Submitted by rooieravotr on March 17, 2016

In France, sizable protests agianst a new labour law that threatens to make it easier to lay off workers en evade the 35-hour day. A few mainstream news articles I found through Labourstart (I saw news articees on a Dutch news site as well)

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/hundreds-of-thousands-protest-over-french-jobs-reform/articleshow/51337712.cms

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-protest-35-hour-working-week-march-demonstration-changes-a6920786.html

Seems quite big. And in a Dutch news site, the labour law that was defeated through the big protests of 2006 was mentioned by way of historical context.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hadn't heard anything about this, according to Le Monde it's a student strike. 70-150 thousand demonstrating in Paris. It might explain the noise at school on Tuesday. (Last week's day of action got 220000 out)
115 establishments blockaded since yesterday. Scuffles with Police in Paris, Nantes, Rouen and MArseille.

http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/portfolio/2016/03/17/loi-travail-les-defiles-ponctues-par-des-incidents_4885226_823448.html

It will make it easier to fire people. In terms of the 35 hour week it will cut obligatory bonuses for overtime and make it easier to force overtime.

In other news there has been a 1.2% pay increase for civil servants whose pay has been frozen since 2010, widely seen as a cynical move by Holande ahead of the election. Personally I don't understand it, it isn't enough to bribe anyone and he's almost certainly going to lose if he stands.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not getting much publicity here, the student protests on successive thursdays haven't really made the news, I didn' even know that there had been protests at the school I work at.
The attacks on the police stations were widely reported and attacked in the media as the work of out of control youth / the work of instigators etc.

Supposedly the demonstrators has been throwing eggs at the riot police before one cops decided to punch a kid who was being lifted up by him and another cop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBuzy2-B-T4

The 'ransacking'of a supermarket was, as far as I can tell beoynd the hyperbole, a bit of shoplifting en masse and the students mostly took food to give to the homeless and refugees. I've watched the video of the attack on the police station in the 19th, they threw a traffic cone from twenty feet away and a few tiles were thrown, didn't appear to be any damage, I think the police station in the 10th took more damage. It was also the last day before easter weekend.

The recent strikes have frequently been led, and mostly participated in, by students in seconde, so they're 16ish and haven't chosen their path for the bac (16-18) from the little I have seen and heard.

The media are dismissing them as casseurs as usual (literally breakers, used to mean people just interesting in destruction with no political ideals)

Shockingly the police officer has been questioned and might face disciplinary procedures, probably due to the fact that it was all recorded. But too many kids are recording each other and posting it online, if the cops can be bothered to look for it they'll have lots of evidence against quite a few of them.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

18 Parisian secondary schools have closed. In some cases this means that they have suspended lessons, but teachers are still expected to come in. It's very unclear, numbers have been creeping up.
Le Monde says 250 schools countrywide blockaded according to unions, 176 according to the government.

Protesting dock workers had also blocked roads around the northern towns of Rouen and Le Havre as well as the Pont de Normandie.

Clashes in St Nazaire (5500) Nantes (12-30000), Rennes (10000) MArseille (120000) and around the Gare de Lyon in Paris. Police firing tear gas

SNCF 24,2% of personnel on strike. 1/2 TGV in the north, normal in the east, 3 / 4 for the rest 1/2 eurostar. 4 trains Intercity in 10, aucun de nuit, local trains 1/2.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Video showing cops hitting people who are not dispersing quickly enough
https://youtu.be/JFXIuIYY6nY
Very frustratingly shot video from another angle showing cops just wandering around smacking people with truncheons. Students have widely reported being attacked, especially those who were filming.
https://youtu.be/P6nlZLVU81g

3 cops injured in MArseille, 2 arrests. 11 arrests in Paris.
Banks hit with paint bombs and some stones, mainly in Nantes, some in Paris.

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ce35je1WEAAxWS1.jpg

Strikers from schools and universities across the parisian region have been arriving at Place d'Italie for the last hour or so, the second march was supposed to start there at 13H30.
It's been raining most of the day.

Caen (2000) Toulouse (20000) Rouen (6000) Grenoble 7000) Clermont-Ferrand (5000) and other cities have strikes, marches and protests. Totals 250k accoridng to the Police 450k according to the unions

PAris metro 3/4

650km of tailbacks due to blockades of roads and bridges by dockers in Le HAvre and Rouen

Joseph Kay

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Socialist Party offices paintbombed in Rouen:

This seems to be the gist of the state response to the movement:

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

20 odd arrests in Paris
11 in Lyon

Police are estimating 390000 protesters, unions 1.2 million.

Be interesting to see the schools tomorrow.

Little article about the blockade at Louis le Grand, a public but very elite school.
http://bondyblog.liberation.fr/201603311358/louis-le-grand-experimente-la-science-du-blocage/#Photo1

There was another interesting one asking why it's the east of the city seeing the most action. LArgely because these are the traditional working class areas so the people in them have some idea of the working class (even if the areas are pretty gentrified and actual working class kids are often less zealous)

jef costello

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to Libération there were about 500 but they started leaving at 4-5 am mainly because they knew the police would come again and when they did at 6 there were only about 100 left. Most were forced into the metro and 20 or so who tried a sit-in were moved by force. Those in the station didn't try to do anything much but they did sing the Marseillaise.
About fifty stayed all night on Thursday.

http://danactu-resistance.over-blog.com/2016/03/jeudi-apres-les-manifs-on-occupe-des-places-nuit-debout.html
This is a call-out which also has a callout pdf attached. It's more generally anti-capitalist.

Callout for Caen and Saillans here:
http://www.racailles.info/2016/03/racailles-appelle-une-nuit-debout-le-31.html
http://latelier.in/nuit-debout-jeudi-31-mars-saillans-des-14h00/
Can't find anything suggesting that anything happened although the Caen one claimed to have lots of stuff organised.

Ed

6 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cheers for the updates guys! Interesting stuff!

mikail firtinaci

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is from roarmag:

On March 31, over 1.2 million took to the streets across the country in a massive general strike. Not all major unions joined the strike, but institutions from schools to the Eiffel Tower were closed. In Paris, a sign of protesters’ determination was on display as tens of thousands marched for hours in the pouring rain.

Most of the time when there is a protest in France people go out in the streets, express themselves and then go home. I remember receiving a soaking wet flyer at the end of the protest on March 31 asking me to come to the Place de la Republique for #NuitDebout — “night on our feet” — and thought that these people had little chance of starting a French version of Occupy in such horrible weather. But for days now thousands of people have occupied the main square in Paris, held debates and general assemblies, and organized working groups, movie screenings and music concerts attended by thousands.

https://roarmag.org/essays/nuit-debout-republique-occupation/?utm_content=buffer3c2e4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

jef costello

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Supposedly the nuit debout, where people stay out all night and occupy a square has been going on for a week and has spread to half a dozen cities. One of the key thing is to hold AG (assemblée générale - general meeting) at an AG people discuss what is happening and talk about what to do and then vote on it. AG are usually held in oragnisations / establishments etc and are generally considered binding. For example an AG that votes for a strike can then blockade etc. Student strikes are often called after AG. Strikers are often denounced for calling AG without warning/ packing the room/ deliberate miscounting of votes to force a strike. AG for Nuit Debout are going to be a little different and probably more about actions and immediate strategy. Blocking roads etc seems to be a major one.

300 place du Bouffay, NantesRennes, près de 200 esplanade Charles-de-Gaulleapprently they had picnic blankets, picnics and musical intrsuments
500 place du Capitole à Toulouse.
Lyon, heavy polie presence blocking access to place Mazagran where the callout was, so 300 met up under the pont de la Guillotière

#NuitDebout if you can be bothered someone is live tweeting.

200 people marching in Paris between 3-4am last night, broke into smaller groups and 50 or so got kettled for a few hours after blocking a road, the cops ended up escorting them to Place de la Republique.

Last night there were hundreds of people in the square in the evening and large groups blocked a main street calling on police to release people who'd been arrested.

There was a strike day yesterday too.
In Rennes there was a march and they blocked the station.

Long article on 31/01 in Rennes
https://nantes.indymedia.org/articles/34026

Arrests in Nantes during the protests, one person has got six months for being in an 'armed group' and 'covering his face' (So the cops should be getting how long a sentence...)
And another two months for throwing something. The trials are being held in camera and very quickly.

Reddebrek

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Very interesting updates, I hadn't any of this apart from news bites about some kind of disturbances in Paris. Hamid Moradei has written something about this here.

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is the state of emergency still in force?

Joseph Kay

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardian coverage says it's spread across France and across the border to Brussels too: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/08/nuit-debout-protesters-occupy-french-cities-in-a-revolutionary-call-for-change

Craftwork

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RE: the Nuit Debout

I've attended these Occupy-style assemblies, not sure about other people, but from my experience they're a massive waste of time, the fetishisation of general assembly/consensus/participatory democracy turns into a new bureaucratic nighmare - a monstrously time/energy-consuming, mind-numbing procedure; like a Stalinist bureaucracy, but less effective, also they tend to be dominated by liberal values rather than a commitment to class struggle - perfect illustration of this from the Guardian article:

"Various committees have sprung up to debate a new constitution, society, work, and how to occupy the square with more permanent wooden structures on a nightly basis. Whiteboards list the evening’s discussions and activities – from debates on economics to media training for the demonstrators. “No hatred, no arms, no violence,” was the credo described by the “action committee”.

This must be a perfect mini-society,” a member of the gardening committee told the crowd. A poetry committee has been set up to document and create the movement’s slogans. “Every movement needs its artistic and literary element,” said the poet who proposed it."

generalLDS

6 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dang,France isn't doing so good.

BorisJobson

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Witness testimony of a Street Medic on the events of 1st May 2016 in Paris, Published May 2nd, 2016.

May 1st, 2016 saw the repressive side. With lots of injuries and broken limbs caused by the cops, but also marked by an unfailing solidarity.

A collective statement will be released very soon. Meanwhile I wanted to write this testimony about what we experienced during the day of action on May 1st against the Labour Law in order to make it rapidly public.

The event was, from my point of view, one of the most violently repressed since the beginning of the movement. However, it is also on that day that I was able to participate in the practice of group solidarity, on a scale and a strength I had never known before.

As StreetMedic, we had to give medical help to medically help, reassure, and take care of countless injured. …We have seen and treated serious injuries, caused by flash balls, tear gas, disencirclement grenades. Shots on faces, eyes, hands, limbs, all over the body. We saw fingers severed in half, burnt skin, people in shock, terrified.
In general, the wounded come to us in spurts. The first time was in a large trap before reaching Nation: 4 serious injuries, many others with lighter ones. We had to improvise a triage [a way of sorting the wounded depending on the degree of urgency to decide the order of treatment] in a care outpost despite the nearby fighting.

There I saw the protesters protect us, making a barrage using their bodies to block the CRS charges when they came upon us. Lots of people stayed there, putting themselves in danger, taking the risk of being arrested, clubbed, shot. Out of solidarity. And it was this attitude which continued to impress me throughout the day.

Later, at Nation, we took care of a person whose artery had been severed at the ankle through a direct hit by the police. It was a haemorrhage of the pulse, which, in order to maintain a pressure point, made her unmovable. So we stayed with her, to treat her in the centre of the square, while the tear gas rained everywhere and direct hits whistled. Soon other injured people were brought to us.

A security perimeter formed by thirty people stood around us. We waved a large StreetMedic flag in the hope that the police would not charge and would keep out of our reach until we’d rescued…the heaviest injured to be evacuated.

But a continuous shower of tear gas began to rain on our little area. We were almost the last in the square. I was blinded and asphyxiated. One hand compressing the artery of the injured, the other protecting her head from the shooting. But even with the two hands immobilised, seeing nothing and unable to breathe, I knew someone was protecting me.

All these people, StreetMedics, demonstrators, strangers remained around us and kept the line. Some placed their bodies above us to block the cannisters of burning teargas falling on us like rain. One of them saw her bag start to go up in flames. But they all stayed until the end.

I do not want to make a martyrish apology here, and I think we will have a lot of questions to ask ourselves about how we had to put ourselves in danger physically, us protesters, especially the StreetMedics.

But at the end of the day, I wanted to say how I was touched by the massive collective solidarity I witnessed, and this, throughout the day. I saw protesters from very different tendencies take care of each other. Individually, in groups or en masse. Despite an intense and sustained degree of repression.

From my point of view as a StreetMedic, this day was a bloodbath. Our interventions are increasingly that of wartime medical help. But paradoxically, the strongest feeling, the most present for me at the end of the day, is gratitude, a strong sense of cohesion, of solidarity, of strength, of convergence and of determination. The proof-in-acts that we – students, workers, unemployed, precarious – can be stronger in the face of the bosses, of the state, of its police.

Solidarity is an invaluable weapon.

From here: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/france-a-reader/

It's symptomatic of the complete absence of any contribution to the subversion of this world that this movement, the most explosive in Europe for probably 5 years, has received very little interest on this site. Before putting this up, this thread here had its last post almost 4 weeks ago, and this: https://libcom.org/forums/organise/nuis-debout-13042016 had just 9 posts. Compare this with the interest in the current presidential circus in the States ( http://libcom.org/forums/north-america/2016-us-presidential-election-05032016 ) or with the Michael Schmidt thread (almost 1000 posts) - http://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015 , and you get some idea of what utter disinterest there is in the actually existing class struggle on this site for sore eyes.

Rest in Peace.

