Millions of French workers, campaigners and pensioners are set to take part in two crucial days of resistance.
On Tuesday of next week workers across France will strike and demonstrate against president Nicolas Sarkozy’s attacks on pensions.
For the first time all the trade union federations have called for united action on pensions.
It is set to be a huge show of resistance.
A few days earlier, on Saturday, thousands will take to the streets to protest against racism and scapegoating. Marches are planned in Paris and 94 other French cities and towns.
This follows Sarkozy’s attempt to deflect opposition to his policies by a brutal targeting of immigrants and Roma people.
Many of the more than 30 organisations backing the protests talk of defending the “values of the French republic”—liberty, equality and fraternity.
But there is also a strong radical and socialist current.
A spokesperson from the campaign group La Voix des Roms (Voice of the Roma) told Socialist Worker, “As well as deportations, Sarkozy has created special camps where Roma are supposed to settle.
“These have big concrete walls around them and are cut off from other communities.
“Police and other security forces guard them all the time. You cannot even have visitors without them being checked and counted by the guards.
“This is another form of oppression—an attempt to break our way of life.”