The November 17 petrol price strike in France

10

09/11/2018 by socialistfight

Do lot let the far right appropriate the anger of the masses at the rise of the price of petrol for their own cause!

By Luniterre

(The “yellow jackets” protesting fuels prices in a stand off with French riot police. AFP)

Introduction by Viriato

Hi Gerry,

Is it possible to publish the following article about some tactical questions discussed on the occasion of a projected demo here in France?

It comes from a good friend that fights still under the banner of “Marxism Leninism” but he is at odds with every possible ML group or individual (the MLs here are becoming very few) but he takes in almost every problem a left communist position (apart from on the Stalin-Trotsky question).

On 17 November a demo has been called by some anonymous people to protest the continuing rising of the price of petrol. This call by Internet has found more than 500, 000 signatures that said that they will “Stop France” that day.

Portrait 3 - Flickr - dupontaignan.jpgNicolas Dupont-Aignan President of Debout la France since 2008, an opportunist who seeks to capture the discontent for the far right

The extreme-right (Débout la France on Dupont Aignan [1] and Rénovation Nationale (RN, ex-Front National of Marine Le Pen) are supporting the protest.

This was enough for the left and the extreme left to “denounce the action” as “being convened by the extreme-right and call their militants not to go (!!) and the far left have condemned the initiative on grounds that, ”these are not worker’s demands” and the like.

Some few friends, workers of the left communist view are outraged of this stupid sectarianism that helps Macron and makes the way free for the extreme right. The tactical question is so clear that we think that it would be of some interest published in your blog, that some of us read with some frequency.

Well, here is the link, https://tribunemlreypa.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/a-propos-du-17-novembre-lettre-ouverte-aux-syndicats-et-partis-de-gauche/

and here is the translation revised by Luniterre the author.

NEWS FROM FRANCE

About November 17….

Open letter to the “left-wing” trade unions and parties and their pseudo avatars – “Marxist-Leninists”, “revolutionary Marxists” and other “revolutionary trade unionists”…

In the form of a refresh of historical memory….

Currently, there is unanimity on at least one point between all these self-proclaimed “elites” and “avant-gardes” of the French “left”: none of them supports the November 17 movement, except Mélenchon and Ruffin, on a “personal” and lip service basis [2], and, naturally, without committing their failing “troops”.

Several of these “institutions”, the CGT, the newspaper “l’Humanité”, the “solidarity” unions, the NPA, LO, etc., even officially got involved themselves into articles and communiqués to condemn, in fact, any “left” participation in this movement.

The stated pretext is obviously the attempt at political exploitation of this movement by the nationalist right and the extreme right, DLF, RN (ex Front National), and other activists on that right side.

As for the real origin of this movement, it clearly has no particular political colour at the outset and is in line with popular protests induced by the reality of the economic crisis and the brutality of the economic and social setbacks imposed by the capitalist system and its current servant, the Macron government.

So the wave of support he seems to be currently raising raises a clear question to the left:

Is the immediate demand underlying it, i.e. against the rise in fuel prices, justified from a social point of view?

If the answer is yes, then the left must take up this demand on its own, to start with, and, on the one hand, express its support for this initiative and, on the other hand, if it considers that it has criticisms to make of the chosen mode of action, which is not necessarily illegitimate, as we have already seen, to propose additional actions that will prolong this first spontaneous action.

If it considers the claim unjust and therefore finds that it only serves as a stepping stone to the far right, it must not only condemn it outright and openly but much more, it must also campaign outright and openly against this supposed “political manoeuvre” of the far right…

It must, therefore, provide a convincing argument that can pull this popular movement out of the “claws” of the far right. Otherwise, not only does it legitimize this recovery, abandoning the ground of a justified social claim to the far right, but it also makes it downright short-sighted in view of its possible accession to power.

The fact that the far right managed to step up into this train at the right time is undeniable, the fact that there was a preconceived plan on this subject still does not seem to be true, but anyway it would not change the substance of the problem.

In early 20th century Russia, when the proletariat began to organize itself spontaneously, the tsarist regime rushed to infiltrate it with spies and provocateurs. He even went so far as to create himself, through his infiltrators, complete workers’ organizations, on the basis of immediate popular demands, in order to channel and control them!

