France: protests against new labour law

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Gulai Polye
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Jul 11 2016 16:28

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Khawaga
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Jul 11 2016 17:09

Damn, that's one heck of a photo.

Wayne
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Jul 19 2016 19:33

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
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Aug 19 2016 13:08

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
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Sep 1 2016 21:07

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-c...).

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

Thrasybulus
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Sep 2 2016 10:20

http://taranis.news/2016/09/loi-travail-192016-%E2%80%A2-paris-manifesta...

Video from yesterday in Paris.

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jef costello
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Sep 2 2016 15:13

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
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Sep 16 2016 19:23

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.

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jef costello
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Sep 19 2016 20:23

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.

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jef costello
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Sep 25 2016 11:06

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.