On the occasion of May Day 2018 and the 50th anniversary of the worldwide social upheavals of 1968, including the iconic general strike in May-June in Paris, we are presenting this audio zine of Worker-Student Action Committees by Fredy Perlman (co-writing certain passages with Roger Gregoire), a contemporary first-hand account and analysis of some of the events by those who were budding, wide-eyed militants at the time.
Things in France are popping off again. As President Macron pushes to privatize the national rail company, workers, students, and radicals are going on strike, taking to the streets, fighting the pigs, and smashing symbols of capitalism everywhere. But, like in North America and elsewhere, fascists reacted to these inspiring acts of resistance, by violently attacking subversive students in Montpellier. Also there’s a call out for a day of solidarity on April 10th to support J20 defendants.
Older generations never tire of reminding youth that the years they spend on college or university campus are formative moments in their lives, times that more often than not play an important role in shaping the trajectory of their future careers and helping to determine the types of adults that they will soon become. These are, after all, years where new life-long friendships are made, politics are formed, and ideas about one’s role in the world start to take hold. What these old-timers often don’t tell you is that if you play your cards right, they can also be the years when you participate in your first riot, flip over your first cop car, occupy your first faculty building, or topple your first government.
What follows is a second exercise in the sharing of ideas, of visions. The most recent essay by the invisible committee, Now, continues a reflection-intervention that began with The Coming Insurrection and To Our Friends, and offers a powerful critique of contemporary politics, along with a defense of “autonomy”. What is proposed here then is again a partial summary and a critical commentary of the idea of politics expressed in the essay.
From ediciones inéditos
For the episode of “Getting Out of Capitalism,” Radio Libertaire asked me to make a presentation on anti-work, based on the pamphlet that I published with Echanges et Mouvement in 2005 (see: http://www.hicsalta-communisation.com/bibliotheque/aux-origines-de-lanti-travail). Upon re-reading it, it became apparent that there was a need to correct or clarify a few points of view in it. I pushed myself to do this during the recording of the episode, which one can find here. The text below follows the same train of thought (a few paragraphs in italics are reproduced without any change from the 2005 brochure).
From Resonance Audio
We sat down with Robby and Sylvie in their home in Seattle to get some of the context for the two plays we were planning on recording. The interview turned into a nearly 2 and a half hour conversation where we discussed Rojava, The 5th Estate, 1968, burnout, and the last 30+ years of anarchy in the United States and much more.
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.