Auld-bod

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Deleted.

fingers malone

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BorisJobson

It's symptomatic of the complete absence of any contribution to the subversion of this world that this movement, the most explosive in Europe for probably 5 years, has received very little interest on this site. Before putting this up, this thread here had its last post almost 4 weeks ago, and this: https://libcom.org/forums/organise/nuis-debout-13042016 had just 9 posts. Compare this with the interest in the current presidential circus in the States ( http://libcom.org/forums/north-america/2016-us-presidential-election-05032016 ) or with the Michael Schmidt thread (almost 1000 posts) - http://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015 , and you get some idea of what utter disinterest there is in the actually existing class struggle on this site for sore eyes.

Rest in Peace.

Dunno mate, could just be that as the site is mostly in English, there are lots of posters who are in the USA and not many who are in France. If people post stuff about class struggle, people are interested in it.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's precious little information in English, and I think there's only the one regular poster in France and I'm a bit busy at the moment. French newspapers made a co-ordinated move to block adblockers and set up paywalls a few weeks ago (interesting in itself) and French indymedia is not in a good state so independent stuff is harder to find and takes a lot longer to trawl through.

I was just going to post about the eviction but I just saw the other stuff.

The city council has banned all activities 'linked to or starting from' the assemblies from 10pm tonight until 7am tomorrow. Today is a bank holiday, but tomorrow Parisian schools have had it shifted to tomorrow so there's no school so there are likely to be a lot of people there tonight. During the week (Monday or Tuesday) a group of 30-50 people in black, quite a few masked were touring schools in the north of Paris to try to get kids to come out and demonstrate. No idea if they had much success.

This morning the refugee occupation at Jean Jaurès school was evicted by police using tear gas and their actions were described as unusually harsh by journalists 74 people were taken to have their 'social needs' assessed and 203 to have their 'administrative needs' assessed. Dozens of locals and people from the recently cleared refugee encampment at Stalingrad were present.

Graffiti at Stalingrad Wednesday: "From Calais to Greece, fuck the police"

JK - state of emergency still in force, mocked by left and right. We still have soldiers in the street (although that seems to have been scaled back) and two soldiers were arrested at the weekend after threatening people with their rifles during a brawl while off-duty

The Pigeon

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://paris-luttes.info/?lang=fr
Looks like a great site but my French is pretty meager.

Steven.

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to say thanks for the updates everyone.

It's a shame we haven't been able to coordinate the same sort of collective translation exercise we got going during the anti-CPE protests in 2006.

If anyone who can translate from French to English has any time, and can see some good French sources it would be really great if they could post some stuff here!

Red Marriott

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[...] Rest in Peace.

Then that makes your repeated visits here to say this a form of necrophilia.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

List of injuries caused by police.

https://nantes.indymedia.org/articles/34302

Nymphalis Antiopa

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Marriott said:

Quote:

[...] Rest in Peace.

Then that makes your repeated visits here to say this a form of necrophilia

Not that I really care one way or another, but the metaphor doesnt seem to be right; Boris seems to be pissing on the gravestones rather than fucking the dead. Those who like this site might be more easily compared with necrophiliacs if you accept Boris rather vague "Rest In Peace" as meaning the site is a corpse.
Or perhaps Coprophiliacs would be more appropriate, considering the admins past..

rooieravotr

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On police violence against demonstrators, and on poilce efforts to launch a PR counteroffensive:

French police hit back at 'anti-cop hatred' after protest violence

At demonstrations against the labour reform bill outside parliament this week, protesters chanted what has now become a regular slogan: “Everyone hates the police.”

bedfordtk

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm bi lingual and have some spare time at the moment, so if anyone has any French txts that you need translating, I'm happy to help out.

Red Marriott

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not that I really care one way or another, but the metaphor doesnt seem to be right; Boris seems to be pissing on the gravestones rather than fucking the dead. Those who like this site might be more easily compared with necrophiliacs if you accept Boris rather vague "Rest In Peace" as meaning the site is a corpse.

Boris's hostility is more passionate and committed than the liking of most users; he is its most loyal opposition. This site, corpse or not, clearly has an ironic enduring attraction for Boris in his incarnation(s), however we metaphorically interpret it.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bedfordtk

I'm bi lingual and have some spare time at the moment, so if anyone has any French txts that you need translating, I'm happy to help out.

Cool. There are a few ideas here, honestly it will take as much time as you're willing to put into it. There's so much info out there,it's just scanning, sorting, summarising etc.

There are a few links below. If any lazy journos use them then at least put the article on here too.

Timeline of the nuits debout.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/04/30/du-30-au-60-mars-un-mois-de-nuit-debout_1449387

These are the home pages on this subject for some of the main newspapers:

http://www.lemonde.fr/nuit-debout/

http://www.liberation.fr/nuit-debout,100606

http://www.humanite.fr/etiquettes/nuit-debout

http://www.humanite.fr/etiquettes/loi-travail-el-khomri

http://www.ouest-france.fr/economie/emploi/loi-travail/

Indymedia:

https://lille.indymedia.org/

https://nantes.indymedia.org/

bedfordtk

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello

bedfordtk

I'm bi lingual and have some spare time at the moment, so if anyone has any French txts that you need translating, I'm happy to help out.

Cool. There are a few ideas here, honestly it will take as much time as you're willing to put into it. There's so much info out there,it's just scanning, sorting, summarising etc.

There are a few links below. If any lazy journos use them then at least put the article on here too.

Timeline of the nuits debout.

http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/04/30/du-30-au-60-mars-un-mois-de-nuit-debout_1449387

These are the home pages on this subject for some of the main newspapers:

http://www.lemonde.fr/nuit-debout/

http://www.liberation.fr/nuit-debout,100606

http://www.humanite.fr/etiquettes/nuit-debout

http://www.humanite.fr/etiquettes/loi-travail-el-khomri

http://www.ouest-france.fr/economie/emploi/loi-travail/

Indymedia:

https://lille.indymedia.org/

https://nantes.indymedia.org/

Nice one, thanks for the links. I've ended up pretty out of the loop of goings on in France since I cut facebook out of my life 18 months or so ago, as I used to get most of my links to French language sites/txts off mates on there. I'll have a start on it over the weekend.

Steven.

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bedfordtk

I'm bi lingual and have some spare time at the moment, so if anyone has any French txts that you need translating, I'm happy to help out.

that would be absolutely fantastic! Anything you translate please feel free to post it to the news section with the tag "loi travail"

rejeck2028

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Students have widely reported being attacked, especially those who were filming.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The government forced through the loi travail this afternoon. Rather than vote in the parliament the PM Valls used article 49.3 of the constitution which allows the executive to pass measures on its own, unless it losses a vote of no confidence.

This evening there were demonstrations in a lot of cities around the country, Nantes, Rennes, Toulouse, Grenoble and outside the national assembly in Paris. Police used tear gas or attacked a number of these demonstrations. Also several unions have called demonstrations or strikes for next week and I think there was one day planned this week anyway.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thursday is planned as a strike day. I didn't realise that they'd forced it through, that's going to create a big reaction!

Entdinglichung

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/10/francois-hollande-pushes-through-labour-bill-with-special-decree

France’s Socialist government has taken the risky and controversial decision to bypass parliament and use a special decree to force through a contested labour reform bill by its president, François Hollande, that has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters on to the streets.

The defiant move by the government came as it faces growing pressure from its own rebel MPs and an ongoing street protest movement that has seen violent clashes. The government opted to use a heavy-handed and rare constitutional tactic which allows policies to be pushed through without a parliamentary debate after it failed to win over its own group of rebels.

BorisJobson

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Re post #39: https://libcom.org/forums/news/france-protests-against-new-labour-law-17032016?page=1#comment-576902

- jef costello offers (for translation) bedfordtk only 4 very mainstream bourgeois, 2 mainstream Stalinist - ie l'humanite - sites (well-known for its consistent sabotage of all forms of class struggle for about 100 years), plus a couple of indymedia sites renowned for information and analysis that never differentiates between dire and diamond. It´s not that such sites are useless, but by ignoring more clearly radical sites, you give the impression that there´s nothing but dominant bullshit out there. In fact, the following anarchist sites are a lot more consistent at least, and yet JC, who I doubt is unaware of them, doesn't suggest them as a source for translation:

http://www.non-fides.fr/
http://attaque.noblogs.org/
http://lechatnoiremeutier.noblogs.org/
http://exploitesenerves.noblogs.org/
http://cettesemaine.info/breves/

As for Red Marriotts post ( https://libcom.org/forums/news/france-protests-against-new-labour-law-17032016?page=1#comment-576894 ):

Not that I really care one way or another, but the metaphor doesnt seem to be right; Boris seems to be pissing on the gravestones rather than fucking the dead. Those who like this site might be more easily compared with necrophiliacs if you accept Boris rather vague "Rest In Peace" as meaning the site is a corpse.

Boris's hostility is more passionate and committed than the liking of most users; he is its most loyal opposition. This site, corpse or not, clearly has an ironic enduring attraction for Boris in his incarnation(s), however we metaphorically interpret it.

..."When the wise man points at the moon, the fool looks at his finger."
Or to put it another way: when the messenger points out something, the fool ignores what he's pointing out and shoots the messenger for pointing it out. The fact that RM says nothing about the movements in France (nor in South Africa) just adds to this impression of some personal fixation or ... I don´t know what, but it seems like he´s just got some incomprehensible personal grudge - really useless for any understanding of wider events.
As for the idea that I am this site's most loyal opposition, if 11 posts over more than 3 years is the most loyal opposition you lot have had then that might explain how very stale you've all become.

Red Marriott

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As for the idea that I am this site's most loyal opposition, if 11 posts over more than 3 years is the most loyal opposition you lot have had then that might explain how very stale you've all become.

The man with various pseudonyms obviously can't count very well.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This bickering appears to me as the empty words of two opposing shopkeepers. My advice is get along with your neighbour or shut up shop.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The work code 'reform' was confirmed in the national assembly today when the government survived a vote of no-confidence.

Again there were protests and actions in a lot of different cities but generally seem to have had fewer people taking part. In Paris somewhere around 10,000 marched in the centre with running clashes with the police along the way(and then some brief scuffles even with a few soldiers guard one spot). During the day there were a few other actions: metro stations shut, blockade of a hotel, an ongoing occupation of a building of the Fine Arts School and nuit debout had there assembly outside the national assembly building for a while. Today there are more reports of tensions between autonomous/black blocs blocs and the unionists blocs.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BorisJobson

Re post #39: https://libcom.org/forums/news/france-protests-against-new-labour-law-17032016?page=1#comment-576902

- jef costello offers (for translation) bedfordtk only 4 very mainstream bourgeois, 2 mainstream Stalinist - ie l'humanite - sites (well-known for its consistent sabotage of all forms of class struggle for about 100 years), plus a couple of indymedia sites renowned for information and analysis that never differentiates between dire and diamond. It´s not that such sites are useless, but by ignoring more clearly radical sites, you give the impression that there´s nothing but dominant bullshit out there. In fact, the following anarchist sites are a lot more consistent at least, and yet JC, who I doubt is unaware of them, doesn't suggest them as a source for translation:

http://www.non-fides.fr/
http://attaque.noblogs.org/
http://lechatnoiremeutier.noblogs.org/
http://exploitesenerves.noblogs.org/
http://cettesemaine.info/breves/

I believe Libération was actually maoist to begin with.
I do not recognise any of those sites, I'm not going to waste anyone's time by asking why on earth you think I would deliberately ignore radical sites.

Hopefully those that you have posted will be useful for bedfordtk

I'm going to have more free time fairly soon so I might have time to look up some stuff myself. I might even go on the next demo (I haven't been striking because I am not at work on that day. )

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The work code 'reform' was confirmed in the national assembly today when the government survived a vote of no-confidence.

So today is a momentous day in the struggle of the classes. The bourgeoisie achieves it's goal; it pushes through it's attack on the French working class, and hence the global working class, but at what price? What was the pressure force that determined the manner in which these new measures were passed through parliament? The force on the streets. And certainly not the most intense class warfare the world has witnessed; more like a circus (no disrespect to those who's heads were smashed in). Everything has changed, yet on the surface everything appears the same.

...every social reform remains a utopia until the proletarian revolution and the feudalistic counter-revolution measure swords in a world war.

Karl Marx, to the Workingmen's Club in Brussels, December 1847

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.taranisnews.com/post/144320329078/rennes-la-bataille-pour-le-centre-ville-part-6

This site, taranisnews, generally has good image and videos.

In Rennes the building that had been occupied for about a week was taken by the police yesterday morning. Later in the day a wild demonstration of a few hundred took place(in the link above). For today the police have banned gatherings in Rennes, according to mainstream media.

bakuninja

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/

BorisJobson

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For bedfordtk or Jef C - worth translating - a critique of the unions during this movement -
http://garap.org/communiques/communique46.php

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://paris-luttes.info/nouvelle-arme-anti-lutte-l-5737?lang=fr

Can't completely understand what this article says but the police have been sending out orders banning individuals from the next demonstrations. The, again extended, state of emergency gives them some cover to do this.

Joseph Kay

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think this article is reporting the same, anti-fascist and anti-capitalists banned from attending demos: http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/05/15/etat-d-urgence-des-militants-interdits-de-sejour-a-la-manif-contre-la-loi-travail_1452840

While Rennes police do their best dystopian aesthetic:

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the Libération article they have banned anti-fascists and anti-capitalistes from the demos under the provisions of the state of emergency. They've also banned the journaliste NnoMan who filmed this video showing an injured protester that the CRS refused to help, As he has filmed lots of incidents of police using batons and gas grenades in illegal ways (according to his interview on the same page) this highlights the fact that the police have banned them all based on the fact that there is repeated sustained violence against the police. There are also any number of videos showing the police charging demos, using teargas and batons on people who are non-violent. I find it hard to believe that the police have the nerve to cry foul when they get a taste of their own medicine. They constantly resort to force with peaceful marches then complain when there is any resistance.

