The city of Cannes has banned demonstrations along the Croisette and its surroundings during the Cannes Film Festival.
The CGT union, represented by Denis Gravouil on the Cannes Film Festival board of directors, is still preparing a major event on May 21, but it will take place along Boulevard Carnot, far from the Croisette and the festival headquarters. There will also be a rally of hospitality workers, including hotel, cafe and restaurant workers, outside the Carlton Hotel – whose celebrity guests this year include Martin Scorsese – on May 19, from 1 p.m. at 15h. likely involving protesters banging pans to vent their anger, is technically allowed because the front of the Carlton is a private space.
The city of Cannes and regional authorities continued this ban in most of Cannes to avoid civic unrest. The country has been torn apart by massive protests against the French government’s unpopular pension reform raising the retirement age since the start of March. The last time France was rocked by protests of this magnitude was in 2004, when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Cannes, angered by changes to unemployment benefit rules by the government of President Jacques Chirac.
Reacting to the ban, Gravouil said Variety “It illustrates the functioning of this government whether in Cannes or elsewhere.” “This government did not stop the neo-Nazis from demonstrating in the heart of Paris on May 6, but there were so many decrees to ban the ‘casserolades’ (the concert of saucepans which was used to protest against the reform of the pensions).”
Cannes has been restricting protests along the Croisette since the 2016 terror attacks, but Céline Petit, a senior Nice-based CGT official, said she had been “negotiating with local and regional authorities for almost two weeks to achieve a compromise on a demonstration path close enough to the Croisette, as was done in 2013, to give some visibility to (their) actions.
“It’s always been possible to find common ground, but this time they say they’re afraid it’s going to get out of hand, but frankly I don’t know if it’s really fear or a desire not to. give visibility to our demands on pension reform or what is happening in the world of cinema,” Petit said, alluding to the fact that the organization also planned to protest against the inclusion of certain films in competition.
“Beyond the pension reform, we also denounce the way women are treated in the world of cinema, but they don’t want us to smear the image and the glitzy standards of the Cannes Film Festival,” Petit said. .
Petit and Gravouil, said the power outage inside the Palais des Festivals – most likely inside the Théâtre Lumière – has not been ruled out.
“We want a space to express ourselves and be heard, we want to hold a press conference and climb the stairs of the Palace, and the Festival must understand this if it wants to avoid things like (a power cut),” said Gravel. , who referred to the biblical story of David and Goliath to describe the face-to-face. “Things will be much better if the festival plays ball with us.”
Despite the tensions, the CGT, which happens to be a founding member of the Cannes Film Festival, will be on the ground inside the Palace at 10 p.m. on May 21 to host a screening of “Amor, Mujeres y Flores”, a documentary by Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva, on the harsh conditions of female workers in flower plantations in Bogotá. The screening will be followed by a debate in the presence of the French feminist organizations 50:50 and Women on Camera.
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