Lisieu, Wednesday, 7th May - Brest March
At the end of April, the marchers were in the Orne region of France, passing through the small built up areas. On 1st May, the Labour Day demonstration was held in Alen�on , where the marchers headed the demonstration. Friday, 2nd May, the marchers took part in an action for "free transport" for the unemployed.This is a one of the demands made by the French unemployment groups. and taken up by the European March The marchers took a train for S�e. Then they continued the train journey in the afternoon and by the time they arrived in Argentan, the group had grown to forty people. The mayor of Argentan welcomed the marchers, and in the evening there was debat, but unfortunately there was a low level of participation... Saturday, 3rd May, at Cond�/Noireau, then Flers de l'Orne, where there was a demonstration with about a hundred people. The local Flers AC! (Action against Unemployment), had organised this demonstration with stops at every shut down factory, to publicised the large number of factory closures with local redundancies In front of the each of these factories, Flers AC! had made huge posters showing the number of jobs lost The demonstration then logically moved on to the local town's job centre (ANPE). Here they were astonished to find that the entrance had been bricked up! This made a wonderful scoop for journalists! Sunday, 4th May, the marchers were at Domfront. They were well received by the Federation Small Farmers, but the local mayor refused to meet them. A demonsration was held in the town under the rain. Monday, 5th May in Vire, a small town, but a huge demonstration with 250 people, made up mostly by college students. In Falaise on Tuesday, same overwhelming welcome, due no doubt, to the presence of a large number college students. 300 people joined the demonstration. A particular local problem is the threat of hospital staff redudancies. Rural hospital staff are threatened with job losses which they think will probably lead to hospital closures in their area. So to draw attention to their fight, the marchers held a silent demonstration in the hospitals in support of the staff and their determination to maintain adeqate jobs levels and a viable health service for the local community Wednesday, 7th May, still in Falaise. Another visit to the local job centre (ANPE). In the evening, a debat took place with local CFDT unionists, then the march left for Caen, the regional capital.
Romans, Thursday, 8th May - Marches from Almeria and Barcelona
This part of the march was made up of more than 30 permanent marchers, 11 Spanish 3 Moroccan marchers and the rest are French. The march merged with other marches from Almeria, Barcelona, Montpellier, Avignon and a march coming from Marseilles. Of the French marchers, 8 come from Marseilles and the others are mostly from Montpellier.
Montpellier - Avignon
Saturday, 3rd May, the arrival of the European march in Montpellier. There was a huge turnout of nearly a 1000 people at the place de la Com�die The welcoming committee included trade unionists (SUD, CFDT, SNUI, CGT). The evening was festive with an animated debat. Sunday, 4th May, departure for Nimes. A smaller welcome. Immediately, with local groups, the march aimed for the northern part of Nimes, where unemployment is high in the urban priority zone (ZUP). Local groups prepared lunch for the marchers and there was a very good atmosphere The mayor of Nimes was also there. Next day, the marchers set off for Avignon.
Marseilles - Avignon
After a good lunch at the town hall of the 13th and 14th arrondissement of Marseille with 120 people, the marchers left on the 1st May ,after the Labour Day demonstration. They stopped by at the town hall of the 15th and 16th arrondissement, then took the road for Gardianne. Friday, 2nd May, Gardanne-Aix where 50 people turned out to welcome the march. The evening was a mixture of music and debat. Saturday, 3rd May, Vitrolle - Istres. In the last local elections, Vitrolle town hall,was won by the Front National. Prudently, it was thought best for this part of the march to be made by coach .However despite this, the Vitrolle municipal police took down the names and addresses of members of numerous associations of Vitrolle present in order to show their support the march. All were taken back such openly fascist behaviour by the police. At 11h 30, the marchers arrived in Chateaunef les Martigues. Respite, the mayor is a socialist. Here the march was received by the local CFDT, and attended the reception given by the mayor. The evening was spent in Istres, where the local mayor welcomed the march. Sunday, 4th May, Istres-Miramas-Salon. In Miramas, the local Communist Party mayor, joined in the demonstration. At midday there was a reception in the Salon de Provence, with about 100 people, followed by a march through the town which many of the people joined. The evening was spent with the Federation of Small Farmers. Avignon - Romans
Monday, 5th May, the two marches leave for Avignon for a joint demonstration up to the town hall with 300 participants, including the CGT unemployed group the Federation of Small Farmers... Tuesday, 6th May, Orange, sadly, yet another town with a National Front mayor ... This time people were better prepared. The Roman theatre became the focal point for a crowd of 200 people and included delegations from Marseilles, Montpellier etc., from there, the crowd marched through the town shouting anti-fascists slogans. In the afternoon, the march went through the villages north of Orange, where they were welcomed by the town hall and the trade union F.O (Force Ouvri�re at the Tricastin nucclaire centre) who put foi gras on the menu for the marcheurs! Wednesday, 7th May. march to Valence. A demonstration was held with a 100 people.
Thursday, 8th May, a day of rest at Romans.
Monday, 5th May - Brive la Gailarde / Toulouse March
Monday, 5th May - Brive la Gailarde / Toulouse March
This march set out on the 1st May and joined up with the Tangiers March went on to Bordeaux and was at Charroux (south of Poitiers) on 10th May
There was another "free transport" action for the unemployed on the train from Cahors to Brive. At Brive, the welcoming committee, formed barely a week ago, had practically no time to mobilise local groups. Consequently, only a few people were present. At midday, a snack and a debat was arranged in the local CGT's offices. Then a demonstration in the rain which was understandably also poorly attended. At the prefecture a request was handed in and also at the local job centre (ANPE) by a delegation of six people. This concerned a woman, part of the delegation, demanding the right to electricity supply, which was due to be cut off : the threat was lifted. After the French Marches in 1994, a local women's group was set up, and they mobilised the different associations and unions to arranged a debat with the marchers in Cosnac at the local council offices. A satisfactory ending to the evening.
Monday, 5th May - Besan�on / Grenoble March via Switzerland
The marchers set out at 9h.30, for the local job centre (ANPE) and occupied it until 15h.30. A "sayn�te" (a sketch) was jointly organised by SUD-PTT and theatre workers against the privatisation of France Telecom. It was played at the ANPE, in front of the town hall and the local offices of France Telecom. In the evening at 18h, about a 100 activists demonstrated outside the Chamber of commerce and industry. The director kindly "granted" an interview for 20 minutes. He thought that job creation did not concern him (sic), and that it was up to associations to do something about it! Later, at 20h 30, a conference-debat was held with Michel Husson.