France: protests against new labour law

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rooieravotr
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Mar 17 2016 21:32
France: protests against new labour law

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.

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jef costello
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Mar 17 2016 21:59

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-def...

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.

rooieravotr
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Mar 28 2016 13:15

Policie beats up student; angry students attack police offices. http://www.thelocal.fr/20160325/pupils-attack-police-stations-after-paris-students-beating
There must be more on all this, there seems to be an almost complete news black out outside France itself on this.

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Mar 28 2016 14:48

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.

WattTyler1381
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Mar 28 2016 15:21

Lots of information here: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/france-a-reader/

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jef costello
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Mar 28 2016 15:43
WattTyler1381 wrote:
Lots of information here: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/france-a-reader/

Good source, thanks.
Very interesting to see that CGT stewards were handing people over to the cops.

rooieravotr
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Mar 31 2016 02:24

Action day in the making, plus rail strike on specific issues. http://www.thelocal.fr/20160330/paris-braces-transport-chaos-as-strike-looms

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 31 2016 08:47
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jef costello
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Mar 31 2016 12:08

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.

Quote:
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.

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Mar 31 2016 12:16

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.

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Mar 31 2016 12:34

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

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Mar 31 2016 13:23

Socialist Party offices paintbombed in Rouen:

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

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 31 2016 13:52

Nantes

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jef costello
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Mar 31 2016 23:39

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-l...

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)

rooieravotr
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Apr 1 2016 22:33

Seems that a permanent square occupation is in progress in Paris. And it seems the thing is growing...

http://www.politis.fr/articles/2016/04/en-direct-nuit-debout-loccupation-des-places-publiques-sorganise-pour-durer-34444/

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Apr 2 2016 08:09

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-o...
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-3...
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.

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Apr 3 2016 22:03

Cheers for the updates guys! Interesting stuff!

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Apr 6 2016 16:09

This is from roarmag:

Quote:
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_conten...

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jef costello
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Apr 6 2016 21:40

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.

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Apr 8 2016 00:07

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.

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Apr 8 2016 07:18

Is the state of emergency still in force?

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Apr 8 2016 22:04

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-occu...

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Apr 8 2016 23:05

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
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Apr 8 2016 23:42

Dang,France isn't doing so good.

BorisJobson
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May 5 2016 17:14
Quote:
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-050... ) or with the Michael Schmidt thread (almost 1000 posts) - http://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-2... , 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.

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May 5 2016 19:16

Deleted.

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May 5 2016 19:37
BorisJobson wrote:

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-050... ) or with the Michael Schmidt thread (almost 1000 posts) - http://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-2... , 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.

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May 5 2016 20:33

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

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May 5 2016 21:17

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

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May 5 2016 22:32

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!

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May 6 2016 00:04
Quote:
[...] Rest in Peace.

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