Macron faces rebellion! Protestors occupy Paris theatre and demand lockdown rules scrapped

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They are also calling for state wage support, which expires in August, to be extended for a year. Around 80 demonstrators stormed the Odeon Theatre in central Paris on Thursday.

Anti-government banners have been hung outside the historic building.

Those inside have been playing drums and guitars and singing a song called “we want to work”.

Emmanuel Macron is under increasing pressure due to France’s lengthy curfew measures and slugging coronavirus vaccine rollout, which is lagging far behind the UK.

Like other EU member states, France agreed the European Commission would purchase vaccines on its behalf but supplies have been low.

Speaking to French broadcaster LCI Karine Huet, who is one of those occupying the building, said the group are demanding a meeting with France’s cultural minister and prime minister.

Ms Huet is general secretary of the SNAM-CGT trade union.

She commented: “We will not leave before a national council of entertainment professionals is convened with Roselyne Bachelot and Jean Castex.”

The Paris theatre occupation coincided with protests across France by cultural workers on Thursday.

French news site reports 300 also took part in a CGT union organised rally in the southern city of Marseille.

Demonstrations also took place in Lyon, Grenoble and Strasbourg.

During an interview with LCI Louis-Marie Hippolyte, a 34-year-old theatre lighting manager in Grenoble, revealed he has only been working “five or ten hours a month”.

He added: “We have been stuck at home for a year.”


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Another man added: “We are dying!

“Before the coronavirus, I made a good living with long and short contracts in events, but since the cancellation of festivals, I can barely fill the fridge and I can no longer pay my rent every month.”

In Lyon Antoine Galvani, from the Snam-CGT union, claimed: “the promises of Emmanuel Macron are not being kept”.

He noted state subsidy of artists wages is due to end in August despite many of this summer’s festivals having already been cancelled.

Around five percent of the French population have received their first coronavirus jab.

By contrast the UK, which ordered its vaccines independently, has given at least one jab to over 31 percent.

France is facing rising coronavirus cases with the more infectious Kent variant ripping across the country.

On Thursday prime minister Jean Castex announced the northern Pas-de-Calais region, which includes Dunkirk and Nice, will go into lockdown over the weekend.

France already has an overnight curfew beginning each day at 6pm.

Polling released last month suggested Mr Macron could face a tight contest in next year’s presidential election against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

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