France prepares for mass protests upon lockdown lift

France remains under a strict lockdown until 11 May. But security services are aware that they are unsure what will happen after that. Both in Paris, Rennes and Nantes, the extreme left is preparing for post-containment.

Intelligence services believe the return will be more complicated than ever. President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday evening that the confinement was extended until May 11. For activists who are members of the far left, this extension sounds like a new truncheon allowing the continuation of a “totalitarian experiment” which, under the guise of blocking the Covid-19 epidemic, actually avoids “the insurrection and the general strike”.

To counter this, messages and invitations are multiplying on social networks.

Refusons le retour à la normale

Facebook groups called refusons le retour à la normale, or ‘we refuse a return to normality’ are gaining in popularity. All are calling for a mass protest on the Place de la République in Paris at 11am on the day the lockdown is lifted.

In the same spirit, the resumption of “general strikes”, supposed to bring together the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes), the unemployed and precarious in struggle, the members of the ultra-left group Defense collective, as well as feminist activists and students are also scheduled to meet at 7pm. at the Hôtel-Dieu on the same day.

‘The ban on rallies has deprived leftist activists of their playground,’ explains a Rennes police officer from the intelligence service.

‘It’s historic. Never have they put their brakes down so much. So they prepare the next day. After confinement, social protest will resume, if not intensify. People will lose their jobs, find themselves unemployed, will not get their bonuses, will receive a cut salary, will have to wind up their holidays without going on vacation…’

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