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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?

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

Displaying 51 - 60 of 70

Page 6 of 7

diogenessinope

This phenomenon of people sitting on progressive blogs and spreading the meme that anybody with the "balls/ovaries" to hit the streets is an agent provocateur is really striking. Hi Francene? Work for the CIA, maybe? The FBI?

What is clear to me is that we can't rid ourselves of domination through the current system that is hardened against change by the dominators. Look what happened when we elected a supposedly progressive president: He is revealed to be as bent on world oppression and kowtowing to corporations as his opponent. We are in a democracy with one choice on the ballot: i.e. a dictatorship of money.

Peaceful protest is ineffective protest. The protests are not even covered by the corporate media UNLESS they are forced into the headlines by the black bloc.

The citizenry is brainwashed by the dominators from birth. Campaign finance reforms have been dismantled, ensuring that public discourse is controlled by the rich. What we have learned from Europe is: Nothing clarifies the thinking of politicians like a nice chaotic, er, shall we say: rollicking street protest. Let's get on the news. Let the rich wonder if their possessions are at risk.

It's either us, or we can wait for the rest of the world to come to us and give us the well deserved thrashing that our last century of imperialism deserves. The way we insist on perfect security and prosperity for ourselves at the cost of the safety and well being of the rest of the world will eventually be successfully contested. Today the Arabs, tomorrow Latin America, China next week. America as it is today and has been since Gunboat Diplomacy is a threat to the whole world. And to the universe if we manage to get into space.

We need to get ourselves under control before the rest of the world and universe puts us down like a rabid dog.

diogenessinope

This phenomenon of people sitting on progressive blogs and spreading the meme that anybody with the "balls/ovaries" to hit the streets is an agent provocateur is really striking. Hi Francene? Work for the CIA, maybe? The FBI?

What is clear to me is that we can't rid ourselves of domination through the current system that is hardened against change by the dominators. Look what happened when we elected a supposedly progressive president: He is revealed to be as bent on world oppression and kowtowing to corporations as his opponent. We are in a democracy with one choice on the ballot: i.e. a dictatorship of money.

Peaceful protest is ineffective protest. The protests are not even covered by the corporate media UNLESS they are forced into the headlines by the black bloc.

The citizenry is brainwashed by the dominators from birth. Campaign finance reforms have been dismantled, ensuring that public discourse is controlled by the rich. What we have learned from Europe is: Nothing clarifies the thinking of politicians like a nice chaotic, er, shall we say: rollicking street protest. Let's get on the news. Let the rich wonder if their possessions are at risk.

It's either us, or we can wait for the rest of the world to come to us and give us the well deserved thrashing that our last century of imperialism deserves. The way we insist on perfect security and prosperity for ourselves at the cost of the safety and well being of the rest of the world will eventually be successfully contested. Today the Arabs, tomorrow Latin America, China next week. America as it is today and has been since Gunboat Diplomacy is a threat to the whole world. And to the universe if we manage to get into space.

We need to get ourselves under control before the rest of the world and universe puts us down like a rabid dog.

Anonymous

Message of Solidarity with the workers and students of France from the exploited masses of the United States

We, in the United States, know better than any people in the world that the neo-liberal model is in equal measure: 1. exploitative 2. an abject failure.

Do not be fooled by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, which for decades have heralded the American economy and free markets as the greatest engine for growth and prosperity. For the wealthiest, perhaps, as their accountants steal all they can - but for the rest it's nothing but a death trap The workers, the poor, and the middle class lead lives of steep decline, unbearable debt loads, isolation. 60 to 80 hour work weeks, wages so low that room and board become a luxury, no health care, no education, starvation by obesity. And no voice for the average man or woman.

And yet we know the score - the bankers and the wealthy broke the rules then stole the wealth - and then you're asked to give them two more years of your life, to cover the costs of their uncontrolled avarice. Two years now, schools for prisons later. Say Never!

Here, we didn't take the streets and were routed - and now the anger of the masses is being directed against themselves - the morbid stench of fascism rising.