However, this did not detract from the validity of these claims, and even less from the massive popular support, they enjoyed at the turn of 1905…

Source is www.trotsky-library.com/photo/02/gapon-corpse.jpgThe dead Gapon after he was killed by the Socialist-Revolutionary Party in 1906. The Bolsheviks could not ignore the movement, although it was led by a police agent.

This is where the famous episode of the great demonstration organized by Pope Gapon, [3] both an occult tsarist agent and a charismatic leader of the popular movement of the time, takes place… Given the brutal mores of that fierce period, the affair obviously turned tragic, but it actually completely and definitively demolished the legitimacy of the Tsar, who had actually signed his own death warrant there, believing that he was stopping history in motion, literally, pun not intended…!

One can imagine, in the light of the “lights” of the current French left, what an “alternative” course of history would have been if the Bolsheviks, all newly organized in a political party following the break with the Mensheviks, had dissociated themselves from these demands and these struggles!

Not only was this not the case, but while being fully aware of the likelihood of police infiltration, which was only confirmed later, they were also doing their undercover work in an attempt to strengthen this movement and promote increasingly radical demands. [4]

Without this work, political legitimacy would not necessarily have changed side, neither then nor later, and the tsar’s warlike and murderous autocracy would certainly have lasted much longer, if not till today. Of course, ‘comparison is not the reason’, and there is no reason to project this old situation onto our own, but nevertheless the question of the social and political legitimacy of a claim remains whatever the context.

To refuse to legitimize socially a claim such as that of November 17 is, ipso facto, to legitimize Macron’s politics and the system, and, whatever happens, failure or success, the extreme right’s control over the popular and proletarian movement.

In the state of relative weakness in which he stands himself, and with the diminished popular legitimacy that Macron has yet left, this is likely to be, for the French “left”, a historical choice from which it is not about to recover, so little legitimacy remains for it, too. The pseudo “extreme left”, posing as “Marxist-Leninist” or not, would do well to check this out, too.

ENDS

LAST MINUTE:

A start, despite the odds, on the part of the very minority and pathetic “Social Front”… Better than nothing, however, and so we relay their call:

November 10th call, let’s regroup: Let’s not let the far right recover social anger

https://www.frontsocialuni.fr/le-10-novembre-regroupons-nous-ne-laissons-pas-lextreme-droite-recuperer-la-colere-sociale/

Date: November 10, 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Bourse Du Travail – salle Hénaff, 29 Boulevard du Temple, 75011 Paris, France

At the initiative of popular circles, a mobilization against the rise of the price of petrol has met with great success on social networks.

The trade union and political left, having no other project against Macron than the negotiations or the European elections, did not want to take this opportunity to bring general anger against the government.

As a result, this initiative, which hits on all current anger against government attacks from the Labour Code to the Social Security system, has been the subject of an attempt at recovery by the extreme right, from Mr. Le Pen to the fascinating police groups, including the youth of the LR, a number of its representatives and N. Dupont-Aignan.

The CGT denounced this recovery in a press release but as an alternative it only offers social dialogue with a government that negotiates nothing but hits hard; Mélenchon could only say “do what you want” to its supporters by offering as an option only the right ballot in several months.

Only the stated and determined will to unify popular exasperation with a clear battle plan, a struggle agenda that is not limited to days of action, leaps and bounds or scattered professional battles can stop Macron and stop far-right demagogy.

This is why, in the face of the danger that is looming where the far right could recover social anger, sectors on strike, McDonald on strike, Deliveroo delivery workers and others from Clap on strike, post workers from 92 on strike, students from the One Tackle of All Fights, CGT Goodyear, CGT Geodis Calberson IDF, Sud Commerce, activists from the Social Work Mobilisation Committee, the Social Front…. and all those who would like to join these first signatories, have decided to call a meeting on 10 November in Paris to discuss and decide together in this situation on an alternative initiative and policy.

Meet on November 10 and prepare for action against rising prices and falling wages. This is our field of action. We will not let the far right take the lead in our battles!

There is widespread frustration with the rise in fuel prices. It extends to other increases – food products, rents, health… Anger is rising, because this price increase is hitting the decline in wages, pensions and social assistance.