It mentions 'orders to appear' so I think they are like football banning orders where you have to go to a place, probably a police station, on the day of a demo.

The police commissioner had issued a letter condemning violence and stating that the policing was agreed with the unions. I read an account from a member of SUD stating that the 'liaison officer' was imposed, didn't negotiate and when they refused to give him permission to surround certain groups etc he simply imposed it. He reckons even the CGT refused outright.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This afternoon the police and its unions held their own demonstration against the rising anti-cop hatred. Pictures and accounts say they sealed of Place de la Republique for their own use and banned the planned counter-demo. The choice of Republique and the way the police closed off the whole area was a provocation and a show of strength. Still, a few hundred people who gathered nearby against the police gathering marched on their own demo during which there were clashes with the police and a police car was burnt. The media report the police are treating this as an attempted murder as officers were in the car when it was first attacked....

There were more strikes and clashes yesterday and further strikes on the transport today, as well as another day of demonstrations planned tomorrow.

https://www.rt.com/news/343450-police-car-ablaze-france/

The Pigeon

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org


Banks across Rennes are boarded up. It's interesting that when there is a lot of ferment in the streets like this, though I don't think banks are anything but empty holes, the image of these shut-down banks across town reflects the precariousness the status quo might feel when rebellion breaks out.

Joseph Kay

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thrasybulus

Still, a few hundred people who gathered nearby against the police gathering marched on their own demo during which there were clashes with the police and a police car was burnt. The media report the police are treating this as an attempted murder as officers were in the car when it was first attacked....

I think the cop's flashing a pistol about -0:34

Joseph Kay

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A former senior cop (?) describes rioters as "pre-terrorists" http://www.europe1.fr/societe/frederic-pechenard-les-casseurs-sont-responsables-dactes-pre-terroristes-2749064

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Former head of the National police service ( as oposed to the municipal police services in each town and the gendarmerie and the CRS) and current director general of 'Les Républicains' the more right-wing of the two parties. He's arguning that the police have their hands tied by the government etc. When Hollande loses next year we can expect a return to the more confrontational police tactics we saw under Sarkozy.

To be honest I was quite surprised at the police in the video, they were pretty calm about it and didn't pull out their guns.

4 arrests of men aged 19-22 at least 3 of whom were 'militant anti-fascists' who had been banned from demonstrations.

And despite what the papers are saying it looks like a flare was used to start the fire, not a molotov cocktail.

julio27

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A new Mai 68 in Paris?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsL_tNNac4E

julio27

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

live ticker 19/5

https://paris-luttes.info/jeudi-19-mai-greves-et-5738

http://paris-luttes.info/

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

julio27:

A new Mai 68 in Paris?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsL_tNNac4E

Loved seeing the union stewards squirming and petrified at 9:40. It made the wait worthwhile.

julio27

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes
police & security squad = same struggle
they are shouting
that's what the "paris lutte"-site is about, I believe

Battlescarred

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They're shouting Collabos! (Collaborators) at the CGT service d'ordre, scum and Stalinist thugs that the latter are.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

julio27

live ticker 19/5

https://paris-luttes.info/jeudi-19-mai-greves-et-5738

http://paris-luttes.info/

Good pick!

- A quick translation of the stream for yesterday.

Walls said that he will use the police to break 'economic blockades' and he has ordered the SO (March stewards) to work with the police to stop casseurs ( bank windows and advertising have been targeted)

At least 83 CRS trucks at Nation, they started searching people coming out of the station and confiscating protective equipment. They then started frisking people in the street.

At least 5000 at the head of the march. A lot of tear gas used to protect banks at St Marcel. Banks and insurance companies on the route so far have been targeted. Severl protesters injured by gas grenades.

MArchers stood their ground against tear gas attacks. Clashes in front of the Police station in the 13th.
At least three arrests, including a CNT steward.

After being pushed back by a police charge the CNT and SUD blocs manage to reach Place d'Italie
The police kettle the area, keepin gone exit open. Several arrests, a few projectiles thrown at police in front of the town hall.
Plain-clothes brigade police who have been infiltrating the march pushed out by demonstrators.

100 or so people assembled outside the police station in the 20th and the CNT steward was eventualy released at about 10pm.

-A few extras.

- Lycée Mozart, in the suburbs, Blanc-MEsnil, was blockaded today by the students protesting against saliva tests for drugs. The school was labelled the most drugged up school by minister Valérie Pécresse (The protests in 2006 were against the 'loi Pécresse')

- Student contract workers at BULAC, one of the biggest libraries, have gone on strike to demand official recognition of their status and to no longer have to make up the hours if they are absent due to sickness or if the library is closed for bank holidays.
students make up a fifth of the workforce but 45% of the customer services and work anti-social hours. The stirke is ongoing and began on May 14th.

robot

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello

At least three arrests, including a CNT steward. After being pushed back by a police charge the CNT and SUD blocs manage to reach Place d'Italie.

This was quite obvious a sort of a cops revenge for the manif on tuesday, where the SO of the CNT-F pushed back a CRS unit thus opening the street again so that the SUD, FSU and CNT-F blocks could continue with their march.

Tomorrow will be the day of the manif at Lille against the cops raid against the local CNT-F office and the charges against CNT-F members. We will see whats gonna happen there.

For the french CNT-F the situation has been getting somewhat difficult. While a lot of people have been flocking into the union in the past weeks and they (re-)gained a notable «street credibility», the attempts to criminalize the union are multiplying. A couple of days ago for instance, a Bordeaux newspaper in some sort of witch hunt accused the CNT-F to be responsible for the riots in the city. In Paris cops tried to prevent CNT-F union members from leafletting etc.

The french government in its attempt to bypass the parliament with the law 49.3 «El Khomri» is reacting more and more nervous as people do not stop striking and continue to take to the streets even under conditions of state of emergency.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Strikes and blockades are continuing at a number of oil refineries. Some refineries have been closed for the last couple of days with another refinery blockade since last night. So far these blockades have caused some petrol shortages and closed a number of stations.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36353099
http://www.leparisien.fr/economie/carburant-6-raffineries-sur-8-en-greve-blocage-du-depot-de-fos-23-05-2016-5820733.php

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting to note that the UK media is mostly ignoring these events in France.

Steven.

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Serge Forward

Interesting to note that the UK media is mostly ignoring these events in France.

Yes, there is nothing about it here. It would be great if we could have some stuff about it in news. Jef thanks very much for those translations, that's great. Don't know if you would have time to do some translations of that feed on a regular basis? Something brief like that, bullet pointed each day or two with a picture or video or two would be amazing! (No worries if you don't have time but thought no harm in asking!)

Chilli Sauce

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, what's the relationship in France between the Socialist Party and the unions, just out of curiosity?

Joseph Kay

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The BBC has picked it up here focusing on petrol shortages.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Socialist party is in government and has pushed through the law so the relationship isn't too close at the moment but will doubtless be rekindled in the future.
The CGT is usually the closest and they were the ones who had accusations of stewards handing people over to the police although I think that is relatively rare (but it does happen)
The fuel shortages were mainly in Nantes (militant) and PAris (big demand) but have been spreading. BLockades at six out of eight blockaded sites were lifted by negotiations or force (Friday) but four more were blockaded Saturday. At least three, in the north and west, are still blockaded other sources state five or six refineries but it's unclear. Most mention of unions is of the CGT, one source mentioned FO.

2031 out of 12000 petrol stations are out of petrol according to the app that has been launched.
shortages map: (not showing properly, it's a google widget so no idea what's happening.

Map of sites: circles are the eight refineries, the rounded squares are depots, x symbolises that it's blockaded.

The CGT has called an all-out strike from June 2 on public transport in Paris (RATP), it's the biggest union, they're asking for salary increases (300e a month) and repeal of the law. The second biggest union, UNSA has withdrawn it's threat to strike during the Euros in exchange for some concessions (another union cge-cgc has also reached a settlement)

There was a one-day strike on the RATP last week, thursday I think, it didn't affect service too much.

Last night someone fired 12 shots from a 9mm pistol into the shutters of a closed Socialist Party office in Isère in Grenoble.

Others have had grafitti dran on them

There's a demo today at the Ministry of work by undocumented workers, asking for papers and that employers not be fined 1000 for hiring them.
The inter-union councils at the ministry support this, unions involved: CGT-TEFP, Snutefe-FSU,Sud Travail

There's been a call for a demo tonight outside the offices of the 'sûreté nationale' in Nanterre, quite a few schoolchildren from Levallois have been given prevention orders for demos (at least 13) and three are being held in custody.

Lycée Dorian in Paris, 11th district, Four students have been excluded for up to 8 days for peaceful actions (unclear what, but not blockading) so there's a solidarity demonstration tomorrow at 11am. There was a meeting this afternoon between representatives from various schools, not sure what they've decided.

Call centres for one of the banks have been out on strike since the 17th, 70% observance.

btw, I'm only going to mention published actions, just in case.

I'd like to do a bit more, throwing together quick translations doesn't take too long, but finding the information and then collating / checking does. This is all pulled off a few mainstream sites and parisluttes.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The BBC has picked it up here focusing on petrol shortages.

That story led me to this one, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36324358. The BBC caption reads:

Police officers in Paris were able to flee their car before it was set alight

I watched a video of this incident and the caption is untrue. The car is set alight. The cop gets out of the car, faces up to a man clad in black and wielding a length of plastic tube; the cop takes several blows across the body without wincing, his assailant is pulled away, and the cop turns and walks casually up the street.

baboon

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It seems that this movement "Nuit debout" is part of a policy of French capital to refresh its forces of the left and make the issue one of "putting pressure on the bosses", ultimately by the means of the polling booths where the working class become discontented impotent "citizens". This particular manoeuvre of the French bourgeoisie follows on from the endless and mindless processions organised by the French unions against the new labour laws. It's not a French phenomenon and follows the likes of Corbyn in Britain, Podemos in Spain and Sanders in the US.

Various leftists. "altermondistes" and leftist intellectuals were involved in its beginnings and its electoral and divisive aim is clear in its allusion to the victory "as in '81". The victory of 1981 was a Socialist government that unleashed the worst attacks on the working class since the Second World War.

There are no doubt many sincere and angry workers on the streets along with close elements of the population. But this is not the left of capital jumping onto a proletarian bandwagon but a capitalist set-up, denouncing the "bad" capitalists intending to promote the "citizenship" of France.

Below is a link from the ICC in French. If there's a translation, I'll post it.

http://fr.internationalism.org/revolution-internationale/201605/9369/quelle-veritable-nature-du-mouvement-nuit-debout

Chilli Sauce

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the update Jef!

julio27

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

union blockades forced by police/army , refinery workers going on strike (1 of 8 production sites working)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Lp0EPswgc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8-PwKOUfhs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPjaob1RanA

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If the Markets are any indication, the Unions have subsumed this wave of struggle but only time (the action of our class) will be the ultimate test.

Spikymike

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Following on baboon's post 78 there is this translation of a leaflet from a small Ex-ICC group on the current situation:
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/france-against-government-capitalist-state-23052016
The basic political analysis seems sound and the call to action at the end, but as with similar efforts by these tiny (and feuding) fractions of the dispersed libertarian and left communist milieu it isn't matched by the experienced forces on the ground to have any substantial impact in the right direction.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Strikes in production imply collective class action and decision-making.

France : Against the Government and the Capitalist State,
An All Out Strike in Every Sector of Production? Now is the Time!
(May 21st 2016)

Or do they signify that the Unions are attempting to railroad the class struggle?

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The national library (BNF) has been on strike the last three saturdays, continuing this week. (Online strike fund has reached 1558e)
Like the workers at BULAC they are vacataires, these are temporary positions under contract that cannot become permanent (as far as I know) For teachers many vacataires have been working for years and still have no official status or job security. Although they work under a contract they don't have a personal contract and work whatever hours they are given (usually on a termly basis) and have to invoice for the work (paymeny at least two months in arrears but six months isn't unusual and most vacataires will be working at three or more establishments and pretty much everyone had at least one that had a delay of over six months and quite a few of a year or more.

There's an online strike fund for teachers but it has only raised 110e and it's been open since Friday iirc.

RATP : the call for an unlimited strike starting June 2nd is still valid.

Railways
Strikes and pickets at technicentre Landy (La Plaine)
Strikes, continuing monday in the sectors Paris Nord (Gare du nord et al) and Paris Est
and at the station gare d’Austerlitz.
Strike at gare Saint-Lazare and the depots at Mantes and Achères

CGT has called for an unlimited strike starting may 31st at 7pm for the whole rail service
The inter-union council CGT-SUD-UNSA has given notice for a strike to start the same day in the sector Paris-Sud-Est (stations Gare de Lyon, Melun, Montargis, Laroche)

Lycée Mozart is still on strike

Lycée Rostand (93) is now on strike (staff)

Postal workers in the 92 has been on strike since May 10 against replacement of workers by temps and casual staff.

more to follow if I have time.

Spikymike

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whilst talking about responses and ideas emanating from small political groups with ambitions to promote something more radical in response to the growing strike movement against the French labour reforms this site under it's 'Social Strike' slogan has an interesting article comparing the French reform programme with the earlier German 'Agenda 2010' and hints at a new Euro 'Agenda 2020'. Might be worth a look?
http://www.transnational-strike.info/2016/05/20/the-big-brother-of-the-loi-travail-the-german-agenda-2010/

baboon

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's an interesting post and I wouldn't disagree with most of what it says. I hadn't heard much about the elements of self-organisation in Germany against its new labour laws, my impression being that they were led by the unions. But, as the author says, they weren't enough. For the author above "to stand against the labour laws ... is to stand against the world". The CGT is very much against them as are other elements of the French state and the danger for the working class is that it is mobilised by these elements..

