On March 12, the first march was held to defend the climate and social justice. The “Look up” demonstration, inspired by the film “Don’t look up” on climate change and its effects on health, brought together nearly 80,000 people, including hundreds of organizations. The watchword was: “Unite to build another future” and make the next 5 years those of justice, climate, equality and peace.
After the success, the organizers decided to hold a second meeting in more than 80 French cities on April 9, the day before the first round of the presidential election. Most of the demonstrators were under 35, were either working people, students or high school students, rather politically invested.
The mobilization for “these marches for the future” brought together more than 300 anti-racist, environmentalist, feminist, solidarity associations and collectives throughout France, but also student and high school student unions, calling to “make the next 5 years those of the justice, climate, equality and peace”. Among the signatory associations, we found Action against Hunger, Alternatiba, Friends of the Earth, ATD Fourth World, Attac, Adama Committee, Emmaus France, Extinction Rebellion, France Nature Environnement, Abbé Pierre Foundation, Greenpeace, L214, the League of Education, We All, One Voice, Oxfam, the Climate Action Network, Youth for Climate. The National High School Movement, FAGE and UNICEF represented the student unions.
The Parisian procession
In Paris, 5,600 demonstrators according to the police or 35,000 according to the organizers beat the pavement. The procession left the Place de la Bastille at 2 p.m. in the direction of the Place de la République where interventions and a concert were organized. The “Yellow Vests” were at the head of the procession.
The “concert for the future” was held until 8 p.m., because “fighting is also celebrating”. It brought together Camille Etienne, Cyril Dion, Emma Beatson, Glitter, Lazy Flow, Louisadonna, Mab, DJ Jacques, Sébastien Hoog, Suzanne and the Stephanois musical duo Terrenoire.
An “Evening for the future” was then organized by “La Base”, a Parisian accelerator for citizen mobilization, rue Bichat (75010) until the end of April.
Yannick Jadot, candidate of the Greens and Jean-Luc Mélenchon marched very discreetly behind the truck of their respective party.
According to Lorette Philippot, spokeswoman for “Friends of the Earth”, this gathering should “show at the end of this five-year term and the opening of the next, that the problems have the same root”. If it was “not allowed to talk about the candidates” during this demonstration, it was “an opportunity to talk about themes that were forgotten during the campaign”.
For his part, Youcef Braki of the Adama Committee declared: “We don’t give voting instructions, but you have to participate”. .. “It is the same economic and political system that produces all these oppressions. We will have to get used to mobilizing together, without forgetting our struggles”.
They were 3,000 according to the organizers, 900 according to the prefecture in Bordeaux; 150 in Pau, including activist Anna Topenot from Youth4Climat;, nearly 100 in La Rochelle and around fifty in Périgueux
In Lyon, 1,600 according to the prefecture, 3,000 according to the organizers, crossing the Rhône to reach Place Bellecour. According to the prefecture, 300 in Strasbourg, 900 in Toulouse where the demonstrators formed a long human chain to the Capitol.
Why this March for the Future?
The more time passes, the more people get discouraged. Events are paralyzing the situation, whether it is the war in Ukraine, the climate and health crises, the explosion of inequalities, the rise of hate speech, gender-based violence and all kinds of violence. It was time to react, that’s why this March for the Future was organized.