The Occurrence firm attacked by Jean-Luc Mélenchon after the march against the pension reform

BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS Jean-Luc Melenchon, member of French far-left opposition party La France Insoumise (France Unbowed – LFI) attends a rally, called by left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI) party and Youth organizations, to protest against the French government’s pension reform map in Paris, France, January 21, 2023. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

BENOIT TESSIER / REUTERS

Jean-Luc Melenchon took part in the march against the pension reform this Saturday, January 21

DEMONSTRATION – For once the duel is not between the number of the organizers and that of the police (one or two million people) as was the case on Thursday January 19. But it is between the organizers of the march against the pension reform and the cabinet Occurrence that it takes place this Saturday, January 21.

For the former – youth organizations supported by rebellious France – this gathering is a great success. They counted 150,000 participants in this Parisian gathering between Place de la Bastille and Place de Nation. In the procession, many young people but also elected officials (rebellious in particular but also some environmentalists) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon who took the floor to “curse” Emmanuel Macron.

This figure of 150,000 demonstrators makes it possible to announce a success for movements which wanted to do better than the 140,000 people claimed in October during the march against high cost of living and climate inaction organized by NUPES.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon denounces the cabinet Occurrence

But this observation is largely tarnished by the estimate made by the firm Occurrence, commissioned by a media collective. Shortly after 6 p.m., when the demonstration was dispersed in eastern Paris, he reported 14,045 demonstrators, 10 times less than the claimed total. What ulcerate Jean-Luc Mélenchon who accused Occurrence of being a “manipulative macronist agency”.

The Occurrence firm, presented as independent by the media that call on it (about 80 including Le Monde, AFP, BFMTV, Radio France, etc.), has regularly given since 2018 a figure of the number of demonstrators based mainly on observation. procession computer.

And the police in all this? The Paris police headquarters let it be known that it does not give figures for demonstrations organized by political parties. Because although a dozen youth organizations were at the origin of the mobilization, it was insubordinate France that declared it. This is therefore what explains the absence of a so-called official figure, as was also the case in the fall of 2022. It is only an anonymous police source who gives a number to AFP: 12,000 on January 21 against 30,000 in October. At the time, the firm Occurrence gave 29,500.

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