The situation of the attacks in Germany. Agenda 2010, launched in 2003, and successfully implemented relatively quickly with the French complaining of German "wage dumping"at the time, shows the weaknesses and difficulties that the working class has been showing for some time now. The disorientation suffered by the working class world-wide by the1989 "collapse of communism" and the "victory of capitalism" was particularly intense in Germany not least along with the effects of unification. The German bourgeoisie, as is its history, was ruthless in its attacks on the working class and the latter unable to respond. One lesson for the working class in France today is that sectionalised, unionised or democratically based responses are traps that will lead to defeat.

Steven.

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently from yesterday all oil refineries in France have voted to go on strike, following a violent police attack and water cannoning of a picket

Chilli Sauce

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why is the just not getting covered in the English-language media???

Any estimates on the total number of workers out at this point?

Thanks all round for the updates.

EDIT: TBF, this is the lead article on the BBC website at the moment: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36385778

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark my words: the industrial action will be contained within French borders and the whole affair will have blown over in time for the footie! Unless the working class can break out from the constraints imposed upon it by the unions and national borders, which is unlikely as the CGT, the French State and it's bourgeoisie have a lot more to lose than it's opposition does.

julio27

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

if it is to be compared with anything, the fight between the government and working class resembles pretty much Thatcher against the miners in 1983/4...

French CGT is fighting for survival

For those who read french:

http://www.lemonde.fr/economie-francaise/live/2016/05/26/loi-travail-suivez-en-direct-la-8e-journee-de-mobilisation_4926575_1656968.html

live-stream today: union pickets/blockades all over the country, mainly on french ports. nuclear plants joining struggle.

(leaving the thread for a while)

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

Why is the just not getting covered in the English-language media???

They never do.

-Collection for the collective defence association
https://www.helloasso.com/associations/cadecol/collectes/defcol

Cops have been confiscating protective equipment from protesters and street medics have been stripped of their supplies/equipment.

Between 7_23 MAy there have been at least 43 people held in custody in Paris, no data for the banlieue aside from the four kids in Levallois.

As well as violence and repression police have been trying other tactics, closing roads and metro stations to prevent marchers meeting up for example.

-In terms of strikes not sure of numbers:

-the call-centres for caisse d'epargne are still out after ten days, 70% observance.

-Posties in the 92 : Posties are based in four centres:
75 à 80 % Asnières, 70 % Malakoff, 58 % Colombes 30 % Issy les moulineux

There's also an open strike fund. https://www.yoongo.com/fr-c-caisse-de-greve-des-postiers-du-92

They have ben trying to co-ordinate strikes with other postal workers and to contact other strikers and workers from different industries.

Strike votes pending in two districts of PAris.

- Aulnay et Sevran (93)
Teachers, AED ( teaching assistants who sometimes are in class, sometimes supervise break times and generally do a lot of admin and other stuff) and CPE (handle discipine, but are the point of contact between school and family usually) were all out on strike on the 20th at four collèges: Christine de Pisan, Victor Hugo, Paul Painlevé and Evariste Galois. Striking against the precarious conditions of the AED. Strike observance around 100%

- Air Tahiti has been on strike since the 17th (related to their sector)
The umbrella co-ordiation for aviation unions has given notice of a strike the 3,4,5 of June.

-All the refineries are closed, some blockaded. Petrol is running out, although like in England in 2000 that's at least partly due to people dashing out to stock up. The government have used the CRS to break blockades and have started to release the strategic reserve to break the stirke, although according to the papers 4000 out of 12000 stations are still having trouble getting supplies. And the self-reporting/crowd-sourced app reports 4856 out of 10254 having partially or totally run out of stocks.

- Workers at Le Parisien are striking today. The CGT's 'book section' has pledged to block publishing of national newspapers today. AFP (Agences France Presse) on strike 23-25. Radio France : unlimited strike notice from the 30th after sacking of a technician.

- Strikes in some branches of McDonalds, following on from strikes in MArch, but no data about sites/observance etc.

- Nogent-sur-Seine: staf at nuclear power plant have voted to stop producing power.

- One week strike at IBM starting today after 360 redundancies announced (260 immediate) and the transferring of staff to an outside contractor (Manpower)

-Today is a strike / action day.
The CGT has blockaded the construction site at La Samaritaine (a huge former department store in central Paris).
In Paris there are solidarity visits to pickets and a march later on.
There was also an 'economic blockade' named 'Rio Grande' they blockaded the bridge at Genevilliers, cutting of France's largest river port from the road network. They blockaded it for two hours, unclear if they stopped or were forced off by police, but I think the latter. It was called by the 'interprofessional assembly' but seemed to have a student contingent and were talking about not depending on petrol and transport workers and spreading and generalising the strike.

Several schools in Paris blockaded and on strike. BLockades by students, some teachers striking but not many.

Nantes and Rennes solidarity visits to pickets and delegations between pickets as well as a demo.

PAris 11th two nights ago a job centre was tagged and had a few windows broken. Another in the twentieth as well. Yesterday one in Rennes got the same treatment.

In other news a suposed undercover infiltrator in Hamburg autonomist circles ahs been unmasked.
Astrid Opperman / schutt

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie you are absolutely correct, if they don't manage to move across borders then it will be limited to France.
The CGT is heavily involved, but at least part of that will be a power grab as they have lost influence within the socialist party both through the diminution of the French Communist Party and in general. (The Socialists won as much by targeting communist votes as by taking them from the opposition, lots of the communist red crown was taken by the SP or by 'left lists'.)

As we're coming towards the end of term the involvement of school students will change, I don't know if they will strike during the holidays and for some, during the exams.

There's certainly a perception that the government is weak, but there's also exasperation. Teachers haven't had any salary increase since 2010 and unlike other civil servants they don't get a bonus so they haven't had any compensation that way either, the 1.2% he gave to all civil servants a month or two was not only a transparent bribe but a pretty feeble one, given that it doesn't even cover cost of living increases. (although teachers can still get council houses here, wish I'd managed to get one. )

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the BBC today:

Dozens of people broke away from a demonstration in Paris on Thursday and set about smashing shop windows and parked cars in a side street. Masked youths hurled bottles at police, who responded with tear gas.

Elsewhere in France on Thursday:
—Clashes broke out in the eastern city Lyon after a march by at least 3,300 protesters;
—In the port city of Le Havre, in Normandy, hundreds of workers took to the streets after blocking off a major bridge;
—Riot police held back protesters in the central city of Tours;
—Demonstrators invaded high-speed railway lines in the western city of Rennes;
—Protest marches were reported in the southern cities of Marseille, Montpellier and Bordeaux.

robot

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Video coverage of the manifestation on may 26. The cops had occupied a part of Place de la Nation and ordered the crowd to leave. The result was, what in France is called « des incidents ».

https://www.periscope.tv/pibzedog/1eaKbwRvNWdGX

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef:

Schmoopie you are absolutely correct, if they don't manage to move across borders then it will be limited to France.

Not my words Mr Costello.

...action will be contained within French borders and the whole affair will have blown over in time for the footie! Unless the working class can break out from the constraints imposed upon it by the unions.

Today we witnessed many countermeasures by the working class to break free of the national constraints imposed upon it (see post #94).

Reddebrek

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is starting to get some coverage in English language news, today Sky News was covering it, focussing almost exclusively on potential fuel shortages thanks to refinery strikes.

And the BBC radio news service is covering, focussing on the opposition to the labour reform laws. Still not much from the mainstream.

Oh and the Morning Star's given it some coverage

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

robot

Video coverage of the manifestation on may 26. The cops had occupied a part of Place de la Nation and ordered the crowd to leave. The result was, what in France is called « des incidents ».

https://www.periscope.tv/pibzedog/1eaKbwRvNWdGX

Cops look pretty nervous in that video and their snatch squads are often pretty poorly organised. But they still hurt a lot of people.

IT's good that people are filming because generally the police are far worse than anyone else and that we need to publicise things, but you do sometimes get the feeling that too many people think the whole point of a demo is to get a good photo. Each time someone started blowing bubbles they got swarmed by people with cameras.

It might be a good idea to use camera phones a bit like body cameras. MAke it harder for the cops to snatch and break them too. Also make sure your phone is password protected and saves to the phone memory, not a card, otherwise they can view / delete things.

In Rennes last night a police station was paint bombed and someone had painted AC on the front. I'm guessing they got interrupted.

1800- 3000 marching in Cherboug, gas supplies to 650 homes cut off. The communist mayor killed and a CGT militant severely injured in a car accident near to the march.

18-19000 in PAris according to police, an increase on the last marches, 100000 according to Union Force Ouvrière

Caen a case of 'self-defence' by a police officer.
https://youtu.be/S69HPswDhbE
At least three arrests

PRime Minister MAnuel Valls has said that the law might be subject to revisions or improvements.

Belgian Rail workers have voted to continue their strike until Friday at least.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist, you are right, my statement was a little hackneyed. I am ashamed to say the BBC got the upper hand on this one:

Dozens of people broke away from a demonstration in Paris on Thursday and set about smashing shop windows and parked cars in a side street. Masked youths hurled bottles at police, who responded with tear gas.
Elsewhere in France on Thursday:
—Clashes broke out in the eastern city Lyon after a march by at least 3,300 protesters;
—In the port city of Le Havre, in Normandy, hundreds of workers took to the streets after blocking off a major bridge;
—Riot police held back protesters in the central city of Tours;
—Demonstrators invaded high-speed railway lines in the western city of Rennes;
—Protest marches were reported in the southern cities of Marseille, Montpellier and Bordeaux.

Yesterday's news from the BBC

Serge Forward

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ITV 6.30 news was weird... seemed to be mainly about how people in France are "very very angry" about having to wait ages for their petrol. Fucking bobbins.

baboon

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It appears to me that the union's tactics of divide and rule have succeeded in exhausting an already weakened working class. Here's an English translation from the ICC's French section that I mentioned earlier: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201605/13953/what-real-nature-nuit-debout-movement

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist:

Your the person who gives us left coms a bad name!

Defeat of our struggles is hard to stomach but scapegoating one communist will not ease the burden. However, if we can learn from our defeats we may eventually reach a point where they are no longer repeated; if not we are lost.

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are numerous reasons to be extremely cautious about what is happening in France and not to get carried away by the appearance of a massive movement. The article baboon links to confirms earlier assessments (eg in the Mouvement Communiste statement) that the Nuit Debout 'assembly' was planned well in advance by the new left coalitions arising in France in parallel with the likes of Syriza, Podemos, Corbynism, Sanders etc etc. And the current situation, dominated by the blockades of oil and power stations by the CGT, should give further pause for thought, since the French Stalinists have used this tactic before to create images of paralysis and radicalism, for example in 2010 in the protests against pension 'reforms'(which also, in retrospect were less radical than we ourselves thought at the time). But in reality these blockades are not the action of a class that is taking control of its own struggles on a massive scale, and that is why the Stalinists are very adept in using them.
We could be wrong of course, but it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility that the French bourgeoisie, which confronts a fraction of the world working class that has a very evident and real revolutionary tradition, is being obliged to employ a division of labour, a series of feints and manoeuvres, both to distort the lessons of real movements like the one against the CPE in 2006 or the Indignados in 2011, and to derail a mounting discontent which lacks any real perspective or even a sense of class identity.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

There are numerous reasons to be extremely cautious about what is happening in France and not to get carried away by the appearance of a massive movement. The article baboon links to confirms earlier assessments (eg in the Mouvement Communiste statement) that the Nuit Debout 'assembly' was planned well in advance by the new left coalitions arising in France in parallel with the likes of Syriza, Podemos, Corbynism, Sanders etc etc. And the current situation, dominated by the blockades of oil and power stations by the CGT, should give further pause for thought, since the French Stalinists have used this tactic before to create images of paralysis and radicalism, for example in 2010 in the protests against pension 'reforms'(which also, in retrospect were less radical than we ourselves thought at the time). But in reality these blockades are not the action of a class that is taking control of its own struggles on a massive scale, and that is why the Stalinists are very adept in using them.

You could be wrong. And worse, you could be missing the point entirely. Which you are. The point being that there's no other way for the movement to develop other than "being planned well in advance by new left coalitions," or "blockades of oil and power stations by the CGT." If there already was an independent autonomous class-for-itself, we wouldn't be discussing this would we? We'd be discussing the success of the French revolution as the opening round of world revolution.

This is how struggles develop, springing forth from, and carrying the baggage of all the institutionalized failures that have preceded it. That's the history in the historical materialism. After all, who dominated the soviets in April 1917; and who replaced the Czar? Not the soviets, that's for sure.

The origins of the struggle are not the slightest reason in the world to hesitate or "be cautious." It's all the more reason to develop the demands, the organizations, the institutions, that break the domination of the archaic clusters of power-- including the CGT bureaucracy, the new left coalitions-- and clearly this movement contains exactly that potential-- particularly with the almost universal acceptance of the demand to "open the borders"-- to cease the distinction between documented and undocumented workers.

The key, as others have pointed out, is how quickly, clearly, and class consciously the French workers and students can link up with those in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Ireland, Poland, Germany, etc. etc.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There seems to be some talk in the media and perhaps sections of the government to try and find a possible way out by making some changes to the text. Assuming that the government and CGT negotiate at some point it would seem mostly likely to be along these lines; a modified law.

