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Over 3,000 Demonstrators in Carhaix “For Jobs and Against the Rule of Money”

Translated Wednesday 6 November 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

Called by the CGT [1], FSU [2] and Solidaires [3] trade unions and backed by the Left Front and the Greens, the demonstration for jobs in Carhaix in Brittany was peaceful. In Quimper, there were clashes between the “red bonnets” and the police.

Whereas all eyes were fixed on the “red bonnets” demonstration backed by the right wing, the far right, and the MEDEF [the main French bosses’ association] [4], another demonstration was held in Brittany, called by the CGT, FSU and Solidaires trade unions and backed by the Left Front and the Greens. According to the trade union coordinating committee, over 3,000 people marched in the streets of Carhaix peacefully and in good spirits to condemn organized job destruction and social dumping, in particular in the food processing industry.

Employees of Gad, Marine Harvest and Tilly Sabco joined the march. The Tilly Sabco workers had just learned that a thousand jobs may go after it was announced that chicken processing for the export market will be shut down.

Richard Ferrand, Socialist Party deputy for the Finistère département, Raquel Garrido, representing the Left Front, and Pascal Durand, national secretary of the EELV (the Greens] were notable political figures who participated in the march. Durand stated that “the national federation of unions of farm-owners (FNSEA) and the MEDEF are responsible for the crisis in Brittany. They are implementing the tax on trucks and the workers’ distress.”

Violent clashes in Quimper

Violent clashes broke out on Nov. 2 during the demonstration against the ecotax. The demonstration was backed by the right wing, the far right, and the employers. Shortly after 3 p.m. in Quimper, a small group of demonstrators resisted the police, throwing stones, cobblestones, iron bars, flower pots of chrysanthemums, distress flares and other projectiles. The police responded with a water cannon and tear gas grenades. The “red bonnets” tried to climb the iron gates to the prefecture building and to set fire to wooden pallets. The organizers called for calm from the speakers’ platform. There were 30,000 demonstrators according to the organizers, at least 10,000 according to the police.

A little earlier in the day, on national highway 24 in the Morbihan département, a four-lane road between Lorient and Rennes, the red bonnets set tires on fire at the foot of the Saint Allouettstre toll gate, which gave way and collapsed. The demonstrators had already destroyed a toll gate in Guiclan in the Finistère département on August 2. The Finistère prefecture had the Pont-de-Buis toll gate dismantled on Oct. 31. Moreover, demonstrators on trucks and tractors defied the authorities and approached the Quimper city center, but were immobilized by the police.

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