Cannes, city of fear… A wind of protest is about to blow over the festival

As Johnny Depp and Michael Douglas head for the Croisette, the CGT gathers its forces for a demonstration on May 21. She hopes to mobilize up some stars. Other disturbances cannot be excluded.

The most publicized event on the planet after the Olympics and the football world cups. Two weeks of stair climbing, endless stars, haute couture dresses and precious jewelry. Temple of a certain excess and formidable sounding board, the Cannes film festival, which is held from May 16 to 27, attracts the attention of the CGT. The latter has indicated its intentions very clearly since last April 22: to lead a “grevilla” (for strike and guerrilla warfare) and to plunge into darkness the major events of the spring, including the most important of all.

The American trade magazine variety, which closely follows the news of the Croisette, gave details of the actions planned by the union. According to the head of the CGT, Denis Gravouil, several social actions will be held during the fortnight. Starting with a gathering of employees from the hotel and restaurant sector, on Friday May 19, opposite the Carlton – the flagship of the hotel industry which has just reopened its doors. Event “departmental and inter-union with the FSU, Solidarity and the UNSA», according to the local CGT website, should take place two days later. The meeting point was given near Le Cannet, half an hour’s walk from the Croisette.

Read alsoMichel Fau: “At Molières, we no longer talk about theater, but about ecology and the CGT”

But this demonstration will not have the authorization to join the Croisette and the Palace of Festivals, the nerve center of the city in this period. As “the previous years”, the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes issued an order on Thursday, prohibiting any demonstration around the famous promenade, for the duration of the festival, details AFP. The perimeter concerned includes the surroundings of the Palace, the Croisette and the streets adjacent to it.

Union demonstrations or not, Cannes finds itself, every May, surrounded by numerous security forces. This year, according to Nice morning, a thousand police officers, gendarmes and private security agents will be mobilized. The attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in July 2016 partly explains this vigilance, which was also made necessary by the presence of politicians and international stars.

“Attracting the gaze to a saucepan”

The festival and the town hall of Cannes will do everything to avoid this, but we want to take advantage of the media exposure enjoyed by this international event to attract attention to the concerto of saucepans. »continues in variety Denis Gravouil, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Cannes Film Festival as a representative of the National Federation of Show, Cinema, Audiovisual and Cultural Action Unions (FNSAC-CGT). He is the general secretary. This same trade unionist hopes that prestigious guests concerned with social issues, such as Ken Loach – twice Palme d’Or and again in competition – will support the movement.

The CGT therefore also promised possible power cuts, which would make the rooms completely dark. In April, an Alsatian factory first, Montpellier airport and then a college in Hérault, were deprived of electricity shortly before presidential visits. On April 28, the match between the rugby players of Agen and Nevers ends up in the dark for half an hour. An action “umed” by Guillaume Floret, representative of CGT Énergie in Aquitaine. “Of course, we do not want there to be an accident at the stadium or that there are crowd movements. According to my information, it went pretty well, everyone lit up with their phone.explained the trade unionist after the lights went out.

These cuts did not last. Depending on the case, a generator took over or technicians came to resupply the stations. The personnel behind these actions risk being prosecuted. And fired. If the town hall of Cannes, held by the energetic David Lisnard, refuses to comment, it’s a safe bet that she has already prepared alternative solutions. As at each festival, the city councilor communicates permanently with the prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes, Bernard Gonzalez.

Read alsoBrilliance or set-up at Molières? The Minister of Culture umes

Environmental activists on the spot

Last possible jolt, we remember theintrusion on the Cesar stagelast February, of an environmental activist from the movement Last Renovation. Dressed in a t-shirt on which was written “We have 761 days left» (“there are 761 days left” before the global warming threshold of + 1.5°C is exceeded), a 24-year-old young woman stood motionless on stage, before being dragged out of the Olympia by the order department.

Eight members of the same radical collective have just been sentenced to 35 hours of community service or 90 day-fines (a fixed sum to be paid each day). Their blocking of the A6 motorway in October 2022 was described as“traffic obstruction”. For their happenings in cultural events, environmental activists are not condemned. But with the approach of the Olympic Games, some fear a tightening of the legislation.

Last year, black smoke from smoke bombs rose above the red carpet. The Documentary Splicers Feminist response had deployed before the eyes of the guests a long list of the 129 feminicides committed in France since the last Cannes Film Festival. Will they return this year to protest against the presence of Johnny Depp in turmoil since his highly publicized trial against Amber Heard and who plays the role of Louis XV in Maïwenn’s film, Jeanne du Barryscreened at the opening of this 76e edition of the Cannes Film Festival?

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