"It’s the little grains of sand which jam the machine"

A tract distributed in front of France Telecom in Bercy, Paris agitating for a wildcat general strike against the CPE.

Submitted by alibi on March 29, 2006

Handed out on Tuesday 27 March at midday, it was translated for libcom.org:

It would only take a little push...

A little push to change the relations of force. It’s the little grains of sand which jam the machine.

The movement of students and lycéens (high school students) against the CPE, CNE, etc has been growing for several weeks. It’s time for us (workers, unemployed people, movements already involved in the struggle) to react by going on general strike, without waiting for the go-ahead from the unions (the blows taken during the superannuation).

It’s in everyday life that we run into, that we live précarité (precariousness). A documentary, They won’t all die, but everyone was affected, which appeared recently, analyses the various forms of harassment undergone in the world of work and the fragilisation (a form of précarité) of salaried workers. Indeed, all are affected (white- and blue-collar workers), most of them are employed under CDI’s (permanent contracts), but all suffer the full impact of the policy of maximum business profit. The film brings to light all of the issues around the forms of organisation of work, around the relationships which develop between people and around the new forms of exploitation and domination. What level of abuse, of humiliation, of demeaning of one’s humanity, of violation of human dignity, whether in the sphere of work or in personal life, must be reached before we react? In January the Journal de vingt minutes (free tabloid press distributed in the metro etc) reported: ‘The CGT has condemned the existence of an illegal file of names in a call centre in Bercy (12th arrondissement), with remarks such as ‘unmanageable’ or ‘slack’, targeting 170 salaried workers. How are things, today, in your company? Why does this file exist? Was it at least destroyed? Not a single day goes by without running into a friend, a colleague, a parent, a stranger … where the reflections made to each other attest to the growing malaise caused by this commodified/market-driven society.

It’s sometimes easier to submit to this order, because obedience allows one to avoid any taking of initiative and any thought. Precarité isn’t inevitable, but rejecting it will require an effort towards attaining lucidity by every single one of us. The effort of reflecting upon a social choice, and how to arrive at the goal of that project. The events of the last few weeks could allow us to be the lever for this. For that we must first take a radical position: the general strike, the only way weaken our rulers and the only moment when it is possible to create spaces for discussion and solidarity.

GENERAL STRIKE TO TAKE OUR LIVES BACK INTO OUR OWN HANDS! mobilisation in 2003 was yet more proof of their reluctance to really defend social visions). The wreckage of public utilities, and all directives of government and the bosses point to a single aim: the development of social misery. Salaries, old age pensions, housing, health, education, culture, immigration, environment, etc… the list of angles of attack is growing longer. As the years go by, we are losing our living space bit by bit.

Signed by Salaried workers, non-salaried workers, unemployed people, students, ‘precarious’ workers... 27 March 2006