The demonstrations while spaced out a bit in time, roughly one major demonstration every week, don't seem to be declining in energy. The numbers attending have been steady, or have even grown, as well for the last couple of weeks. The various groupings-autonomous/random, black bloc, etc- that make up the front of the demonstrations has increased over time. The police struggle to control this each time and kind of keep a distance while a march is in progress and just try to stop blocs of people leaving a contained area. This ability of the blocs to defend themselves and keep the police back to some extent is increasing the confidence of the demonstrators each time.

The pictures on this article from Paris yesterday give some idea of the level of tension: http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/05/27/le-policier-a-adopte-une-attitude-provocatrice_1455720

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There is a balance of forces between the classes in every social movement, and this will greatly influence whether or not the organs of capitalist control can be outflanked by an upsurge from below. This will also determine what is possible for revolutionaries and others who are in favour of the movement going beyond these organs; it will be the key element in deciding what kind of influence they can have on the movement. It also shapes the content of their intervention. At certain moments it is perfectly valid to focus on pushing forward the immediate potential of the struggle by raising practical proposals for extension and self-organisation. At other moments, when the ruling class and its institutions are not in danger of losing their grip, it is more appropriate to focus on the dangers and traps facing the struggle. I think that we are in the latter situation with this current movement in France, and that the possibilities of immediately linking up with with workers and students in all the other countries of Europe, who are also experiencing major difficulties in developing a resistance to the crisis of the system, are very limited at this juncture.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Deleted. Hate repeating the same arguments.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not going to talk myself into reading ten-year-old articles from the ICC but I do not remember that analysis at all from them at the time.
The information about the Nuit Debout is interesting. I wouldn't say it's disappointing as I didn't think it was particularly good in many ways. But the fact that people did get up and speak is good, even if it was set up for a purpose.

And it looks like my work is going out on strike so I'm going to have to properly read the bloody law.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thrasybulus

There seems to be some talk in the media and perhaps sections of the government to try and find a possible way out by making some changes to the text. Assuming that the government and CGT negotiate at some point it would seem mostly likely to be along these lines; a modified law.

The demonstrations while spaced out a bit in time, roughly one major demonstration every week, don't seem to be declining in energy. The numbers attending have been steady, or have even grown, as well for the last couple of weeks. The various groupings-autonomous/random, black bloc, etc- that make up the front of the demonstrations has increased over time. The police struggle to control this each time and kind of keep a distance while a march is in progress and just try to stop blocs of people leaving a contained area. This ability of the blocs to defend themselves and keep the police back to some extent is increasing the confidence of the demonstrators each time.

The pictures on this article from Paris yesterday give some idea of the level of tension: http://www.liberation.fr/france/2016/05/27/le-policier-a-adopte-une-attitude-provocatrice_1455720

The CPE struggle also started out slowly and as I remember it the militancy of students, then workers pushed the union bureaucracy into confrontation. As always union members were usually solid althought then, as know, CGT members were accused of turning people over to the police.
That article about the policeman is interesting, I think it also shows the police mentality. They don't police by consent, they think their authority comes from the use of violence, which is why it's so funny when they complain about being 'targeted' like most bulies they can't take a fraction of what they dish out.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello:

The CPE struggle also started out slowly and as I remember it the militancy of students, then workers pushed the union bureaucracy into confrontation.

I bow to your more intimate knowledge of the situation and my hope is that I was wrong to view this current struggle as already defeated.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf:

There are numerous reasons to be extremely cautious about what is happening in France and not to get carried away by the appearance of a massive movement. The article baboon links to confirms earlier assessments (eg in the Mouvement Communiste statement) that the Nuit Debout 'assembly' was planned well in advance by the new left coalitions arising in France in parallel with the likes of Syriza, Podemos, Corbynism, Sanders etc etc. And the current situation, dominated by the blockades of oil and power stations by the CGT, should give further pause for thought, since the French Stalinists have used this tactic before to create images of paralysis and radicalism, for example in 2010 in the protests against pension 'reforms'(which also, in retrospect were less radical than we ourselves thought at the time). But in reality these blockades are not the action of a class that is taking control of its own struggles on a massive scale, and that is why the Stalinists are very adept in using them.
We could be wrong of course, but it would be unwise to dismiss the possibility that the French bourgeoisie, which confronts a fraction of the world working class that has a very evident and real revolutionary tradition, is being obliged to employ a division of labour, a series of feints and manoeuvres, both to distort the lessons of real movements like the one against the CPE in 2006 or the Indignados in 2011, and to derail a mounting discontent which lacks any real perspective or even a sense of class identity.

Though this is not my perspective – I see a radical base to this struggle – I do not see how his statement deserves a down vote. I am beginning to suspect that there is an agent provocateur in our midst, or someone is letting their ego get the better of them, or, at very least, someone is allowing sectarian divisions to hold sway just at the point when sectarian divisions have become defunct.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

I bow to your more intimate knowledge of the situation and my hope is that I was wrong to view this current struggle as already defeated.

Honestly I have no idea what wil happen. The school terms end in a few weeks so that could make things explode or it could peter out. The CGT could settle once it's reasserted it's own position. What I can say is that a lot of the demonstartions and actions are self-organised, especially amongst students, which is a good sign. The fact that as well as big marches people are separating off and staying mobile is a nightmare for the police (during the CPE there were times when the police were completely run ragged, in some towns there would be a blockade of the station and by the time the police had arrived the demonstrators would have gone and then popped up on the other side of town.

A very right-wing piece in the Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/27/france-chaos-failure-adapt-globalisation-hollande

Alf

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jef wrote: "I'm not going to talk myself into reading ten-year-old articles from the ICC but I do not remember that analysis at all from them at the time".

But that's my point: the anti-CPE in 2006 was part of a whole series of movements which culminated in 2011, with some echoes in 2013 (Turkey and Brazil), but since then we have generally been in a downward phase of the international class struggle and we think the ruling class is taking advantage of this disorientation in the class. It would be a mistake not to warn against this danger.

But let's see how things develop. It will interesting to hear from jef how things go at his workplace.

Schmoopie: thanks for your concern but I didn't have any doubts that what I posted would be unpopular...

Here's what we said in 2006 for those who can talk themselves into it: http://en.internationalism.org/ir/125_france_students

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What I can say is that a lot of the demonstartions and actions are self-organised, especially amongst students, which is a good sign.

Yes, and this is the point that Alf is missing, or choosing to ignore.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf:

Here's what we said in 2006 for those who can talk themselves into it.

Ah, the exclusive 'we'... Cut it out Schmoopie or you will be accused of the very sectarianism that you yourself have criticised!

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

Here's what we said in 2006 for those who can talk themselves into it: http://en.internationalism.org/ir/125_france_students

Thanks Alf, appreciate the humour too. I did read the first half or so and that isn't what I remember the ICC saying, but it was a long time ago so my memory might be at fault.

Thrasybulus

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Various reports and accounts of police violence during the last demonstrations have been filtering out. A number of videos show police attacks on detained or non-threatening demonstrators. At one point the police threw tear gas into a group they had already surrounded in a tight space. The most serious case is in the link below(in French). As I understand a man is in hospital seriously injured by a 'disencirclement' grenade. The attack happened on a smaller group after the main demonstration with the police throwing the grenade for no apparent reason. The man was severely wounded in the head and is still in a serious condition.

''tout le monde déteste encore plus la Police''

http://paris-luttes.info/la-grenade-de-desencerclement-fait-5914?lang=fr

rat

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are so many decent images and video clips of the CGT service d'ordre with their pickaxe handles and expandable batons mixing with the CRS, I half think Libcom could have a thread named 'Union Cop Watch'.

(How do you add photos to a post?)

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rat

(How do you add photos to a post?)

If you're copying from another website:

[*] right click on the image and select 'Copy image address'
[*] click on the 'Image' button just above comment box and paste the image address into it
[*] should give you something like this:

When you submit the comment there should be an image in it.

Schmoopie

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf wrote:

Here's what we said in 2006 for those who can talk themselves into it: http://en.internationalism.org/ir/125_france_students

One feature of the counter-terrorist anti-state violence of recent events in France that betrays it's proletarian nature is that it was open to any sector of the proletariat to participate in it: students, the Mad, the maligned, the worker, the unemployed, the retired...

For anarchy!

rat

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Ed.
Here's a few snaps of some CGT stewards on the recent demos in France.

CGT stewards with pickaxes handles:

CGT steward with a blue baseball bat:

CGT stewards with expandable metal batons in front of police barricade:

CGT stewards with CRS police:

CGT stewards with CRS police:

Moments later, CGT stewards charge at demonstrators:

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi rat, it looks like those images aren't coming through coz they're linked to a private section on another website.

Another idea: would you be up for adding those images as an image gallery? Just click 'submit content' (in the top bar of this site) > 'Images' and then upload everything there.

rat

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, as I can see the images, I thought it must have worked.

I'd certainly would like to create an image gallery.
Will I be able to upload photos straight from my desktop?

Ed

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rat

Ah, as I can see the images, I thought it must have worked.

I'd certainly would like to create an image gallery.
Will I be able to upload photos straight from my desktop?

Yep, definitely. Nice one! Looking forward to seeing these pics.. :)

So as not to derail the discussion further, if you've got any other questions then just drop me a PM..

Battlescarred

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

History repeats itself:
Maurice Brinton aka Chris Pallis on May 1968 and the CGT and its service d'ordre:
"The CGT is desperately keen that its hundreds of thousands of supporters should disperse quietly. It fears them, when they are together. It wants them nameless atoms again, scattered to the four corners of Paris, powerless in the context of their individual preoccupations. The CGT sees itself as the only possible link between them, as the divinely ordained vehicle for the expression of their collective will. The Mouvement du 22 Mars, on the other hand, had issued a call to the students and workers, asking them to stick together and to proceed to the lawns of the Champ de Mars (at the foot of the Eiffel Tower) for a massive collective discussion on the experiences of the day and on the problems that lie ahead.

At this stage I sample for the first time what a service d'ordre composed of Stalinist stewards really means. All day, the stewards have obviously been anticipating this particular moment. They are very tense, clearly expecting "trouble". Above all else they fear what they call débordement, i.e. being outflanked on the left. For the last half-mile of the march five or six solid rows of them line up on either side of the demonstrators. Arms linked, they form a massive sheath around the marchers. CGT officials address the bottled-up demonstrators through two powerful loudspeakers mounted on vans, instructing them to disperse quietly via the Boulevard Arago, i.e. to proceed in precisely the opposite direction to the one leading to the Champ de Mars. Other exits from the Place Denfert-Rochereau are blocked by lines of stewards linking arms.

On occasions like this, I am told, the Communist Party calls up thousands of its members from the Paris area. It also summons members from miles around, bringing them up by the coachload from places as far away as Rennes, Orléans, Sens, Lille and Limoges. The municipalities under Communist Party control provide further hundreds of these "stewards", not necessarily Party members but people dependent on the goodwill of the Party for their jobs and future. Ever since its heyday of participation in the government (1945-47) the Party has had this kind of mass base in the Paris suburbs. It has invariably used it in circumstances like today. On this demonstration there must be at least 10,000 such stewards, possibly twice that number.

The exhortations of the stewards meet with a variable response. Whether they are successful in getting particular groups to disperse via the Boulevard Arago depends of course on the composition of the groups. Most of those which the students have not succeeded in infiltrating obey, although even here some of the younger militants protest: "We are a million in the streets. Why should we go home?" Other groups hesitate, vacillate, start arguing. Student speakers climb on walls and shout: "All those who want to return to the telly, turn down the Boulevard Arago. Those who are for joint worker-student discussions and for developing the struggle, turn down the Boulevard Raspail and proceed to the Champ de Mars".

Those protesting against the dispersion orders are immediately jumped on by the stewards, denounced as "provocateurs" and often manhandled. I saw several comrades of the Mouvement du 22 Mars physically assaulted, their portable loud-hailers snatched from their hands and their leaflets torn from them and thrown to the ground. In some sections there seemed to be dozens, in others hundreds, in others thousands of "provocateurs". A number of minor punch-ups take place as the stewards are swept aside by these particular contingents. Heated arguments break out, the demonstrators denouncing the Stalinists as "cops" and as "the last rampart of the bourgeoisie"."

ken0wells

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The police struggle to control this each time and kind of keep a distance while a march is in progress and just try to stop blocs of people leaving a contained area.

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The waste depot at ’Ivry sur Seine in the thirteenth was blockaded by street sweepers and sewer workers yesterday with a general call for assistance.
There was a 'happening' at Gare de Montparnasse organised by 30 people and railway workers.

Film of violence on the 26th.
Someone was seriously injured when police threw a 'grenade de desencerclement' (basically a grenade, but instead of metal it's made of rubber and filled with rubber ball bearings, so very dangerous when propelled by explosive force) into a crowd with no warning and for no real reason.
You can see it at 6:21, you can also see the cops throwing gas grenades at people helping the injured person. The police official statement claimed he'd hit his head in a bollard.

Edit link missing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIcUlkujVU8

rat

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the info Jeff.
There seems to be a link to the film clip missing or is it in an earlier post?

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article here about filming / photographing demos

Basically, don't stream because you have no control over what you're showing.

IF you're going to take pictuires take pictures of results, not action.
Copwatch and ONLY film cops.
Blur faces and other distinctive signs
encrypt your storage
Cover your face to protect your identity and against gas.