All this is due to the profits of the bosses and the taking of dividends from shareholders. Government taxes are added to it. The price of labour is falling as a result of the policy of sustained high unemployment, permanent and massive layoffs and precariousness.

The reduction in salary is relayed by the dismantling of the social wage, the Social Security.

State repression relays employer attacks on strikes, strikers and their trade union representation.

The Social Front therefore declares a state of emergency on purchasing power, wages and pensions.

Purchasing power is too serious a thing to leave it in the hands of the far right.

Purchasing power is a cause abandoned by trade union institutions looking for seats in the corridors of empty ministries. Whoever does not contribute to the common struggle, all together, for purchasing power, will bear some responsibility for the rise of the extreme right to power.

The Social Front will not leave the ground of an extreme right-wing party that wants to make November 17 the date of its recovery, any more than it recognizes Macron’s lesser quality to fight against it, because it is the stepping stone.

We call for the meeting on Saturday, November 10, of the sectors in struggle and all those who find themselves in this fight from 10 am to 5 pm at the Salle Hénaff- Bourse du travail- Paris

https://www.frontsocialuni.fr/se-reunir-le-10-novembre-une-necessite/

Let’s make our side’s voice heard!

Exasperation is not only about the rise in fuel prices: it is general

Although severely weakened since this summer, the Macron government continues to hit hard: unemployed people’s rights, point retirement, job cuts and privatization of many public sectors. student selection, attacks on migrants… against a backdrop of intense police, judicial and disciplinary repression. For its part, employers, despite their considerable profits, continue to evade taxes as never before, lay off massively blocking wages while inflation finishes ruining the working classes.

Anger about the rise in fuel prices is rising because it is hitting the decline in wages, pensions, social assistance, the dismantling of social security, pensions, unemployment…

We must make our side’s voice heard through its demands: higher wages, pensions and allowances. Let us not allow the far right to divert and recover the issue of purchasing power.

Why France's high-vis drivers' rebellion is about more than just petrol pricesWill the “yellow vests” follow in the footsteps of the bonnets rouge and force Macron into a climb down? Photo: AFP

On the contrary, let us build on the significant resistance that exists: the Ford who have been fighting for 10 years against the closure of their company, the Goodyear who, although their company has closed, continue the fight, the postmen and women of the 92 who have been on strike for 7 months, the agents of the Pinel hospital who have been fighting for 4 months, the cleaning women of the Park Hyatt Vendôme hotel who affirm their desire to hold out at least until Christmas, the railway workers who, after 3 months of strike in the spring, are resisting and still fighting today against the application of rail reform and repression, but also the employees of McDonalds, New Look, Happychic, Monoprix, Deliveroo’s delivery workers, the students who are resisting the selections and so many others who are fighting, resisting and not giving up everywhere.

To push back a centralized power with a common battle plan, we need to move beyond days of scattered action sector by sector. We too must have a mobilization plan. We too need to think about how to move forward towards building an overall movement that can stop them. To win: Let’s face it! Let’s converge!

The signatories of this call therefore propose to the sectors in struggle, to the trade unions, to all the fronts of struggle, to those who are facing repression and who do not want to leave the ground free for the extreme right to come together to face and converge!

Let us not let a parasitic minority continue to make us precarious, impoverish us and destroy our conquered!

We suggest you meet us for this purpose

Saturday, November 10, Henaff Hall at the Labour Exchange,

29 boulevard du Temple Paris, at 10am to discuss it.

https://www.frontsocialuni.fr/le-10-novembre-regroupons-nous-ne-laissons-pas-lextreme-droite-recuperer-la-colere-sociale/

https://fr-fr.facebook.com/events/740025743029993

Notes

[1] Wikipedia: Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (born 7 March 1961), often nicknamed NDA, is a French politician serving as President of Debout la France since 2008. He has been the member of the National Assembly for Essonne’s 8th constituency since 1997 and was previously Mayor of Yerres from 1995 to 2017. A member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party until January 2007, he then founded the Gaullist and souverainist party Debout la France (DLF; “France Arise”) in November 2008, named Debout la République until October 2014 and which is closely linked to the European political party Europeans United for Democracy. He ran for President of France in 2012 and 2017 and endorsed the runner-up Marine Le Pen in the 2017 second round.

