From Green Left Weekly
French police and protesters clashed in Paris on May 22 after unions — angered by years of public-sector pay cuts and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms — urged state employees to stop work and join nationwide street protests.
Riot police charged at protesters with batons in central Paris, firing stun grenades and tear gas. Police said 20 demonstrators were arrested.
The demonstration was called by the large labour unions plus many smaller ones, and involved the organisation of street rallies in about 140 cities, towns and villages across France.
Postal workers, air traffic controllers, state teachers and public administration workers joined marches to denounce an erosion of spending power and public services under Macron.
French electricity grid operator RTE said the strike reduced nuclear electricity generation by 2 gigawatts as several nuclear reactors operated by state-controlled utility EDF were forced to cut production.
A spokesperson for state energy company EDF said about 15.5% of the company’s staff took part in the strike.
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]
By Nicolas Cunningham, Znet via NACLA
Latin America is home to seven presidential elections and transitions this year, including its two largest economies, Mexico and Brazil. Both countries suffer from chronic inequality, the militarization of domestic security, high levels of violence, and economic policies that favor the wealthy. But as two highly corrupt and thoroughly unpopular governments reach the end of their terms, voters also have an opportunity to halt the rightward shift in the region’s politics. While much is at stake, both countries are at a crossroads over their respective energy policies. Both Mexico and Brazil have pursued some form of privatization in their energy sectors in recent years, selling off oil reserves to the highest bidders. Could viable leftist candidates in both countries offer alternatives visions to the fossil-fueled status quo?
AMLO—Not Quite Lázaro Cardenas
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or AMLO, a former mayor of Mexico City who is running for president for the third time, is the frontrunner in Mexico’s July presidential election. He leads the break-off group Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena), after leaving the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) in 2012.
Continue reading Brazil and Mexico – Crossroads elections in Latin Amewrica