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Thousands March In Paris Against Rising Cost Of Living, Climate Inaction

Thousands March In Paris Against Rising Cost Of Living, Climate Inaction

On Sunday, thousands of protesters, including France’s freshly crowned Nobel literature laureate Annie Ernaux, descended onto Paris’ streets in a display of rage against the growing strain of rising prices and to increase pressure on President Emmanuel Macron’s administration. These protests came three weeks into a refinery strike that has caused fuel shortages across the country.

Organisers claimed 1,40,000 people attended Sunday’s march against the rising costs of living and alleged government inaction against climate change. As well as calling for massive investment against the climate crisis, protestors also demanded emergency measures against high prices, including freezes in the costs of energy, essential goods and rents, and for greater taxation of windfall profits.

A week of discomfort is in store for Macron’s centrist government as his left-wing opponents organized the march for salary hikes and other demands. The demonstration against the rising cost of living on Sunday was called by the left-wing political opposition and led by the head of the France Unbowed (LFI) party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Opponents were hoping to build on the momentum created by the refinery standoff which began at the end of September.

Transport strikes scheduled for Tuesday are predicted to coincide with wage strikes that have already slowed down fuel refineries and depots, causing chronic gasoline shortages that are hurting the nerves of millions of motorists who depend on their vehicles. Giant lines have begun to form at gas stations. Four of France’s seven refineries — all belonging to Paris-based energy group TotalEnergies — remained blocked on Sunday as well.

“We’re going to have a week the likes of which we don’t see very often,” Al Jazeera quoted Mélenchon, who addressed the crowd from atop a truck. “Everything is coming together. We are starting it with this march, which is an immense success.”

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