[2] http://www.regards.fr/politique/article/manif-du-17-novembre-la-gauche-peut-elle-sortir-de-l-embarras.

[3] Wikipedai:  Father Georgy Apollonovich Gapon (17 February 1870 — 10 April 1906) was a Russian Orthodox priest and a popular working class leader before the Russian Revolution of 1905. After he was discovered to be a police informant, Gapon was murdered by members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party.

[4] See the documentation in PJ, PDF and ODT, at the end of the article.

10 thoughts on “The November 17 petrol price strike in France

  1. Viriato says:

    I will try to publish the developements of this affaire, which shows, in some way, the “rebellion” of the bases against the “leaders”.
    Militants are not willing to abandoe the way and his movement to the extreme-right.
    Even more when, as it is known, these extreme right partys has no militants, and only there can be some extreme right sects that are laothsome by the population.

    In substance, this shows the extreme bankruptcy of the left and extreme lefty in this country.

    Tendance Claire is a little ex-lambertist fraction expelled from POI and now part of NPA

    Here is an article comming again from Luniterre blog that shows what it shows.

    I will send it in two parts because of it’s size

    Viriato.

    ” St Etienne:

    https://tribunemlreypa.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/st-etienne-la-loire-en-colere-se-bouge-pour-le-17-novembre/

    The Loire in anger

    Get moving for NOVEMBER 17th!

    We are republishing here a message addressed to the NPA’s Tendance Claire, by the St Etienne section, which refuses the fatality imposed by the “media” clique Poutou-Besancenot and the majority of the NPA’s management!

    To be noted, on the Tendance Claire website, an important section dedicated to NOVEMBER 17, in the form of a compilation of various articles, but the majority of which, on the other hand, express themselves quite clearly in favour of the movement… !

    https://tendanceclaire.org/article.php?id=all&keyword=17November

    It also includes our “Open Letter”:

    https://tendanceclaire.org/breve.php?id=30884

    Following its republication on NNSRST! :

    https://nousnesommesriensoyonstout.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/a-propos-du-17-novembre-lettre-ouverte-aux-syndicats-et-partis-de-gauche/

    Comrades,

    we take the liberty of writing to you to present to you what we are contributing to do with the “movement” La Loire en Anger by calling for a blockade on 17 November 2018.

    First of all, some arguments against November 17 to be evacuated.

    The first infox (it is the new name of the fake news), it is a call launched by the fachosphere. No. As you can read by going to Pour une Baisse des Prix du Carburant à la Pompe, the site on which the petition is filed. That supporters of the far right are trying to get this call back is a sign that this call is hurting.

    And it is not the rally dated 26 October of Le Pen Marine and Dupont-Aignan Nicolas that changes to the case. For some of us, we have been interested in it since just before October 20.

    The second infox is the Transport employers who would have made this call. What is surely true is that he took advantage of the November 17 call to move his logs forward. For them, and it is necessary to distinguish between large groups and owners of a single truck or two, the concern is the elimination of the tax benefits associated with the use of diesel. The tax rose from 44.19% in 2012 to 60.75% in 2018, an increase of 37%. The rebates granted represent approximately €900 million for diesel fuel on roads. These rebates account for slightly less than 20% of the VAT+TCIPP score. What is certain is that a very small part of the taxes resulting from the sale of petroleum products (60% on diesel or 63% on petrol) is and will be devoted to the fight against global warming.

    The purpose of this tax is to bring money into the state coffers to sponsor employers and the rich. And this aspect is only one illustration of the government’s policy of marginalizing income tax, which is progressive and theoretically redistributive, through taxes that affect everyone. For a minimum wage employee, between 10% and 20% of his income is spent on VAT and other taxes. Note in passing that in the case of petrol or diesel, VAT (20%) applies on the tax on petroleum products!

    Some blame us for choosing Saturday for our action. Sorry, we didn’t choose. Moreover, it seems to me that part of the labour movement joined the “popular tide” in May, even if it was not a “great tide”.

    We do not dwell on the need, “in the region” as they say, to have a car. The State’s policy of closing SNCF lines, which, according to decision-makers, are not profitable and the difficulties of public transport by bus make it almost impossible to do without a car. And for all employees working atypical hours (night work, shift work, on-call duty, itinerant work with customers, etc.), not having a car means almost certainly giving up all work.

