Solidarity with Palestine and Georges Abdallah at France’s labour protests against pension reform

More than 3.2 million people demonstrated on Tuesday, 7 March in France according to the CGT labour federation, including 120,000 in Toulouse, on the sixth national strike day against the pension reform proposed by the Macron government at the expense of workers in France.

As they have since the beginning of the mobilization, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra — a member of the Samidoun Network — set up a solidarity stand alongside the route of the Toulouse demonstration to emphasize that a workers’ victory against the Macron government would also be a major blow to the strategic cooperation between French imperialism and the Israeli occupation.  As several Palestinian trade unions noted in a statement of support for the strikers, “these are the same companies and governments that support the Zionist occupation of Palestine. For example, the French ‘Carrefour’ group recently opened stores in ‘Israeli’ settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

Despite heavy rain, our presence attracted the interest of many participants, in particular our large banners and signs calling for the release of Georges Abdallah, the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine imprisoned in France for over 38 years, and against the twinning of Toulouse with Tel Aviv. In addition, participants unfurled a large banner about the international campaign to boycott Israel, presenting the anti-colonialist objectives of this mobilization and the main brands and companies to be boycotted. Many people stopped at the Collectif’s stand to collect flyers, stickers or small Palestinian flags to show their solidarity during the demonstration.

Emphasizing their internationalist and anti-imperialist perspective, several contingents chanted pro-Palestinian slogans while passing in front of the Collectif’s stand.

Throughout the march, the Collectif distributed thousands of leaflets and delivered an appeal over the sound system to explain why it was important to support the Palestinian people while defending social justice. The speaker emphasized the importance of combating cooperation between French institutions and Israeli occupation institutions, such as the twinning between Toulouse and Tel Aviv. Welcoming Barcelona City Hall’s recent decision to suspend its twinning with the Israeli apartheid capital, many people posed for solidarity photos to join the campaign in Toulouse. Among them were Hakim Amokrane from the Zebda group, municipal councillor Odile Maurin, and trade unionists and activists from various organizations.

Elsewhere in France — for example, in Bordeaux, Paris , Rodez, Limoges, Annecy, Grenoble , Marseille and Tarbes, various people and associations have raised banners and signs of solidarity with Georges Abdallah and Palestine in the mass demonstrations for the strike. Georges Abdallah and the Palestinian cause have become symbols in the social mobilizations in France of the fight against imperialism, racism and colonialism!