Tuesday, 26th April, saw yet another suicide of a man working for France Telecom, this time by self-immolation in the parking lot of the France Telecom offices in Mérignac near Bordeaux. The picture on the left shows the exact place Rémi L. set fire to himself - beneath what was architecturally designed to look like a cross. The glories of sacifice. Ironically part of the guy's most recent job requirement was to assess stress levels within the company and their remedy. Some remedy!
Since 2008 France Telecom has had 60 suicides, each year more than the previous one. Such a public and particularly horrible form of suicide was perhaps intended to shock France Telecom's impervious wall of indifference into finally 'listening'.
Since the very end of March, there have been increasing amounts of schools occupations throughout France. Provoked by the suppression of nearly 16,000 teaching posts, the closure of classes, the threatened closure of some of these schools and the consequent increases in class sizes, these occupations have been particularly concentrated on infant schools and primary schools, but have also included "Middle Schools" ("Collèges" for 11 to 14 or 15-year-olds) and those lycées with "Collèges" attached to them. Though it's hard to gauge how many occupations there have been, it must be at least 250.
Starting off with just a 3 hour occupation at the end of March in an infant school in a village called Kernéval, south of Brest in the North West, this has spread throughout the country, with all night occupations lasting several days, often with parties, barbecues and the parents sleeping in tents in the playgrounds.
A summary of historical tendencies towards communism from 1848 to 1984 - via 1917 and 1968.
"[i]Most of this issue of La Banquise is devoted to a summary of the modern revolutionary movement. Summing up the past, including the recent past, and taking soundings of the contemporary period in order to recognise some of its basic tendencies, is essential in order to know who and where we are.
Examining the nature and definition of the proletariat, class society and its abolition.
Source; La Banquise No. 3, 1984.
Translation by the administrator of the John Gray website; http://www.reocities.com/~johngray/
Mouvement Communiste analyse the ultimately unsuccessful 2010 movement against pension reform in France.
We think this text is interesting, however the English is quite poor. We reproduce it anyway and would welcome any assistance in improving the quality of the translation. Please comment below or e-mail us if you would be able to help.
A brief introduction to the ideas of French-Belgian group Mouvement Communiste.
[i] The condition of the working-class is the real basis and point of departure of all social movements of the present be cause it is the highest and most unconcealed pinnacle of the social misery existing in our day.
Henri Simon looks behind the pension reform demonstrations and sees discontent with politics and politicians, and with the capitalist system itself.
In France for more than fifty years, everyone, whether they worked or not, had the right up until now to a minimum old age benefit at 65 years old. This right, independent of income earned elsewhere, is matched with add-ons depending on health, number of children, etc.
Theorie Communiste article on the specificity of contemporary capitalism and of the revolution as communisation.
Communisation and communism are things of the future, but we should speak about them in the present – that is the wager of this review. Communisation is prefigured in the present struggles every time the proletariat comes up against its own existence as a class, in its action as a class against capital – i.e. within the relation of exploitation and in the very course of those struggles.
The ICEM (Institut Coopératif de l'Ecole Moderne) and the FIMEM (Féderation Internationale des Mouvements de l'Ecole Moderne) are the official organisations of Freinet education. There are over 2000 Freinet teachers in state schools in France, where head teachers have no authority over the teaching methods in individual classrooms in their schools.)
Even though the charter of the Modern School was produced some time ago (1968), its philosophy remains completely up to date. It represents a basic text to which all members of the ICEM and the FIMEM still adhere.
1. Education is development and growth; it is not the accumulation of knowledge or drill or training. In this spirit we seek out working methods and "tools" – ways of organising and living – which allow maximum development and growth.
A short account of the life of Lorenzo Portet, active alongside Francisco Ferrer and an anarchist militant in Spain, Argentina, France and Liverpool.
“Portet acted as a link between emerging Liverpool syndicalism and the development of a revolutionary industrial movement in Spain in the period before 1914”.
- Bob Holton in Building the Union, Hikins.
“Lorenzo Portet was a rare individual. He was an unusually brilliant companion, a loyal, inspiring friend"
- Margaret Sanger, My Fight for Birth Control