Think about why you are taking a photo and what it will achieve (they argue largely nothing)
They also call on journalists to stop pretending to be neutral and support people, they also call on journalists to speak up when undercover cops pose as journalists.

There's also an article about attacks on people filming. They point out that the Russia Today periscoper was not hurt, but that police hospitlaised a photographer earlier this month and another nearly lost an eye on the first.

In other news, the Ivry waste depot is still out, In Romanville the drivers have blocked the waste depot and St Ouen voted on a blackae this morning but not seen the results. They've asked for solidarity pickets there and at Ivry.

altemark

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the updates

jef costello

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

PAris luttes has an article criticising demonstrators who linked arms to prevent damage to an Emmaüs shop (They don't really have charity shops in France, but Emmaüs is the nearest thing, it was founded by Abbé Pierre so there is a religious aspect). They're arguing that it's a multinational organisation that exploits workes and depends on poverty and as such is a less obvious but equally valid target.
1.1M people had power cut during off-peak hours accoridng to the CGT, quite a few power stations and sub stations were shut down.
The SNCF is out on strike, there are no official national statistics, two lines running out of Bordeaux were completely shut down last night by strikers, no idea if they are back up yet.
Most commuter trains in the PAris regions are running a 1/3 service, but some are more frequent.
RATP strike has begun, the police have broken blockades at three out of four bus depots and the RATP is reporting a normal service. Tramline 4 is blocked by strike action. Metro doesn't seem to be affected.
Waste treatment centres, riot police broke one blockade, 'police pressure' ended another.
Postal workers in the 91 have joined the strike.

There's a demonstration planned for 14H at Gare Montparnasse, rail workers and solidarity.
There's also an open general meeting outside the exchange at 6pm for all strikers, solidarity etc.
Film a cop save a life: a French guide for filming police, basically yu'ore allowed to film cops unless they're part of certain units that are protected for national security reasons etc.

S. Artesian

6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you, Jef

Craftwork

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two pieces from Roland Simon of Théorie Communiste on events in France:

One from 3rd May: https://edicioneschafa.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/from-outbreaks-to-inbreaks-ad-nauseum/

And a follow-up from 24th May: https://edicioneschafa.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/outbreaks-inbreaks-and-exhaustion-follow-up/

withered

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi folks, here are some articles I've translated from French, which you might (or might not) find interesting:

----

This is no insurrection (hosted here)

Why appending "and its world" doesn’t add anything to the current movement against the labour reform...

I don’t intend to demean or turn my nose up at what is happening (or not happening) in the current mobilisation "against the labour law". Sometimes, words are used precisely for that. Ultimately, it’s true that talking and writing are very limited uses of bodily and mental capacities. There are others which are just as important: arms that move, legs that run, hearts that beat. The former are all too easily removed from the latter, and run the risk of drifting into a separate world. One runs that risk every time one opens one’s mouth or starts wiggling one’s fingers to write. Still…

While I rejoice, alongside many others, over a few fully lived moments during the movement, some people’s enthusiasm perplexes me. I hear it be said that "there are some interesting things at Place de la République", because ultimately, it’s a place to meet people. I hear that "our numbers are growing", because ever more people are joining the "autonomous" or "unaffiliated" marches. I hear that the unions are becoming "radicalised" because some of their members mask up during demonstrations. I also hear that we are "more combative" because swimming goggles and masks have become indispensable at demos, thanks to the cops’ generosity when it comes to dishing out tear gas. What’s more, ever more people hate the police, because of how nasty it proved it was. And, for some, it can all be boiled down to the notion that "everything’s going to blow up", yelled by hooligans having traded the football field for the "social field".

I do not refute any of these descriptive and optimistic observations. As for the description of the State, I don’t confound anyone. However, as far as the enthusiasts are concerned, I challenge their enthusiasm.

Because, just as with speech and writing, a lot of what is gained in form is also lost in content, and it would be a mistake to think that one can replace the other. Today, for instance, a large part of the discussion (still) revolves around the question of property destruction. And I’m not referring to Le Monde, Libération, Russia Today, Le Figaro and other all too famous ennemies. I’m referring to "activist" sources, often devoted to justifying so-called radical practices. Anything goes: the youth are smashing stuff and confronting the cops, because they’ve had enough, or because they’re just young, you don’t understand, or they weren’t like that before the police revealed its true colours, or they hate the miserable future being promised to them, or… One looks for short and economic phrases to justify the things people do for their own reasons, as if those reasons were made clear by the tactics themselves. Reasons which are often not short, nor necessarily economic. Their motives are complex, sometimes evasive. How can one, no matter one’s point of view, explain such actions in a manner so close to that of sociologists? The latter at least look for arbitrary correspondances which statistically suit them, whereas to those who desperately want to justify a method of struggle, everything is already clearly defined.

But why look for these curt justifications? To convince us that difficult times require proportionally difficult measures? Do we not end up back in the same tired old debate over "violence" and "non-violence", albeit in a slightly updated vocabulary adapted to our era?

Let’s not tire ourselves. But since we’ve started with property destruction, let’s talk about it, but not to justify it. In the beginning of April this year, following a blockade which was part of the movement against the labour law, a few teenagers from the Léonard de Vinci high school in Levallois-Perret set fire to some bins. The fire damaged that awful cage. Nearly two months later, 47 high-schoolers are summoned to the Sûreté Territoriale, several are arrested. There are initiatives to support them, find lawyers, give them advice, support the accused, etc. which is obviously all important. But why did the high-schoolers do what they did in the first place?

Some explain it as the high-schoolers being very, very angry because the institutionalised stultification authorities didn’t give them permission to go demonstrate. But really, while I won’t question the "true" motives of the authors, hopefully unknown, of what billions of children everywhere dream to see come true, I will emit this very probable hypothesis: the act of setting fire to a school has more to do with the school than with the labour law. More precisely, it has something to do with school being a concrete manifestation of this authoritarian and mercantile world, which the children and teenagers have to suffer through daily. Some of them just took advantage of favourable conditions and expressed their disgust.

While the ongoing movement is often presented as not just "against the labour law", but also against "the world that goes with it", few aspects of the latter are mentioned. And this to the point that some even took it upon themselves to protect premises of the Emmaüs charity, which collaborates with the deportation machine and has already been attacked in and of itself, from its assailants, as was the case during the demonstration of May 26th. But even if some may ignore what Emmaüs really is, everyone knows what school is. It’s an institution possibly more essential to the "world of the labour law" than the accursed law itself.

And yet, those standing with the high-schoolers defend them only as accused parties, not as schoolchildren who hate school beyond any judiciary considerations of "guilt" or "innocence". Sure, the technicalities are important. But if it’s to be as part of the movement against the labour law and its world that we stand with the high-schoolers, how is possible that the issue of school itself, an aspect of that world, isn’t raised, focus going instead to the debate over guilt?

Whence my languor. Despite these very (although sometimes less) beautiful acts, and despite the increasingly mask-wearing demonstrations, the movement’s "and the world that goes with it" seems to get blurrier and fainter. Because when one looks around —in the cafés, in the streets, in the public transports, at work—, despite a few noteworthy exceptions, conversations revolve around the property destruction, the demos, the ’nuit debout’, sometimes the "police brutality"… In short, technical issues, as if they were the be all and end all. Some are against, some are for, most couldn’t care less. Very few seem to grasp the very reason and essence of why we go take to the streets, alone or in groups, during the day or the night, demo or no demo, to a give a little coherence to our disgust of this mercantile and authoritarian society: the incompatibility of the life which is forced upon us with the one we wish to live, one which might be worth its name.

Never mind that people are sympathetic to the actions, even the most "radical" ones. Whether we are more numerous or not in the "autonomous" marches, or more masked up than ever, minority acts of revolt do not seek to convert. They seek to contribute to social tensions, in order to polarise this world on the one hand, and to make life less shit on the other. If we get "angry", if we "lash out", if we simply destroy, it isn’t because this law will prevent us from succeeding in this society; it’s because the slightest chance of succeeding runs up against everything which makes life worth living: beauty, passion, happiness, freedom —let’s not measure such things.

However, some breaches are opening in the broader context of this movement. There are some moments of fracture. They all existed before and will keep on existing. So let’s continue to seek them out and contribute to them. But let’s do so in such a way that when the movement dies down —as it certainly will do— these breaches don’t stop opening and cracks continue to show up where no one expects them to. If one day we manage to link them all together, perhaps we will at last have some real chance of subverting this insufferable society.

J.L.

----

Paris/Clermont : I witnessed the (citizenist) hell of Nuit Debout (hosted here)

For reasons not entirely dependent on my own will, I found myself drawn into Nuit Debout. Not that I had any intention of "radicalising" the middle class' revolt, but I had been told that it wouldn't be what I soon discovered it was…

I thus ended up at a Nuit Debout occupation. I managed to enter because I knew people inside (entry is otherwise forbidden, in case "rioters" come to "vandalise", of course…). At the entrance, two people searched my bag… An "occupation" in name only, and which I would designated by another term, upon learning that the owner of the place consented to it. So be it.

Entering, I had the completely feigned joy of finding the place full of littered bottles, of hippies smoking joints and playing the guitar. Further on, a (sitting) General Assembly. A few activist photographers. A flag of Che. Oh, well. I felt like I might have some trouble finding congenial folks, other than those I knew. Thus, nothing happened, the hippies smoked, drank, played and the others did too. I soon found a corner in which to rest by weary head. At least until, early in the morning, a bunch of cops came along to perform identity checks, so I made it for the exit. Tremble, bourgeois, here come the petite-bourgeoisie.

A little later, I ended up at the Nuit Debout proper, in the Big City. Okay. Why not, there were concerts. Well, mainly a concert by a reggae band well-known to the citizens, but unknown to me (Rastafarianism stinks even more than citizenism, so…). I went around the stalls, having been told it would be different… A huge Palestinian flag (I've never seen such a large flag). Because, dear companions and proletarians, let it be drilled into you skulls: the nationalism of the oppressed has nothing to do with bourgeois nationalism, hence the French flag painted on the Square, still adorned with the words "Je Suis Charlie". There quite a range of stuff concerning Palestine: GA Abdallah, BDS, Palestinian students, a meal to collect funds, all spread out over 30 metres. I also saw an activist library, advertising its donations, mainly to… l'Humanité. And to other papers that I didn't know, but whose names arouse the imagination: Le Patriote, La Marseillaise. Hence perhaps the fact that the red-and-brown folks of the PRCF were distributing carefree, without Nuit Debout lifting a finger despite its insistance that it excludes conspiracy theorists, fascists, and so on. L'Humanité had a stall too (so yeah, no political parties, but parties' newspapers are fine). Stalls of Psy Debout (anything as long as it's "debout"), an anti-speciesist stall, perhaps the least worst of the bunch. A less-than-incredible stall against Françafrique. A pro-bourgeois ecologist stall. L'Envolée. Oh, and the publisher Libertalia, along with a bunch of 'stars' of the milieu, with nearly an entire marquee to themselves. The only ones missing were the anti-semites and racialists of the PIR.

Oh, well. On to the commissions, from the oxymoronic "secure IT", to the "action" commission (aha), the "citizen Jury" commission and its "recruiting office", and wait for it…… the "Separation of MEDEF and State" commission. I must admit that citizenists are good at reinventing themselves. At one point I could have sworn I was at a situationnist fairground. Then, above all, on the 15th of May, a debate with Nuit Debouts from around the world: Brussels, Berlin, Brasil, Spain who were celebrating the anniversary of the 15M, etc etc; and whose message was always the same: "let's unite the citizenry's struggles against neoliberalism".

In short, quite an unbearable moment. A leaflet, trying to pass itself off as revolutionary, was scolding those revolutionaries who dared to criticise Nuit Debout, which they claim aspires to break free from the pitfalls of representative democracy… Well, that's hardly what I witnessed there. Middle class rebellion is a counter-revolutionary tool, and we can't expect anything from this movement. Not a thing. I came, I saw, I ran away.
Citizens of the world, punish yourselves.

Ernest Coeurdeuaine

----

We are their common enemy

The repression which is cracking down on the social movement against the labour law, and indeed against all struggles, didn't just appear from nowhere. It has long been ongoing in the ZAD (autonomous zones), and from the town centre of Rennes to the streets of Paris and the picket lines. This State violence has been deployed for years in working class neighbourhoods, and its use has now been generalised to the entire population. From the teams of BAC (plainclothes/undercover "anti-criminal brigades") or Companie d'Intervention (riot police units) that are unleashed like rabid dogs on the marches, to the RAID (elite police unit) which was deployed to evict an occupied building, and what seems like a culprit fabrication by a servile Justice system; such occurrences have marked the daily life of our neighbourhoods for 30 years.

The security tourniquet used to strangle social protests in our neighbourhoods is now being used to criminalise the social movements. The figure of the rioter in a Lacoste tracksuit and baseball cap shown in the media is replaced by one in a black anorak. Governments always try to depict working class opposition as juvenile delinquents intent on looting. For the social movement, it's the cliché of the petit-bourgeois class-traitor who "plays at revolution before taking over daddy's company". Reducing rioters and demonstrators to these symbolic caricatures enables the deployment of an exceptional police and judiciary arsenal, which reassures the "good French citizenry" only too happy to beat up the roguish proletarian or the rebellious petit-bourgeois. This media staging, with its two rioter typologies, presented every evening on the televised news, serves to patently and latently answer the hidden question: why are men and women in the suburbs or town centres confronting the police?

With these two symbolic figures, the petit-bourgeois and the delinquent, the answer is simple: the thug in sweatpants is just out to loot, the petit-bourgeois is just going through adolescence. It's in their nature.

