France: protests against new labour law

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jef costello
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May 19 2016 12:07

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
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May 19 2016 13:12

A new Mai 68 in Paris?

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

julio27
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May 19 2016 19:06

live ticker 19/5

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

http://paris-luttes.info/

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May 19 2016 18:07

julio27:

Quote:
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
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May 19 2016 18:38

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

Battlescarred
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May 20 2016 11:42

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

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May 20 2016 14:07

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.

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May 20 2016 19:25
jef costello wrote:
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
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May 23 2016 09:40

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...

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May 23 2016 09:52

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

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May 23 2016 10:50
Serge Forward wrote:
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!)

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May 23 2016 14:00

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

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May 23 2016 14:21

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

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jef costello
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May 23 2016 14:42

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.

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May 23 2016 15:19
Quote:
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:

Quote:
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
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May 23 2016 16:15

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/que...

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May 24 2016 03:41

Thanks for the update Jef!

julio27
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May 24 2016 20:35

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

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May 25 2016 06:25

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
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May 25 2016 10:35

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-s...
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.

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May 25 2016 12:26
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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?

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May 25 2016 17:43

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
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May 25 2016 18:31

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-l...

baboon
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May 25 2016 20:26

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.

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May 25 2016 21:22

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

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May 26 2016 04:41

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

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May 26 2016 07:05

Couple of posts on the Guardian:
Strike hits French oil refineries as police break up Marseille picket
French riot police use water cannon to break up fuel depot blockade

Nuclear power workers set to join the strike today..

Fucking love the French.. smile

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May 26 2016 08:03

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
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May 26 2016 10:07

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-sui...

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

(leaving the thread for a while)

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May 26 2016 10:10
Chilli Sauce wrote:
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