beds, because people need hospitals close to their homes. The government has given billions of euros to private companies, and it can do the same with public health care.”

France has seen more than 207,000 coronavirus infections over the course of its outbreak and had a death total of around 30,000 as of Tuesday.

Facebook Twitter Share

La Izquierda Diario Argentina

Our Argentinian sister site, part of the international network of La Izquierda Diario


The French Union Bureaucracy Walks Back Demand for Complete Withdrawal of Pension Reform

After calling to put the pension reform “on hold,” the Inter-Union has requested “mediation,” even though the French government has rejected outright the proposal, showing that compromise is impossible. This proposition symbolizes the Inter-Union’s strategy of defeat. We urgently need to organize the rank and file to broaden our demands and generalize the strike.

Damien Bernard

March 30, 2023
A group of protesters, in the front of whom are a line of protesters wearing red vests. In the front right corner, a white sign reds "vive la retraite," with a skeleton wearing a red hat in the middle of the sign on a black background with a text bubble on its left that reads, "oiv a bosse, c'est pas pour en crever!"

“French March”: The Right to Revolutionary Optimism

Evoking memories of '68, the students enter the fight against Macron. In our chaotic world, the future can only be built in the streets.

Eduardo Castilla

March 26, 2023

On Monday, Germany Will Experience a “Mega-Strike”

On March 27, German railway workers and public sector employees will shut down the whole country. All trains are being canceled. Airports, freeways, hospitals, and daycare centers will all be affected.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 25, 2023

France: On the Frontlines of the War Against Austerity

The French masses have raised the banner of class struggle in what is becoming the first major battle against austerity after the pandemic. Working people across the world should pay attention.

James Dennis Hoff

March 25, 2023


“We Deserve a Living Wage:” on the Limits of the New Temple Grad Worker Contract 

A graduate worker at Temple reflects on the limits and strengths of the new contract won in the recent strike.

Femicide: The Face of a Patriarchal Capitalist Society

On March 8, the feminist movement flooded the streets of Mexico as part of a global day of mobilization. Among these thousands of women and dissidents, the main demand was an end to femicide and sexist violence.

Yara Villaseñor

March 31, 2023

Biden’s Proposed Budget Nothing but Empty Promises 

Earlier this month, Joe Biden announced his budget proposal, with a lot of promises. But the only thing we know he’ll deliver is that “nothing will fundamentally change.”

Molly Rosenzweig

March 31, 2023

At Least 39 Migrants Die in Fire at Detention Center in Mexico. The State Is Responsible.

The events of March 27 marked one of the darkest chapters in the Mexican State’s anti-immigrant policy, a policy that is increasingly subordinated to the interests of U.S. imperialism.