The second effect, and not the least, of this media staging is that it prevents any unity between these populations which live in separate areas but are fighting against a common enemy: the State.

Who, in the middle class or the petite-bourgeoisie, feels sympathy for the suburban looter? Who, in the suburbs, feels sympathy for the petit-bourgeois, whose revolt is presented as factitious?

These two symbolic figures serve to foment division and foil a union which might overcome the oligarchy which governs us.

It is nothing new, however, to see "petit-bourgeois" risking their freedom and health to stand up to the guard dogs of the state and the bourgeoisie. Here is what Marx and Engels wrote in the manifesto in 1848:

"Finally, in times when the class-struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact, within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movements as a whole."

Not new, either, that during riots in the working class neighbourhoods, lumpen-proletarians take to the streets alongside the rioters. Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party explained that "more and more of the proletariat will become unemployable, become lumpen, until they have become the popular class, the revolutionary class".

From the penal and police treatment to the fabrication of caricatures, the ongoing repression of social movements is a direct copy of the securitarian management of the suburbs.

The memory of struggles in proletarian neighbourhoods is there for us to recall. A history among others of popular uprisings perfectly illustrates these similarities. At Dammarie-lès-Lys, the police, judiciary and media techniques deployed to break a protest movement were in all respects identical to those used today. That was nearly fifteen years ago.

At Dammarie, on the 21st of May 2002, Xavier Dem, overcome by dementia, shoots at two police officers with a pellet gun, lightly injuring one on the elbow. The second officer answers by killing Xavier with a bullet to the head. Two days later, Mohamed Berrichi dies during a motorbike chase by the police. Mohamed Berrichi was the brother of the President of the Bouge qui Bouge association, which was created following the assassination of Abedelkader Bouziane (16 years old) by a BAC officer in 1997. His death two days after that of Xavier Dem, combined with a national climate in which the far-right National Front succeed in entering the second round of the presidential elections, sends a shock wave throughout the neighbourhood.

(https://youtu.be/ILe0yfjnyXw)

On the 27th of May 2002, 800 people protest together against police brutality. For the first time in a suburban neighbourhood a demonstration was cordoned by an imposing group made up of by activists from the neighbourhood. It's a peaceful show of strength without precedent in the popular neighbourhoods of France. The stand-off in front of the Dammarie police station remains a highlight in the annals of many activists. During the night, the demo's banners in memory of Abdelkader, Xavier and Mohamed, are hung up on the Bas-Moulin highrise.

Looking for "responsible" people in the neighbourhood with which to talk to, the State authorities in Dammarie dispatch the rector of the Évry mosque and representatives of the Paris mosque to offer their condolences "and those of the Mayor and the Prefect" to the father of Mohamed Berrichi.

Supported by the MIB (immigration and suburbs movement association), Mohamed's father replies that mourning is a family affair. The MIB points out that such a mobilisation was politically motivated, and points the finger at the hypocrisy of the State, which didn't summon catholic authorities to visit Xavier Dem's family. The State's religious messengers are sent packing, back to their flocks.

Vexed, Khalil Merroun, rector of the Évry mosque, states that "the family is taken hostage by people who refuse dialogue". One would think one was reading the prose of a union bureaucrat bidden to condemn the violence of demonstrators resolved not to let themselves be gassed and beaten up by the police. This is a typical tactic of the State, which tries to use intermediary religious or syndical bodies to sort the "good" citizens from the "bad".

The mobilisation around Mohamed Berrichi's death gives way to many pressure surges from the police, with the instrumentalisation of "contempt of cop" and judiciary repression instruments. This is a technique we witness today, for instance with the indictment under counter-terrorism motives (conspiracy, organised gang…) of young protesters who took over into the Rennes metro to organise a "free transport" operation.

Already, in 2002, supposed "anti-police hatred" is used to justify, and to sway public opinion in favour of, repression. In June 2002, the SPNT (national union of uniformed police officers) demands the suppression of banners which it deems are "calling for anti-police hatred". The union calls for a demonstration on the 2nd of July 2002, in front of the Seine-et-Marne prefecture. It's an avant-premiere, 14 years ago, of the recent love-the-police demonstration at Place de la République.

At Dammarie, the elite RAID unit is deployed in the neighbourhood during a police search of the premises of the association Bouge qui Bouge, similarly to its recent use during the evacuation of the "people's house" in Rennes…

In each of these struggles, one encounters the instruments and techniques of repression which are used today against the social movement. These last few years have seen the emergence of an increasingly violent arsenal, first destined and tested in popular neighbourhoods, and now used on everybody.

In addition to the physical, comes a judiciary repression. The Kamara brothers from Villiers-le-Bel were the first victims of this State vengeance, which can have people sentenced on the basis of "white notes" or anonymous tips. In Paris, after the burning of a police car, 4 people were brought in by police for "attempted homicide of a representative of public authority", with the only evidence being the anonymous account of an infiltrated police officer. As with the Kamara brothers, the only evidence consists of elements constructed by the police or intelligence services. The generalisation of these methods is yet another step towards a police state. With them, the police services can fabricate entire cases, as illustrated by the Quai de Valmy affair. A few hours after the fire, 4 known activists, singled out by the DGSI (general direction of interior security), were arrested. The investigators even admit that "their implication in the arson of the vehicle is not established". As with the case of the Kamara brothers, an entire apparatus articulated around police services and governmental storytelling is used to justify these incarcerations.

These similarities between the repression of neighbourhood unrest and that of social movements create the conditions for such struggles to converge. Those who are fighting on the front lines in our neighbourhoods and those in our social movements faced with police brutality are fully aware of this. They realise that now isn't the time to argue over who was doing what back in 2005, but instead to work on building bridges and battlegrounds common to all those who refuse to resign themselves to mere survival in this unequal and violent world.

Quartiers Libres

----

edit: please forgive the occasional quirkiness due to poor translation

destroy capital

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Trying to get a handle on where the movement is at the moment as mainstream press reports are (unsurprisingly) all over the shop:

RT mention this French minister being pelted with eggs and told to get lost, while Reuters reports on the same event but add "strikes wane".

Reuters

a strike against planned labor reforms disrupted rail services for a sixth day but appeared to be running out of steam.

Industrial action in the oil sector was also waning. Oil group Total SA said three of its five refineries in France were being prepared for restart after days at a standstill. [...] Participation in action against the labor reform is dwindling with just 8.5 percent of rail workers still on strike

The Local FR, on the other hand, says the rail strikes are still really disruptive:

Rail traffic in France remained hugely disrupted on Monday as workers continued to strike for a sixth consecutive day.

There was some slight improvement in the number of services on Monday, with six out of ten high speed TGVs and regional TER trains running, according to rail operator SNCF.

However Intercité trains were still hugely disrupted with only one in three trains running and in the Ile-de France region around Paris only 50 percent of the Transilien services operating.

Rail workers staged demonstrations at the Montparnasse train station to the south of Paris, blocking trains for around half an hour, while chanting and throwing smoke bombs. They moved on at around 2.30pm.

While some cunt from The Independent says that Hollande "is winning"..

Anyone closer to the ground what to make sense of all that for me?

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Withered, thanks so much for those translations. Would you be okay to post them separately direct to our news section/library has appropriate, with a photo perhaps for each one? You now have posting permissions (that way they will get a much wider readership)

Thrasybulus

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think in general the strikes are disruptive but are not enough to cause a critical problem. As well as the train strikes a number of the rubbish collection stations have also been blocked recently around Paris. Each day there are a number of strikes or blockades but few seem to be able to hold long enough to create a major problem. Then the floods added to the sense of gloom over the French state but maybe also took away something from the energy and momentum.

Along with the strikes the demonstrations continue too. On the 4th an antifascist march in Paris saw some clashes and smashed windows and on the 2nd another demonstration ended in a spontaneous march breaking off and hitting various targets. Somewhere around the country there is normally some incident each day, e.g electricity cut off in St.Nazaire, police cars burnt outside Paris, motorway tolls blocked or lifted, Socialist Party offices attacked, etc. And I think the guy injured by the police in Paris on the 26th May is still in a coma.

So overall things still continuing at a constant but low level, disruptive but perhaps not critical. It will be interesting if things continue like this because even relatively low levels of disruption and actions could cause problems, or a heavy state reaction, if it starts to interfere with the football tournament.

Schmoopie

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed:

Building on Schmoopie's point: he could well be right (probably is, tbh).. but it may also be worth noting that Belgium is also currently undergoing its own protest movement against its own labour reforms..

See, http://libcom.org/forums/news/wildcat-strikes-belgium-28052016

Ed

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not sure about how relevant this is but there will be a demonstration in Sesto San Giovani (a working-class suburb of Milan) on the same day as the big day of strikes/protests in France on June 14th. Called by a few different base unions (USI-AIT, CUB, SI Cobas and SGB).. dunno if the aim is to eventually move towards strike action against the Jobs Act, though the language of the call-out seems to imply it..

More info for Italian readers here.

Ed

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dunno what the story is behind this photo but it's from the Le Havre docks and looks pretty cool..

Edit to add:
Obviously tomorrow is supposed to be the big day of protests.. let's see how it all goes..

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, that's a sick picture.

Have the strikes/protests affected the Euro Cup?

Gulai Polye

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is now a general strike
http://archyworldys.com/general-strike-in-france-tough-test-for-the-euro/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWyFVUfUtnE

julio27

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

good performance of the dockers

https://paris-luttes.info/mardi-14-juin-manifestation-6129

Thrasybulus

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lots of people in the demonstrations in Paris today. Estimates range from 75,000 to as much as one million. The former is a police estimate and so can be more or less discounted but I'd say at least the biggest single gathering since March 31st which was with more unions and maybe around 200-300,000 people.

To begin with the police seemed to want to attack strongly to send a message that they had control but as has happened many times during the last months people hit back just as strong. So again the police couldn't do much to stop the demonstrators and plenty of targets along the route were smashed(banks, starbucks, etc). The media is focusing on the windows of a children's hospital which were also cracked in the middle of the fiercest confrontations with the police. When the police attacked it was indiscriminate and brutal, with frequent use of the water cannons, leading to a number of injuries(11) and detentions(58), 29 police are also reported injured.

A number of people regrouped later on at Republique and headed off an a spontaneous demonstration in the evening.

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

After a vote by members CGT has refused to sign the new contract on hours for rail workers. SUD has already refused so that means they can legally stop it being adopted. CFDT and UNSA have signed.

A couple, policeman and administrator in the police were stabed to death last night by a guy claiming to represent Daesh. This is being cited as a reason for fewer demonstrators. The weather was also quite rainy at times.

Tomorrow is the start of the baccalaureate exams for 18 year-olds so that will have an effect, I think all of the refineries have reopened now. The papers are talking about the strikes and blocades running out of steam. Don't really know enough to comment.

Schmoopie

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he could "no longer bear the attacks against the police".

Mr Cazeneuve called on protesters "to find within themselves a little humanity, tolerance and respect".

What a scumbag!

angela592

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The CGT is very much against them as are other elements of the French state and the danger for the working class is that it is mobilised by these elements!!!

Gulai Polye

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

France president Hollande is reconsidering banning demonstrations because protecting and serve private property has the highest priority of the state
https://www.rt.com/news/346804-hollande-ban-demonstrations-france/

C.Hélène

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Paris 14 juin affrontements dockers/crs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVJlunWZ4us

Schmoopie

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is it legitimate to place the disorder in Lille last night in the context of the protest against the new French labour law?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36543468

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Schmoopie

Is it legitimate to place the disorder in Lille last night in the context of the protest against the new French labour law?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36543468

In what sense? The disorder isn't in solidarity with the protests and I'd be surprised if many fans were aware of them. IT's the same context in that it's happening in the same country at the same time but otherwise there's not much of a ink other than the police used against them.

Rebonjour C.Hélène, merci pour le lien.

Schmoopie

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Edit:

angela592 wrote:

The CGT is very much against them as are other elements of the French state and the danger for the working class is that it is mobilised by these elements!!!

Marx wrote:

In politics a man may ally himself with the devil himself—only he must be sure that he is cheating the devil instead of the devil cheating him.

New York Daily Tribune, December 1, 1852

It matters little who mobilises the working class, so long as we outflank those petit bourgeois elements. This has happened time and again in France in recent events and historically.

Craftwork

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spotted: Makhnovist flag! (source: https://www.facebook.com/unityahdut/photos/a.274748132550379.75341.274324392592753/1265596320132217/?type=3&theater)

Entdinglichung

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/21/exhausted-french-police-plead-with-unions-to-postpone--fresh-pro/

France's main police union on Tuesday pleaded with workers to put off a national day of demonstrations on Thursday against a controversial labour law saying they are too "exhausted" to cope with protests on top of dealing with the Euro and terror threats.

:-)

Thrasybulus

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The demonstration planned for tomorrow has been banned by the police:

"“After close examination, these alternative proposals address neither the security needs of people and property, nor the demands on police resources given the terrorist threat,” a police department statement said."

( http://www.france24.com/en/20160622-france-paris-french-police-bans-protest-labour-reform-violence-hollande )

Ed

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This tweet says the march is due to go ahead but with a stupid route..

