The Paris cleaning force returns to work after protests


Sanitation workers in Paris prepare to return to work on Wednesday amid piles of rubbish piled up after their week-long strike as protests protest against the French President’s controversial pension bill Emmanuel Marcon seems to be settling down.

Garbage piles of up to 10,000 tons along the streets of the French capital – equivalent to the weight of the Eiffel Tower – have become a prominent visual symbol of Marcon’s opposition to Marcon’s bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Cleanup crews were set up on Wednesday to start picking up debris from the streets following protests against the new pension reform a day earlier. The powerful CGT union representing sanitation workers said their three-week strike ended on Wednesday. They will join others who have been legally requisitioned before to help clean up.

“It’s good that the garbage is collected. It’s very unsanitary and some residents have had problems with rats and mice. It can be dangerous if left for too long,” said artist Gil Franco, 73.

The cleanup, along with the dwindling number of protesters, is seen by some as the beginning of an end to protests against the pension bill.

“People are getting tired of it. There’s been so much violence. Paris is a mess, and I want to continue with a normal life,” said Amandine Betout, 32, a Paris resident. eat morning croissants in the Le Marais district. She says it’s a “good thing” for trash to be swept from the streets, although the cleanup can take some time.

An artist named Bisk, who has drawn attention with his innovative sculptures using trash, said his work added a lightness to the tense protests, reminding Parisians on the lighter side of life.

“People come in with a serious look on their face, then see the face of a monster or a little man, and they leave smiling. People thank me for raising the mood,” the artist said. 30 year old doctor said.

Bisk said he has made about 100 “sculptures” from the trash since March 6, creating fantasy monster faces with crazy eyes or friendly little men.

“Everybody was nervous, and I was stopped by the police while I was at work because they thought I was going to burn the trash – but I was just doing art,” says Bisk. “I don’t do politics. I just turn trash into gold.”

Tuesday’s protests in Paris saw dozens of arrests and outbreaks of violence, although few people took to the action nationwide.

The Interior Ministry said the number of protesters nationwide was 740,000, down from more than 1 million five days ago when protesters expressed outrage at Macron’s order to pass parliament without a vote. promissory note.

For unions, the fight against the law is far from over. The eleventh day of action is scheduled for April 6.

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