The revolt in France, in contrast, represents unified humanity, the hope of a decent world, of prosperity, shared wisdom, true solidarity.

Neo-liberalism cannot tolerate people who demand control over their lives - yet people who do not control their lives are slaves. Do not become pliant and defeated like the American working class, slaving away at Wal Mart for sub-poverty wages. Heed our warning, raising the retirement age is just the beginning. They will take everything they can – your union, pension, education, home, and life.

The streets of France are again the beach-head for humanity's resistance. Here's where we turn the tide against the unrelenting offensive of global capital.

People of France do not give in, you are standing up for 99.9% of the people in the world. We need you to win. Defeat Sarkozy! Defeat Greed!

http://www.indymedia.org/en/2010/10/942460.shtml

spread far and wide...

Anonymous

Message of Solidarity with the workers and students of France from the exploited masses of the United States

We, in the United States, know better than any people in the world that the neo-liberal model is in equal measure: 1. exploitative 2. an abject failure.

Do not be fooled by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times, which for decades have heralded the American economy and free markets as the greatest engine for growth and prosperity. For the wealthiest, perhaps, as their accountants steal all they can - but for the rest it's nothing but a death trap The workers, the poor, and the middle class lead lives of steep decline, unbearable debt loads, isolation. 60 to 80 hour work weeks, wages so low that room and board become a luxury, no health care, no education, starvation by obesity. And no voice for the average man or woman.

And yet we know the score - the bankers and the wealthy broke the rules then stole the wealth - and then you're asked to give them two more years of your life, to cover the costs of their uncontrolled avarice. Two years now, schools for prisons later. Say Never!

Here, we didn't take the streets and were routed - and now the anger of the masses is being directed against themselves - the morbid stench of fascism rising.

The revolt in France, in contrast, represents unified humanity, the hope of a decent world, of prosperity, shared wisdom, true solidarity.

Neo-liberalism cannot tolerate people who demand control over their lives - yet people who do not control their lives are slaves. Do not become pliant and defeated like the American working class, slaving away at Wal Mart for sub-poverty wages. Heed our warning, raising the retirement age is just the beginning. They will take everything they can – your union, pension, education, home, and life.

The streets of France are again the beach-head for humanity's resistance. Here's where we turn the tide against the unrelenting offensive of global capital.

People of France do not give in, you are standing up for 99.9% of the people in the world. We need you to win. Defeat Sarkozy! Defeat Greed!

http://www.indymedia.org/en/2010/10/942460.shtml

spread far and wide...

from ITALY

here you can see what's happening in Italy these nights:

http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2010/10/21/foto/terzigno_un_altra_notte_di_scontri-8286954/1/

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bedvtRoqurw&feature=player_embedded

from ITALY

here you can see what's happening in Italy these nights:

http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2010/10/21/foto/terzigno_un_altra_notte_di_scontri-8286954/1/

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bedvtRoqurw&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous

I think those who are claiming that this is ridiculous and the French are spoiled brats for complaining about a two year raise in the social security age have missed the point. These protests are not about social security or taxes or even Sarkozy, these are people fed up with Capitalism, with degregation of human life, animal life, the environment, and everything there is to live for. Sure there are those who just want to flip cars and break glass but like previous French riots or the WTO riots in North American that's really not why 90% of the people are fighting.

Anonymous

I think those who are claiming that this is ridiculous and the French are spoiled brats for complaining about a two year raise in the social security age have missed the point. These protests are not about social security or taxes or even Sarkozy, these are people fed up with Capitalism, with degregation of human life, animal life, the environment, and everything there is to live for. Sure there are those who just want to flip cars and break glass but like previous French riots or the WTO riots in North American that's really not why 90% of the people are fighting.

Anonymous

No... the protests are exactly about social security and Sarkozy, at least in the minds of the unions. The people causing most the trouble are just bored youth.

Anonymous

No... the protests are exactly about social security and Sarkozy, at least in the minds of the unions. The people causing most the trouble are just bored youth.

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