French workers say the government is using fines and prosecutions in an effort to intimidate striking workers and protesters into silence.
SHAFAQNA- France has come under pressure for increased repression of unions by prosecuting anti-government demonstrators, Press TV reports.
“This is another in a series of messages sent by the government that demonstrations and strikes can’t be too visible or too effective. We have a lot of trade union members who are being prosecuted as the government has started to take extreme positions against those who publicly protest in an effort to suppress them,” said a protester.
Demonstrators also accuse the administration of President Francois Hollande of attempting to criminalize social movements.
“It’s a very dangerous game the government is playing. It won’t stop people from protesting and it could lead to even greater radicalization, which is not what we want. The government and private businesses must accept that we have the right to peacefully express ourselves,” the protester added.
Government workers and demonstrators have staged the country’s biggest wave of social discontent since the start of the great recession in 2007.
In June, rail workers staged a nationwide strike. Police severely beat many people and used tear gas against demonstrators during the strike, with Paris prosecuting protesters despite video recordings showing clear evidence of police brutality.
French union activists say they will continue to protest for their economic gains and social rights.
Paris has introduced reforms that include plans for more competition among French rail services. However, unions argue that the measures will not help solve the sector’s problems.
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