    Yes, there have been strikes, demonstrations, rallies. And they’re far from full. That’s right, that’s right. One of the causes is the precariousness, the splitting of employees into several “companies” working in the same factory. First the “temporary workers”, then the service providers (maintenance, security, reception, cleaning, catering, secretariat and I think I forget some). Finally, subcontractors in small boxes generally subject to the will of the principals (and in the Loire, there are many of them). The last wheel of the capital’s hinge: the trainees… This division of labour, precariousness, short or very short contracts, repeated temporary work does not help workers’ organisation. And in the Civil Service, precariousness often has more violent forms.

    Not all the causes mentioned above are excuses. That is the reality. But refusing to participate in November 17 on the pretext that “when you had to do something you didn’t do anything” is a bit of a mortgage on the future.

    In the markets, in the street, people express two things. Both their anger and their helplessness. Anger must be used to overcome feelings of helplessness. On November 17, we propose something concrete, engaging and motivating.

    We do not have any more proposals to make to you. It is up to you to determine yourself and determine the terms of your registration in this popular “tide”. For our part, we are at your disposal for any meeting or request for information.

    Greetings comrades.

    Saint Etienne, 28 October 2018

    Brice Telki, Denis Rivier

    Our contact details: Denis Rivier – denis127@free.fr: 06 88 97 47 41

    https://www.anti-k.org/2018/11/01/appel-pour-le-17-novembre-lettre-aux-organisations-syndicales-politiques-et-associatives/

    https://tendanceclaire.org/breve.php?id=30716

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

    Like

  2. Viriato says:

    Denis, Saint Etienne on 27 October 2018

    There are in fact 3 types of arguments that are put forward against a participation on November 17.

    The first is a “fachospère”* thing. In a way, when you see who is interested, you are surprised by the variety of signatories and the content of the petition. Note in Libération d’aujourd’hui (Saturday 17), a Checknews on the origin of the call ( https://www.liberation.fr/checknews/2018/10/26/hausse-du-prix-de-l-essence-qui-est-a-l-origine-dumouvement-du-17-novembre_1688018).

    The second argument is the transport lobby that organizes this. It’s a bit of a “conspiracy theory”, isn’t it?. But that’s not the point. What is certain is that a very small part of the taxes resulting from the sale of petroleum products (60% on diesel or 63% on petrol) will be devoted to the fight against global warming.

    A conspiracy counter-argument, it is the government that is spreading the rumours about the fachosphere and road transporters to dissuade supporters of the “left” from supporting November 17. (of course)

    Another argument is poujadism**, the thing from the’56’s of which Le Pen is the offspring… Maybe it’s “poujadism”. But when you live a little far from a major city, given the absence or inadequacy of public transport (with the ongoing liquidation of small lines promoted by the SNCF), an individual car is necessary, indispensable. Or when you have “atypical” schedules (and it concerns a lot of people), night work, shift work, night duty.

    Other arguments rather for:
    It’s not political. To say this is to get behind common sense. What my janitor says. On the contrary, it is very political. It is openly directed against the government and the poverty budget it is preparing. To say “It’s not politics” is to follow in the footsteps of those who explain all the time in the media that we don’t know enough, that it’s very complicated, etc. Moreover, Macron’s policy, it’s haro on income tax, lives taxes.

    In the draft budget, taxes occupy 53.4% of the state budget and taxes are superb.

    The poor pay them, the rich pay them much less, except when they buy luxury stuff. Although, did you know that thanks to our tax legislation, we can register a Maserati as a commercial vehicle… No comment.

    Another set of arguments “against” says: “You were not there on the Kohmri law, nor on the rest. So you’re only interested in your wallet (small, of course). And in recent years, there have been numerous demonstrations, rallies and demonstrations against the various government measures. I hear. With the crisis, the explosion of precariousness, many employees are reluctant to speak out publicly against their employer. In a way, union leaders take this into account by calling demonstrations at a time when delegates can go without losing too much pay.

    There are committed activists who participate regularly, but in processions many “white or grey heads” today. I am one of those who are demonstrating, but we are far from being the majority. Moreover, since the CPE, the First Hiring Contract, a feat of Villepin in 2006, there have not been many (and even not many) victories led by the unions. This translates into a weakness in the trade union movement. It is clear.

