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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 61 - 70 of 70

Page 7 of 7

cam

First of all, I'm french (please don't blame for that!! ahah)

Steven B is right, we are really lucky because we have social rights that give us a social security, an access to knowledge for free (almost), and so many others priviledge. But there's something you forgot to say: we fought for those rights. I know we get a reputation of strickers, and I can't disagree that we often forget how lucky we are, but really, "fuck all of them" ?!? That's rude, don't you think?!?

Anyway this reform is necessary for our economy but unfortunatly our governement is really bad at making good reforms!! ^^ And why is it bad to try to get our lives better ?!?

I love my country even if sometimes I'm not really proud of what's going on in France, and I really love the USA!
So please don't make generalizations about French people.

Have good evenning !
Peace !

Ps: sorry if my english is not well

cam

First of all, I'm french (please don't blame for that!! ahah)

Steven B is right, we are really lucky because we have social rights that give us a social security, an access to knowledge for free (almost), and so many others priviledge. But there's something you forgot to say: we fought for those rights. I know we get a reputation of strickers, and I can't disagree that we often forget how lucky we are, but really, "fuck all of them" ?!? That's rude, don't you think?!?

Anyway this reform is necessary for our economy but unfortunatly our governement is really bad at making good reforms!! ^^ And why is it bad to try to get our lives better ?!?

I love my country even if sometimes I'm not really proud of what's going on in France, and I really love the USA!
So please don't make generalizations about French people.

Have good evenning !
Peace !

Ps: sorry if my english is not well

Un Rosbif

Yeah, leave the Frenchies alone. If it weren't for them, you Yankistanis would all be speaking proper English, like wot we do.

Un Rosbif

Yeah, leave the Frenchies alone. If it weren't for them, you Yankistanis would all be speaking proper English, like wot we do.

dagoodtown

Hi everybody,

I'm french as well... and sincerely even if I could be proud of french people being in the street these last days, I'm sad...

I'm sad because this really big energy, all those risks that workers took to get on strike, without to be paid, all these protest, and social interaction and organisation, ALL THAT, has been completely screwed.

You probably seen recently that Sarkozy sent the police to make a requisition of the strikers, spiting on the right of strike...

You probably heard recently that the strike was over by all the mass media that just colaborate with a non-democratic neoliberal government...

You probably seen that these "reform" was eventually voted.

You probably think that today, 5. November, it's over.

The problem is that it is not over. Some are still on strike.

But the middle bourgeoisie class think and want so, and I'm unfortunately part of it.
"We" didn't do the protest with the workers,
"We" stayed at home, watching the daily news saying that the mobilisation was falling apart,
"We" were believing their lies because it fit our little confortable miserable daily life.

I'm so discussed of that shit... Tomorow 6. Nov, I'll go to the protest, because it will probably be the last.

dagoodtown

Hi everybody,

I'm french as well... and sincerely even if I could be proud of french people being in the street these last days, I'm sad...

I'm sad because this really big energy, all those risks that workers took to get on strike, without to be paid, all these protest, and social interaction and organisation, ALL THAT, has been completely screwed.

You probably seen recently that Sarkozy sent the police to make a requisition of the strikers, spiting on the right of strike...

You probably heard recently that the strike was over by all the mass media that just colaborate with a non-democratic neoliberal government...

You probably seen that these "reform" was eventually voted.

You probably think that today, 5. November, it's over.

The problem is that it is not over. Some are still on strike.

But the middle bourgeoisie class think and want so, and I'm unfortunately part of it.
"We" didn't do the protest with the workers,
"We" stayed at home, watching the daily news saying that the mobilisation was falling apart,
"We" were believing their lies because it fit our little confortable miserable daily life.

I'm so discussed of that shit... Tomorow 6. Nov, I'll go to the protest, because it will probably be the last.

greenguy

I think that it is wonderful that we find ourselves again willing to fight what system is in place and try to change the vision of our culture. However, without a new vision to take it's place - without knowing where to go once the old is gone, I fear that we are bound to go nowhere, or at the most, repeat what's already been done.

An ancient calendar (look up "the Mayan Calendar Comes North" on Google Video) speaks of the next five months, possiblely even the next year to be a time of great change. Are we truly ready for it?

[email protected]

greenguy

I think that it is wonderful that we find ourselves again willing to fight what system is in place and try to change the vision of our culture. However, without a new vision to take it's place - without knowing where to go once the old is gone, I fear that we are bound to go nowhere, or at the most, repeat what's already been done.

An ancient calendar (look up "the Mayan Calendar Comes North" on Google Video) speaks of the next five months, possiblely even the next year to be a time of great change. Are we truly ready for it?

[email protected]

Anonymous

Each time the mass media on French TV speaks of these upcoming strikes it's repeatedly followed by a blown-up picture of Ben Laden with the announcement of terrorist threats!

Anonymous

Each time the mass media on French TV speaks of these upcoming strikes it's repeatedly followed by a blown-up picture of Ben Laden with the announcement of terrorist threats!

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