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The Cacophony Between Emmanuel Macron and the French People

The political crisis in France is at its height. Since President Emmanuel Macron's speech on Monday, April 17, the pots and pans have come out. These kitchen utensils have now become real political weapons. These last few days have marked the advent of the “casserolades”, the concerts of pots and pans that accompany all members of the French government during their official trips.

A Noisy First Anniversary

Monday, April 24, 2023, marked the first anniversary in power of Emmanuel Macron’s re-election on April 24, 2022. For the occasion, new demonstrations took place in France, including in Paris, at 8 p.m. Hundreds of people, with their pots and pans, gathered following the broadcast of the #réforme of pensions. The slogan "We too will force our way through" was also chanted, increasingly being heard in demonstrations and rallies. This is a direct reference to the use of Article 49.3 of the French Constitution to pass the widely criticised pension reform project. The pots and pans are a symbol of popular discontent in the country and accompany the protesters on each of their trips.

Ministers Greeted to the Sound of Pots and Pans

Pap Ndiaye, Minister of National Education and Youth, was scheduled to visit the National Higher Institue of Teaching in Lyon, a city in the southeast of the country, on Monday, April 24. However, a crowd of roughly a hundred people was waiting for the minister and the visit had to be postponed.

The Minister of Education had to be evacuated and eventually made his way to the rectorate of Lyon, although this visit was not on the program. Upon returning to the capital at the end of the day, demonstrators had gathered on the platform of the station where he was supposed to disembark. Once again, the police contained the protesters while Pap Ndiaye was evacuated.

He is the latest example of heckled ministers travelling, not the first. François Braun, Minister of Health, and the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti also suffered protestations. Following the incident of Pap Ndiaye, demonstrators embarked on a spontaneous gathering in the streets of the 12th arrondissement of the capital. These gatherings are referred to as "wild" demonstrations as they have not been declared to the prefecture. This does not necessarily imply that the degree of degradation or violence of the gathering is high.

The use of pots and pans to disrupt ministers and the French President during their travels has become increasingly popular and has led to the introduction of prefectural decrees. This was the case in Hérault which banned the use of "portable sound devices". The welcoming committees reserved for representatives of Macronia, the members of the government who support President Macron’s ideology, do not seem to be appreciated by the institutions.

Edited by Sean Mulryan

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