    A comrade told me: “Workers’ organizations are not strong and determined enough”. That’s true. But they sawed off the branch they were on. Twelve years of focus on social dialogue, meetings with the labour disaster, the first disaster or even with the President, not to mention the management of joint institutions… I am not against trade unions, but Bastille-Nation or Bourse du Travail – Place Jean Jaurès (this is the route to Saint Etienne), it allows you to meet comrades but it does not involve everyone.

    For my part, I am a union member, even though I am retired. It’s a call to bored retirees. “Blocking a Saturday”? Another argument. I remember the call for the “Tide” in May 2018. There is an opportunity there to organize a “Red Tide” of first bulge if we all go together without telling each other false arguments: the fachos, the carriers… And see how we can end the afternoon of the 17th in a large square, far from the temples of consumption.

    On the markets, in the street, “people” express their anger, a very strong anger. What is missing is not anger, it is a perspective of concrete combat. In fact, there are two levels.

    An immediate perspective of combat and a political perspective. To say “The struggle, the struggle, the struggle” is not enough. We must have a political perspective that centralizes this fight. I am not ready to shout “Union, Action, Joint Programme” as it was done between 1973 and 1981.
    Nor to jeopardize any struggle in the name of this political perspective. What is clear is that the trade union centres have abandoned any prospect of centralising the struggles: inter-company meetings, regional or even national coordination.

    Finally, there is the precedent of the “Red Caps” (The Red Caps). Many had called the Bretons in revolt “poujadists”, “reactionaries”, “productivists”. They were opposed to a decision presented as ecological.

    Let us organize a red tide by defending our demands.

    Denis, Saint Etienne on 27 October 2018

    https://tendanceclaire.org/breve.php?id=30649

    https://www.anti-k.org/2018/11/01/appel-pour-le-17-novembre-lettre-aux-organisations-syndicales-politiques-et-associatives/

    Notes by Viriato
    * Fascists groups.
    ** Corporatist movement from the earlies 60s coming from the petite-bourgeoise, mainly shopkeepers threatened by big surfaces. Today totally dead but one of the sources of Le Penism and Front National.

    Debate gioes on, and it is very good, because there are some signs that this “Stop la France” mouvemebt culd be a real one. No one can bet on it but it is well known, it isd discussed everywhere and people is waiting to see what will happened. Every one agrees that the fuel rises are too much and the whole movement is largely regarded with sympathie.

    Whatever happens, is a test foir the whole left and the militants.

    If it succeed it would be a blow to Macron (which is searching at this very moment the way to difuse, confound the movement) that could be quite strong.

    In this context, the position of the “left” and the so called “extreme left is tantamount to desertion and treason.

    Like

  3. Viriato says:

    Sorry to insist, but what is following is exactly what it should be fighted against as “tactics” in a given situation. I post the translation and said a word after or in parenthesis

    ” Fuel prices: reacting on a class basis (LO Worker’s Fight-Lutte Ouvrière 7 November)

    Regarding the call to block the country on 17 November to protest against the increase in fuel taxes, the CGT (better it should be to said the direction of the CGT because there are some unions and federations of the CGT which are calling for the demo) issued a statement on 29 October entitled “Between exasperation and instrumentalization”. It warns against manipulation by the extreme right and recovery by the transport bosses.

    As the CGT notes, “several far-right parties seem to be at work” and, on the other hand, “the employers of transport companies, although exempt from certain taxes, play a sneaky role, hoping in the long run for new concessions benefiting road lobbies”. They are calling for a reduction in fuel taxes and the abolition of social security contributions.

    To stand out, the CGT therefore recalls demands that are specific to workers, such as an increase in retirement pensions and a minimum wage of 1,800 euros. However, to obtain them, it does not place itself on the field of class struggle, but “within the framework of our social and republican model” and declares that it is imperative to “open wage negotiations everywhere”, as if the inadequacy of wages in the face of rising energy prices, rents, etc., were due to the inadequacy of the so-called social dialogue, while employers believe they can do anything to attack the world of work and that the government is at its side.

