In 2020, the streets were almost empty and union banners put away.
In France, the demonstrators had passed their turn, confinement requires.
This year, the unions are returning to the tradition.
There will be many processions all over France to celebrate the international workers' day.
The organizations CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, but also the student and high school unions the Unef, l'Unel, and Fidl call for unitary mobilizations throughout France under a common banner: "Just Solidarity and sustainable".
With a jumble of slogans on working conditions, precariousness, wages, the withdrawal of the unemployment insurance reform and the comprehensive security law, the end of job destruction in the public services or the end of the state of emergency, and measures to save the planet. The Yellow Vests will also be there to try to rekindle the flame.
It will be a "dynamic" May 1st!
The organizers, in particular the CGT, do not doubt it while recalling that this type of event never, or rarely, drains the big night crowds.
“We have seen for several days a mobilization of activists to build this day, especially in Paris.
In the provinces, we know that in certain territories some will not come because of the tense health situation, ”reports Céline Verzeletti Confederal Secretary of the CGT.
Staff from hospitals, from the Post Office, but also from culture and of course young people are expected.
Wearing the rigorous mask
As a prelude to the progressive deconfinement announced by the President of the Republic, the processions are authorized by the public authorities. Demonstrators will have to bring an exceptional travel certificate, indicating the authorization to demonstrate in accordance with the steps taken by the organizers with the prefectures. Certain restrictions have nevertheless been notified, such as in the Manche department where it will be prohibited to broadcast amplified music via sound systems.
“We have the right to have brass bands, to play the trumpet, to speak into the sound system, but not to play amplified music, to avoid causing crowds of young people who start dancing.
We will sing!
», Quips Yann Perrotte of FO.
Obviously, the wearing of masks will be required.
"We will enforce, as far as possible, health security measures", explains Gabriel Gaudy of the Ile-de-France Regional Union FO.
Almost everywhere, the union security services will be there to supervise the demonstrators in the prevention of overflows.
“In Paris, the police spread the word that groups of thugs could come and disrupt.
A little also to demobilize, ”slips this union official in connection with the prefecture.
An online event for the CFDT
“The unions were there yesterday, they are still there and they will be there tomorrow! This is also what we will recall on May 1, in the form of a warning to the executive, ”says Yves Veyrier, the secretary general of FO. In the morning, the leader will go in a small committee (at 6, in accordance with sanitary measures) to the Père Lachaise cemetery (Paris XXth) to commemorate, as every year, the wall of the federates of the municipality (which celebrates its 150th anniversary), then a stone's throw from Place Gambetta where he will address his activists gathered in Paris from 10:45 am.
The FO troops will then join the Parisian procession with the battalions of the CGT and its secretary general Philippe Martinez in particular, Place de la République at 2 p.m. to parade in the leading procession of the unitary demonstration which will go to the place de la Nation. In the provinces, a myriad of unitary events are planned everywhere in each department and in particular in large cities such as Nantes, Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, etc.
This day is supposed to record, in the eyes of the unions, the return of social demands, with a view to "building strong mobilizations for the start of the school year" warns Céline Verzeletti of the CGT. The CFDT, which stands apart as it often does on May 1, has planned to meet its activists at 10:30 am on Facebook and the organization's website to discuss with Laurent Berger around a study (unveiled on this occasion) on how CFDT activists have lived through the health crisis and draw up the prospects. "The instruction at the CFDT, with the health situation, is to do a May 1 only digital", says one.