From afar (and even within France amongst the young – those who’ve never before directly experienced a nationwide movement) what’s going on seems like the prelude to a social revolution. This tends to make those yearning for a revolution to exaggerate to such an extent what’s going on that some even believe that now is the time to talk of the form and content of workers’ councils; which would be a bit like talking about what your son or daughter is going to call the name of their baby when they’re still a virgin and have only just had their first snog.
By El Errante
(Paris, Ile de France, 28/05/16) The scene is becoming clearer and it doesn’t look good. On one side of the street a line of CRS (Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité) stands in a wall, unmoving, silent, ready. And opposite them by about 100 meters is another solid row of CRS, hard rubber matraques held ready. I look down at Loni, whose view is obscured by the mob, and tell her to get ready, they may use gas. She and I both fish around in our backpacks for the red and black handkerchiefs that the Federation Anarchiste (FA) folks had given us. Movement is impossible in the crush, and I find myself less worried about being pummeled about the head and shoulders by CRS goons than the likelihood of being smothered or trampled should the crowd move or run suddenly. Two or three dull explosive thuds resound in the sunshine and a cloud of teargas, wafted by a slight breeze, moves ghostlike over the crowd. The sound of choking erupts immediately as the protestors begin to move away from grayish blue gas…
Far from us to claim we represent the «movement», but since you use Mpalothia as «media» broadcast we felt questioned.
You look at «our struggle», so we have taken note.
To be clear we specify that «our struggle» existed before the «movement» and will not end with it, even if the reform of the labor code would be repealed.
Indeed, we do not care about law and we do not care about work. We just wish both to disappear.
Our goal is not to reform or improve capitalism but to destroy it, to wipe out it by fire and by all means everyone deems useful.
The oil strikes and blockades, which are now being reported more in the international press, have been ongoing since Thursday 19th, and with increasing strength. On Thursday we heard it was not possible to get cash or oil in Rennes, since the ATMs were smashed during the manifestation, and the refineries were on strike. This is an explicit case in which the actions of casseurs support the actions of a strike. Every day there has been news of another refinery blocked, a new one evicted. They are often reoccupied. Road blockades are too many to count. The headlines suggest that the union, the CGT, has the power to block the country, and Manuel Valls has reproached them for the same crime. On Tuesday Minister Bruno Le Roux (the leader of the Parti Socialiste inside parliament) seemed to move on the law, saying it could be modified, but head of FO Jean Claude Mailly, wrote back with the minimal demand of retraction. On thursday morning, a senior CGT member reported having received personal and intimidating text messages from a government minister.
May 1, 2016. Like every Sunday there is the market at la Place des Fêtes. Like every May 1 it is the super-market of the libertarian organizations. Always the same routine, the same resigned faces, the same sad slogans, the same mythomaniac banners (“Kill Capitalism,” “Strikes, looting, sabotage”). This year some individuals decide to break this routine, and anarchism invites itself to the libertarian procession.
From Rable.org.uk and other sources at end
The wave of rebellion unleashed in France in response to the El-Khomri labour law has been impressive. The fighting spirit and political acuity shown by many of those blockading their colleges, blocking the railway lines, looting supermarkets and distributing the goods, attacking police stations, and disseminating tracts against work itself is beautiful. But since 31st March, a new, friendlier-looking trend has emerged alongside the riots. On that night, people responded to a call for a ‘Nuit Debout’ (night on your feet) to occupy something after the day’s demos. In Paris it led to a large and continuous occupation of Place de la Republique. People had discussions, partied, and even prevented the eviction of Stalingrad migrant camp (note: the camp at Stalingrad is populated by several hundred refugees, many of whom have fled police harassment and eviction in Calais, and it & other migrant squats in the city have has been evicted at least 18 times(!) since last June). The occupations grew in size and spread rapidly over France and into Belgium and Spain.
The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiralled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares.
The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on Thursday March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.
Translator’s note: This sabotage took place during the ongoing movement against the “loi Travail” (the work act). The university of Tolbiac is on the frontline of this struggle in Paris. This rampage was commented in the bourgeois press, and some unions already dissociated themselves as can be seen here: https://attaque.noblogs.org/post/2016/03/26/ni-loi-ni-travail-a-tolbiac-...
UPDATE: The squat was evicted this afternoon by 12 vans of riot police, a few hours after being announced in the morning. See report on the eviction here. 8 people have been arrested. The Calais authorities clearly intend to enforce their “zero tolerance” clampdown on migrant and other autonomous spaces in the town centre, and with hundreds of CRS now stationed in Calais they have the force to do so.
Hundreds of protesters, anarchists, antifashists rioted in the French city of Nantes on last saturday 20th of february
Showering the city with smoke barrels and paint bombs in defiance of the state of emergency, which was extended by the French parliament for another three months.
Waving red-and-black anarchist banners set off fireworks, threw paint and smoke bombs at bank facades, as they rampaged through Nantes on Saturday.