WORKERS and youth throughout France are demonstrating today for a ceasefire in Gaza, following a call by the CGT trade union federation.
A union statement said on Wednesday: ‘After the mobilisations in France on October 22, then that of November 4, the CGT calls on workers and more generally the population to maintain pressure on the government by gathering and demonstrating massively on November 18.
‘Solidarity with the Palestinian people! Stop the massacres! Ceasefire in Gaza!
‘An unacceptable collective punishment!
‘For a month, the inhabitants of Gaza have been under fire from bombings by the Israeli army.
‘More than 10,000 people have already died, almost half of them children. These massacres of the Palestinian population are only getting worse every day.
‘The acts perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 against Israeli civilians in no way justify the collective punishment currently being carried out against the entire Palestinian people.
‘War crimes and crimes against humanity are increasing in what increasingly resembles genocide.
A catastrophic humanitarian situation
‘Hospitals are bombed, those that have not yet been destroyed are bloodless and overrun by the wounded. Care is almost impossible for very serious war wounds and amputations are carried out without anesthesia.
‘Nearly 1.7 million people were forced to leave their homes in urgency and fear. But the south of Gaza where some of the inhabitants of the north are taking refuge is bombed, while the population density per square km has exceeded 10,000 inhabitants.
International law must be imposed
‘The Israeli government is once again flouting international law after having done so for decades with the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israeli settlers.
‘This government dominated by the extreme right openly pursues a policy of apartheid and inexorably continues the colonisation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in defiance of all international decisions, closing the door more and more every day to any peace process, while Benjamin Netanyahu and his political allies are calling for the razing of the cities of Gaza.
‘The international community, particularly mobilised for the Palestinian cause, denounces this deadly policy of Israel and calls for an end to the massacres. In most capitals around the world, particularly strong demonstrations take place every week with calls for peace.
Demonstrations and rallies on November 18 to demand:
- The immediate ceasefire
- Stopping bombings and forced displacement of the population
- Protection of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank
- A just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis
- Freedom of expression and demonstration, fundamental democratic freedoms
- The fight against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and the strategies of recovery and division which benefit the far right.’
At least 200 medical workers have been killed in the Gaza Strip since October 7, the death toll includes doctors, nurses and paramedics.
A total of 25 hospitals and 52 medical centres have been put out of operation by heavy Israeli bombing of the enclave. A total of 55 ambulance vehicles were hit by Israeli fire.
The Hamas official media office said on Thursday, the number of martyrs due to the Israeli aggression has risen to more than 11,500, including 4,710 children, in addition to nearly 30,000 wounded, with more than 70% of them being women and children.
Ismail Thawabteh, the Director-General of the Media Office, said in a press conference that the number of missing persons due to the aggression reached 3,640, including 1,770 children who are still under the rubble.
He mentioned that the total number of massacres committed by the occupation army since October 7 of last year has reached 1,200, targeting civilians in the Gaza Strip.
- Meanwhile in France, medical staff went on strike and demonstrated on Thursday over planned health and social security cuts.
Announcing the mass protest, the CGT said: ‘To face the incessant attacks that the government is making on our health system with 49.3, the CGT Federation of Health and Social Action is calling for a major day of mobilisation on November 16.
‘Among other things, a rally is planned for 1 pm in front of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
‘Once again, democracy is scarred by the use of article 49 paragraph 3 of the Constitution by the government, this time on the bill for the financing of Social Security for 2024.
All-round rollbacks of rights and weakening of the health system
‘And we understand why the government is not very subtly trying to suppress any criticism, because this text provides for new attacks not only against our health system, but also against the rights of workers, those deprived of employment and retirees.
‘The PLFSS 2024 provides for new budget cuts of at least 3.5 billion euros, sources of deterioration of our health and social protection model, and the increase in the remaining costs by reimbursing less certain medicines and certain services.
Beyond health, many other components of social protection are affected:
- the government tried to use the PLFSS to impose rollbacks regarding the employer’s inexcusable fault in matters of work accidents and occupational illnesses;
- it attempted a hold-up on supplementary pensions – the pioneer schemes are also once again targeted;
- the PLFSS provides for heavy cuts on unemployment insurance, hampering the current negotiations, to finance the monstrous France Travail, intended to sanction recipients of RSA and other solidarity benefits.
A health and care system already in very poor condition
‘The PLFSS 2024 would be a new blow to our health system, which is already in a catastrophic state.
‘The public hospital, particularly emergency rooms, and health, medico-social and social establishments, and community medicine are in a critical situation in terms of staffing levels and the working conditions of professionals.
‘And at the same time, the health system is facing the acceleration of closures of beds, services and structures which accentuates the lack of access, supply and the deterioration in the quality of care for the population throughout the world.
‘Thus, 85% of nursing homes are in deficit and this translates into job cuts in a sector under great pressure, despite the growing need to accommodate the elderly.
‘All the indicators are red: widespread exhaustion of caregivers, deterioration in the health of the population, mistreatment in nursing homes or daycare centres due to lack of resources and the development of the lucrative private sector, impossibility of access to care, massive under-declaration of work accidents, medical deserts, drug shortages, etc.
‘On these points, the government’s proposals are either insufficient and unacceptable, or insufficient.
All mobilised on November 16
‘The CGT is opposed to these purely managerial logics and demands the restitution of control of Social Security to workers, the elimination of exemptions from social contributions which represent more than 80 million euros and a real response to the needs in terms of health, retirement, autonomy, early childhood.
‘With other trade union organisations representing the hospital public service, the CGT Federation of Health and Social Action is calling for a day of strike and national mobilisation on November 16, which will result in actions and initiatives in establishments and in the territories, and a rally is planned in front of the Ministry of Health and Prevention from 1 p.m.
‘Our health and social protection system must be based on solidarity and obtain the necessary means to face and respond to the needs of workers and the population.’