Adbusters

Is a Revolution Brewing in France?

Will November 2010 be remembered as the new May 1968?

The first two weeks of October have seen a climactic flare up of social unrest. Anger has been steadily building as global unemployment continues to rise.

As we reported in Tactical Briefing #6 some of the spectacular actions that have already occurred include the pelting of the Prime Minister of Iceland with eggs and the torching of police cars in Toronto and Barcelona. But it looks like these early protests may be merely a taste of things to come.

Friday's New York Times contains a stunning dispatch from France where a thousand high schools were in turmoil as the general strike stretched into its fourth day:


Images of French Students Protesting

"There was little sign of a softening by unions protesting planned pension reforms in France on Friday as industrial action and demonstrations moved into a fourth day, intensifying fears about fuel supplies as strikers continued to target the fuel industry."

. . .

"Production at the country’s 12 crude refineries remained stalled by striking workers and the situation at oil storage depots away from the refineries was tense as police ordered the blockades lifted at several."

. . .

"Meanwhile, the mobilization of students against the reforms appeared to intensify on Thursday, when hundreds of high schools were blocked or disrupted, according to the Education Ministry. A students’ union, the Union nationale lycéenne, put the figure at more than 1,000."

"There were confrontations between police officers and students at a number of locations on Thursday, leading to dozens of arrests, including for throwing objects at the police, according to news reports."

"The union has called on its members for a massive mobilization Saturday."


And in the days since, the situation has only grown more tense. The blockade of fuel continues to be the most effective leverage point. Flights into France are being cut by as much as 50% due to lack of fuel and fears of strike activity. Meanwhile, at least 1,500 of the country's 12,500 gas stations have run out of fuel as well.

The government of France continues to push forward with their plans while the people vow to intensify their strike. According to one political commentator quoted in Monday's New York Times, the President of France is on the brink of losing all political legitimacy. Polls indicate that 71% of the French population support or sympathize with the strikers.

The mainstream media does not say it, but these events are eerily reminiscent. In May 1968, France was paralyzed by a general strike in which students, workers, teachers and artists erected barricades, occupied buildings and issued calls for an anti-capitalist future. And… they almost won.

Could this be the beginnings of another 1968? And could the Carnivalesque Rebellion this November be the week it goes global?

Adbusters 111 Cover

On Newsstands December 3

At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.

Subscribe to Adbusters Magazine

70 comments on the article “Is a Revolution Brewing in France?”

Displaying 41 - 50 of 70

Page 5 of 7

Kyle Pietsch

"I can tell you this something is coming whether you like it or not.You just don't kick hundreds of thousands of people out there homes.And have youth and college kids with no future.And all the environmentalists and anarchists and expect everything to be quiet.The government has reached the edge of the cliff in the usa.Taxes are to high the cost of living is to high.If you live in a city they take all your money.I'm going to move to another state.Whoever thinks people are going to chill out and relax.watch what happens a few years from now." - Anonymous

Agreed, you fucks.

Kyle Pietsch

"I can tell you this something is coming whether you like it or not.You just don't kick hundreds of thousands of people out there homes.And have youth and college kids with no future.And all the environmentalists and anarchists and expect everything to be quiet.The government has reached the edge of the cliff in the usa.Taxes are to high the cost of living is to high.If you live in a city they take all your money.I'm going to move to another state.Whoever thinks people are going to chill out and relax.watch what happens a few years from now." - Anonymous

Agreed, you fucks.

triggerola

the FRENCH have had enough of their government looking after the rich ,while making the true working class suffer as usual.
the big difference between the USA ,BRITAIN & the FRANCE is that the FRENCH have the balls to do something about it.

triggerola

the FRENCH have had enough of their government looking after the rich ,while making the true working class suffer as usual.
the big difference between the USA ,BRITAIN & the FRANCE is that the FRENCH have the balls to do something about it.

Anonymous

Youth getting involved in a retirement age protest?I don't care what you say that's unrest.And that's a fact.

k2000k

It may be unrest, but in my, American, eyes it does very much look like a temper tantrum. The current way the French, and much of Europe, has their social welfare structured is unsustainable. You can act like the French protesters are standing up for the common man, but they really aren't and the race riots in France not too long ago lend weight to that, they are standing up for what they think they are entitled too. Claiming that there is an evil wealthy class keeping the people down sounds all right and good, but as a previous poster has mentioned, the French have some of the most generous environments in the world for workers. However, the flip side is that they have suffered from high unemployment and low economic growth when compared to other developed nations. Ultimately the simple fact is this. The current model of France is unsustainable, they can either choose to adapt by adopting a more American style work environment and make tough budget choices or they will crumple under their own weight.

autonomous

I really don't understand why we (americans) attribute social behaviors as being individual psychological problems like "temper tantrum['s]". It's overtly simplistic and doesn't answer much. Is it really more likely that there's 1,000,000 or more people on general strike because they are all individually having temper tantrums coincidentally at the same time as opposed to some social phenomena or structural problem? Bullshit. And race riots in 2005? Sure race may have been an aspect in part due to racism against immigrants, but they weren't race riots against white people but a revolt against shitty conditions caused by capital. It would be beneficial to read up on that situation more.

Anonymous

Adapt a more American style work environment????
Are you serious???
And please enlighten me as to what "tough budget choices" you refer to.
Would this be the nearly trillion dollar bailout of banks and insurance companies in the U.S.?
The American greedy billionaire con-men have the general public believing that working sixty hours a week, mortaged to the hilt, fed un-nutricous food, and working until you're too old to even enjoy the last years of your life is a good thing.
Why should we have to work ALL our lives to support the wealthy and their lavish lifestyles?
The French have it right!!! MORE rights for workers not less. A healthier and shorter work-span.
But no, the American people are convinced that slaving their lives away is what is good and right.
You've been duped and conned. . . . .

Francene

It seems pretty clear that the "anarchists" burning cars are agent provocateurs hired by the state. The police are ignoring them and arresting peaceful protestors. A real attempt at disinformtaion in order to discredit the protest. A tactic employed across the world these days.

Francene

It seems pretty clear that the "anarchists" burning cars are agent provocateurs hired by the state. The police are ignoring them and arresting peaceful protestors. A real attempt at disinformtaion in order to discredit the protest. A tactic employed across the world these days.

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.