After first banning Thursday's Paris march, French state now allows it but with absurd circular route! #manif23juin https://t.co/v1Px6dORME— Winter Oak (@WinterOakPress) June 22, 2016

no1

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Brighton Solfed are organising a talk and discussion on this, Tuesday 28. June, 6pm in the Cowley Club.
http://www.brightonsolfed.org.uk/brighton/france-on-strike-talk-and-discussion-on-june-the-28th

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Article about sexism and rape culture on demonstrations.
The writer complains about the chants of "Fuck Julie not the workers" (Julie Gayet, Hollande was having an affair with her) and talks about previous demos where El-Khomri was called a whore and punitive rape was called for.
She then describes being eyed up by demonstrators and being repeatedly told that she shouldn't have worn a skirt because it's not 'suitable'.
After being gassed and strck with truncheons she asked for some water from anothe marcher who offered her a bootle and burst out laughing saying "Watch out, there's GHB in it" to which she responded:
"That's not funny. I'm getting tear-gassed and hit with truncheons just like you and you're breaking that solidarity with these kinds of jokes. As well as police violence we also need to be on our guard permanently because of these kinds of comments from comrades, you have no idea what it's like for us to be militants in these conditions."

There's also a tumbler account Salut camarade sexiste! (Hi sexist comrade) which is full of examples of sexism. One of which is this flyer calling on people to protest against the new law.

"Tired of the loi travail having the shirt off your back
blockade your school or demonstrate
fuck this consumer society by breaking pigs."

The march tomorrow has been given a route by the police, the area in pink is pedestriansed and the black line is the route, basically the propose route is walking around a stretch of the canal.

Posties in Hauts-de-Seine are still out (44 days) but they're scandalised because they're not being paid any more. I'm not quite sure why they're so surprised about it, but there was a solidarity donation of 15 grand from the CGT (printers and other branches) and a donations of 2500 from students at the ENS (which may or may not be part of the 15k) I'm not sure what ENS because it usually means one of the elite schools and I find it hard to believe they'd give money to strikers.

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The MArch took place yesterday, a lot of searches on the way there with cops confiscating black clothing.

Once the march started there were chants of "Everybody hates the police" miwed with "Everybody hates going round in circles"

40-odd arrests by 3pm although most people seem to have been released pretty quickly.

A wildcat march took place with 2-500 people, dispersed near to place de la bourse, later on the police set up a massive checkpoint at Strasbourg Saint DEnis metro station and were carrying photos of people who had been on this march.

There was a breakawy /seperate wildcat march Rue Daumesnil, that ended up the station Gare de Lyon which was breifly occupied before the police arrived and emptied the building. (A lot of these 'occupations' simply mean people going to a place)

The marchers had until 6pm to dosperse and a few hundred were in place de la bastille at about 5.20 when they were kettled

Wildcat march from Menilmontant heading down towards Belleville just before 8, it lasted about an hour, one marcher arrested for shouting up to four arrests total.
A marcher was severely beaten by cops as they gassed marchers and fired rubber grenades, they then started trying to delete all photos. Banks and the CFDT union headquarters were targeted.

Thrasybulus

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Over the last week or so there has been a number of solidarity actions and gestures from people in Greece. Timed with the national demonstration in Paris were gatherings at the French embassy and consulate in Athens and Patra. In the last few days there have been attacks on French state and capitalist targets in Greece, one burning an AXA vehicle, another against a Peugeot-Citroën dealership and, if I remember right, an embassy car was burnt.
It's worth noting that a 'reform' of the labor code in Greece is on Syriza's agenda in the coming months.

Two of the responsibility claims:
http://mpalothia.net/thessaloniki-greece-incendiary-attack-vehicles-peugeot-citroen-dealership/
http://mpalothia.net/athens-greece-incendiary-gesture-complicity-rebels-france/

Craftwork

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone know what the reaction(s) within the workers' movement in France is/are to Brexit?

Nymphalis Antiopa

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone know what the reaction(s) within the workers' movement in France is/are to Brexit?

All ze Inglish wiz zere second omes, zere silly monty pyson parrot sketches end zere orrible breakfasts have been hanged from ze lampposts. A bas la monarchie!

orange.ruffy

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here is a printable infopacket on the movement in France assembled by La Onda, a communist group in LA:
https://en-contrainfo.espiv.net/files/2016/06/franceinfopacket.pdf

It includes some materials already posted here (like the reflections from la serveuse) but some other translations as well.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

orange.ruffy

Here is a printable infopacket on the movement in France assembled by La Onda, a communist group in LA:
https://en-contrainfo.espiv.net/files/2016/06/franceinfopacket.pdf

It includes some materials already posted here (like the reflections from la serveuse) but some other translations as well.

It would be great if you could post that to our news section.

Appreciate the updates Jef and co

jef costello

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Demonstration today, another march from Place d'Italie to Place de la Bastill, Metro Bastille is alteady closed.

The head of FO (Force Ouvrière, Trotskyite union, salted the railways fairly well so punches above its weight.) has said that today's march will be the last of the summer but that it should not be taken as abandoning the struggle, he's not attending because he's been invited to a debate elsewhere. He said that everyone is going on holiday and, more interestinglt, that "it's getting too difficult with all the violence"
He has promised "surprises" over the summer and given the example of free toll roads, not sure how practicable that is as they are trying to automate toll roads with apps etc.

Entdinglichung

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello

FO (Force Ouvrière, Trotskyite union,

only partially true, the Lambertists have a strong influence (there were estimations around 20 years ago that somewhere between 10-20% of its functionaries and full-timers were Lambertists) but the majority of FO was and is generally in one way or another social democratic, there were also always other currents (syndicalist, anarchist, gaullist, LO, etc.), the glue which kept the FO since the late 40ies together was a hostility towards PCF and CGT (from which it split in 47) and to a lesser degree secularism (in the beginning directed against the catholic unions before their de-confessionalisation)

jef costello

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Entdinglichung

jef costello

FO (Force Ouvrière, Trotskyite union,

only partially true, the Lambertists have a strong influence (there were estimations around 20 years ago that somewhere between 10-20% of its functionaries and full-timers were Lambertists) but the majority of FO was and is generally in one way or another social democratic, there were also always other currents (syndicalist, anarchist, gaullist, LO, etc.), the glue which kept the FO since the late 40ies together was a hostility towards PCF and CGT (from which it split in 47) and to a lesser degree secularism (in the beginning directed against the catholic unions before their de-confessionalisation)

I didn't know that, thanks.

Chilli Sauce

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the catholic unions before their de-confessionalisation

Say what?

Entdinglichung

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the CFTC before its majority became the CFDT in the mid-60ies

Chilli Sauce

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, I mean, "de-confessionalization". What does that mean? Workers had go to confession at union meetings?

jef costello

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

No, I mean, "de-confessionalization". What does that mean? Workers had go to confession at union meetings?

Secularisation.

jef costello

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

iexist

jef costello

Chilli Sauce

No, I mean, "de-confessionalization". What does that mean? Workers had go to confession at union meetings?

Secularisation.

Confessionalism is a term reffering to the division of society into groups based on "confessional communities" confessional in this case meaning "confession a specific religion" its similar to the situation in Northern Ireland:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessionalism_(politics)

Not the case in France.
The CFTC (Confederation of French christian workers) became secular and was renamed the CFDT (French democratic confederation of workers)
wiki

Entdinglichung

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the term "de-confessionalization" is my (literalist) translation of the German term "Entkonfessionalisierung" which I found in stuff on CFTC/CFDT ... CFTC (like most other similar unions in Europe) wasn't a Christian but more precisely a Catholic union, an org where e.g. the 1% of French Protestants weren't really invited ... starting with WW2 and especially strong during the protests against the French colonial wars after 1945, a non-negligable part of the organized catholic milieu moved to the left and became mostly secularist

Gulai Polye

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Damn, that's one heck of a photo.

Wayne

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, a striking image. I was in Paris that night and was just hoping to watch the final in the fan zone and enjoy the atmosphere, but I got caught up in the riot for a bit. People took down some fences and entered the controlled area. The police responded with lots of teargas. TBH, I can see why post-Hillsborough any police force would be wary of overcrowding among football fans, but really the clashes seemed more about youths having a pop at the cops (and the CRS enjoying another chance to do what they do) than anything to do with football. It was actually pretty fierce around kick off time with the police being driven back under a hail of bottles. Then the police intensified the gas and counter attacked and pushed people away from the controlled area under the Eiffel Tower. At which point some people set fire to a couple of scooters and tried to barricade the road. I left because I wanted to see the second half (which turned out to be dull as shite) and cause a couple of tossers were launching bottles arbitrarily into the crowd, but generally, although it wasn't in any way an explicitly political thing, nor was it a football fan thing - I didn't feel in any way unwelcome because I wasn't French and wasn't a France supporter. And there was no antagonism between French fans and the French-Portuguese community

baboon

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with iexist that these questions shouldn't suddenly disappear but deserve further discussion. Particularly regarding the class struggle where the working class has lessons to be learnt - if it's not to keep going round and round in pointless circles - a recipe for disaster. It's right to be enthusiastic about the class struggle but it is always easy to overestimate it and then drop it completely and "on to the next one".

The recent class struggle in France was an expression of real discontent generally and an objection to the anti-working class nature of the El Khomri laws.

As above, you can see that it was a spectacular confrontation, daily blow-by-blow even up to the point that for the first time in 50 years the government threatened to outlaw a union demonstration (it changed its mind after a couple of hours).

The "spectacular" actions were mostly of a minority and there were no real discernible developments of proletarian self-organisation and class consciousness. There were various and many union "days of action" accompanied by drum-banging, flag-waving meaningless marches completely controlled by the unions.

The CGT has "radicalised" itself in order to back up its claim to be an integral part of the French state. For its part the government has taken a full part in the war dance with both stomping on any real development of class consciousness. And the controversial laws have gone through.

While they don't see entirely eye-to-eye (the bourgeoisie are made up of factions), the government and unions have showed a division of labour in order to effect a further attack on the working class.

Thrasybulus

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are moves now to try and restart the demonstrations this month. There hasn't been anything major since the loi travail was passed at the end of July following on from the large police operations at the end of June demonstrations. Already before the 'summer break' the unions had called for a day of demonstrations on the 15th September and now I guess we see if any momentum can be regained after a pause and in the face of further repression.

If I read the news right the other day there was a short strike at the Le Havre docks after the police turned up to arrest two workers under suspicion of involvement in the clashes in Paris on June 14th. In Paris some people have started the nuit debout meetings again. Today there was an attack by a group of people on a Socialist Party office in Paris (http://www.leparisien.fr/paris-75/la-federation-ps-de-paris-saccagee-a-coups-de-barres-de-fer-01-09-2016-6086843.php).

International call for the 15th September: http://mpalothia.net/paris-france-black-september-15-09-16/

Thrasybulus

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://taranis.news/2016/09/loi-travail-192016-%E2%80%A2-paris-manifestation-des-lyceens-le-jour-de-la-rentree/

Video from yesterday in Paris.

jef costello

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The new 'Nuit debout' has posted a schedule for 31/08- 04/01 which seems to defeat the point. IT has quite a few concerts and screenings and lots of presentations by organisations.
There's supposedly a big call to block the schools from the 15th and union calls (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, UNEF, UNL, FIDL) for a teachers' strike. There is also an official strike on the 8th against the reforms but it's not had much publicity. I found out from my partner, not from work.
We'll see what happens. I get the feeling this is going to fizzle out and we'll have more trouble next year. It'll be Sarkozy or Le Pen in power by then. Shockingly Hollande is planning to stand for re-election and his opponents seem unable to manage a more popular candidate than the widely-disliked Sarkozy, although lots will be glad to have him back to 'deal with the muslims'

Thrasybulus

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yesterday there were the demonstrations across France which were meant to mark the return to the streets post-summer. In Paris the numbers at the demonstration weren't not as high as at some of the others, probably somewhere around 15,000-20,000. As it has been the last few months the proportion of the front blocs was fairly high, this is where you get the black blocs and a mix of anyone who wants a more militant march. Despite a heavy police presence, which meant that the march starts off in a cage surrounded by police who search people on the way in, there were clashes all the way along the fairly short route. As has happened a number of times in the last few months the cops were aggressive but the crowd also hit back and there were a fair few well aimed molotovs. The media has made a lot about one cop being slightly burnt on his leg but are relatively silent about the unionist that lost his eye to a police grenade. Around France there were 62 arrests by the end of the day but I've not read how many of those have held.

jef costello

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the police 8 cops were injured and 4 protesters, but eyewitness accounts place protester injuries much higher.

In Nantes, as usual, they've smashed the windows of all the banks, insurance companies and some shops, quite a few of the banks had been boarded up as a preventative measure. The protesters seem to have held back on smashing cash machines this time which I appreciated.

At least 8 people were immediately put before a judge. Most were released with bail conditions, one was banned form Paris. One got 6 months and another got a 500e fine with a further 1000 suspended.

104 witness accounts were given to defenseurs des droit (protectors of rights) and 68 have been taken on as cases, not quite sure how it works, whether it will be similar to a class action against the police or if each case will be done seperately.
Article below, in French with pictures.
http://paris-luttes.info/saisine-collective-contre-la-6675

For myself I didn't strike, even the Force Ouvrière rep didn't.
It annoys me not to strike on general principle, but there's not much point being the only striker. It wasnt even mentioned at the union meeting and I forgot to ask.

There's an article online about striking if you're in a similar position or facing pressure from the bosses, unfortunately it basically tells you you have the right to strike, acknowledges that there will be pressure from bosses and offer no solutions. If it had been a bit more useful I'd have translated it.

jef costello

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wildcat demos and marches on Thursday, very little publicity, we got something officially through to mention that one lycée was closed.
Beyond one article on PAris-luttes there doens't seem to be much info at all. The unions are not calling for strikes. As the law was pushed through by decree (49.3) people are pretty pissed off but the summer break seems to have taken the wind out of things.