    It is right that workers’ activists should not want to mobilize so that transport bosses can pull the chestnuts out of the fire, or so that the far right can advertise itself. But that is no reason to desert the field of the government’s policy challenge. If workers do not make their voices heard with their demands and their own ways of acting, others will be in the spotlight. And it is possible, if the truck owners reduce the power over taxes, that this could even turn against the workers.

    In order not to let these forces, which are hostile to the world of work, take action, we must offer workers the opportunity to mobilize on their own ground.”

    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    This statement which whatever leftist had could made, is the essence of what it is call “gauchisme” or leftism.

    They just don’t bother with the real state of conciousness of the working class and low intermediate worker’s layers (petits-bourgeois salariés -wage earning petit bourgeois) or with the real facts of the class fight.

    They just wait, or “call” for something “pure”, or pure worker’s stuff, not entached by the extreme-right., or revisionnisme, or reformism or any kind of opprtunism .

    The real movement of the working class left them indiferents or hostile (more hostile than indiferents) dreaming what it can never happend: a working class movement free from any “bourgeois’ contamination and if possible (and they long for it badly) directed by them.

    This same kind of statement has been issued when the immigrants’sons rebelled some years ago, for elections and for every fact of french’s political life.

    Wait, just wait till a “real” worker’s class party rebirth we are working for…, wait till a “real” worker’s movement take place and in the meantime just work, as artisanal as you possible can, “build” a pure so-called “trotskist” party totally aloof of what is “bourgeois”.(which is not trotskist as I can understand).

    It can never be done and is exactly the way not to build it, but a circle of “marxists” lerners and students and produce such perles as the one upper.

    I know a little of this, because I have practised it to full scope and effort, to no avail, to a catastrophe, to nothing. In Chile, there was also a party like this one, a tactic exactly based on the same principles. We were not trotskist (in Chile they were particularly bad) but “marxists leninists”…

    In the end (and in the beginning) even if we worked hard and believe that “one day the masses will turn to our lighted guidance” we saw pass the magnificent chilian worker’s movement (revisionnist conducted as it was and we believed) from the trottoir, not having the slightest possibility to influence the movement because of our sectarianism and ideas of the kind we have red in the LO comuniqué. We were out because it was “revisionist conducted” and we were waiting that the masses “awake themselves when they see the catastrophic result of the “pacific way to socialism”.
    But the Junta gave us not that chance, we splited and we desapeared.

    This is exactly what a little organisation must NOT do.

    The only way is to stick to the real political conciousness of the working masses a step forward (as Lenine said) with ours banners, programms but with the right attitude and with the manner as frenchs say.

    Sorry to be so long but we have paid with blood, torture and exile these stupidities and it would be irresponsible if I keep my mouth shut.

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  4. Viriato says:

    A strange phenomenon is beginning to emerge in France.

    Anonymous workers’ sectors or ultra-minority organizations and individuals are putting a lot of hope in the upcoming demonstration on November 17.

    There’s everything. Citizens with no political or trade union background, people who claim to vote extreme right-wing but belong to the poorest categories of society, unknown and/or very few extreme left organizations that suddenly appear.

    They all seem to be facing each other, interpreting a dull anger that rises from the depths of a society that has been flouted, deceived and now taxed blankly by successive increases in gasoline and diesel fuel, increases intended to fill the state coffers for militaristic purposes, among others.

    What is almost impossible is to make a prognosis, today, on the success or deflation of this demonstration which is totally out of the ordinary practice.

    But “people”, mostly employees, put a lot of hope into it, but without knowing how to participate because no one has taken charge of the organisational work and everything that exists is absolutely spontaneous. Parties make statements for or against (large left-wing parties and unions against and tiny left-wing organizations for) but do not mobilize its activists or for lack of organizational capacity or lack of activists.

    Activists, common people, often call and consult each other stunned by the tactical stupidity of the major parties. https://www.agoravox.fr/tribune-libre/article/a-propos-du-17-novembre-le-dilemme-209196

    The mainstream press is in a complete blackout and we hear nothing on the issue except the appearance everywhere of articles intended to “explain” the increases and the “fate” of the funds thus collected.

    More than three quarters of the French (78%) consider “justified” the call to block roads on 17 November to protest against the rise in the price of diesel, against 22% who disapprove of it, according to an Odoxa-Dentsu Consulting survey conducted for France Info and the Figaro published on Thursday 1 November .

    What most observers note is that this discontent and claim is “transversal” between the basis of all political currents, which shows that the mass, despite its current political opinions, feels concerned and would like to protest.

    A reader of Luniterre’s article writes: “Congratulations to the sheep that are being eaten
    Above all, do nothing.
    Tergivering
    Waiting
    Discussing
    Let them accumulate dirty tricks, taxes, fines, bans of all kinds, use public money for propaganda clips.
    Instead, turn this day into a day of rejection of Macronia and its clique
    Any revolt at a starting point, sometimes a news item, a drop of water that breaks the camel’s back
    The cheap revolts: stay home! »

    He sees clearly what trade union leaders, left-wing parties and “pseudo-Trotskyists” do not see!

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  5. Viriato says:

    The situation is changing quite fast.

    Yesterday the TV in every channel begin a “presentation” of the movement linked to the extreme right to try to deflate the movement (because, traditionally, the ones who goes to demos are left people that abohrr the extreme right) but they were stopped flattly by an statement of the young woman who started it. She, a black woman, said coldly: “everybody can come but we have nothing to do with those people”. Ordinary people are better tacticians than “very lerned pseudo marxists trotskists”…

    As TV has “informed”, Macron will propose “some mesures to diminish the impact” of the fuel rises…but anyone is giving him the slightest credit. He has already lost it all with his open contempt of the people. Everywhere he goes there is some worker who tell him “you are not welcome”…

    Informations coming from diferents provinces in France shows again that ordinary people are organizing themselves. They have made a collect and printed leaflets to call to the demo, they are now distributing them. Even in forums some LO people are “surprised” that in their towns, meetings of more than 100 working and poor people are organizing and working for the demo.

    NPA is vacillating…as it is his nature, and others organizations are reconsidering its position passing to the support of the demo. France Insoumise, the ones still active, are full for, even if Mélenchon is still saying “we are for, but don’t wqnt to go as an organization not to be seen as opportunists that (“récupère” not know the word in english “recovers” perhaps) the demo.

    Politically, the demo is already a political succes much broader than the scope of the stupid sectarians who are always a failure.

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  6. Viriato says:

    The 17 November street-strike continu to developpe.
    Yesterday Mélenchon which is a fine tactician, a remarquable one, has called its “friends” (the FI militants) to go to the demo.

    Perhaps for the brittish public it would be of some interest to know better the man. A left Loborite but nationalist (for the moment because he has a lambertist background far in the past) and sticking to the “republican law”.

    Here is a translation of the principal part of his weeckly analise concerning the 17 November action.

    ” The political week of memory roaming and the celebration of the centenary of 11 November 1918 was a significant step in the political decomposition of the Macronist regime. At a time when buildings, balconies and stairs in Marseille were collapsing (some buildings collapsed there killing poor people. My comment) , like a cruel allegory of what the abandonment of populations under a liberal economic regime was leading to, the throne of the presidential monarchy was collapsing from one pilar to another under aimed interpellations.

    And meanwhile, popular anger was rising against the robbery that is the increase in fuel prices. So much so that the episode of Pétain’s rehabilitation presented itself as yet another confusion, ruining the whole meaning of “memory roaming” itself, and depriving the current presidency in a few words of the legitimacy that history confers on those who exercise this function.

    Because we do not rule France against its history. Pétain did not make “unfortunate decisions” but pursued a policy of collaboration and anti-Semitism with the invader against the French. This makes him a traitor and a criminal sentenced to national indignity.

    We were there when Trump started insulting France and its anti-Nazi fight. At the same time, Mrs Merkel spoke in the Strasbourg Parliament in favour of a European army within the framework of NATO.

    And Macron let himself wander from one end of each sequence to the other as if he no longer had any control over the events. And in fact, right now, he no longer has any control over events.

    His five-year term is therefore at the mercy of events such as the one that is maturing in the deep people about November 17. Everywhere, it is presented as a phenomenon of popular self-organization.

    Many say they want to be actively involved. Here and there extremely important preparatory meetings are held to organize the blocking of streets and roads. It goes without saying that the threats of the new Minister of the Interior Castaner against “attempts at total blockade” immediately became a powerful incentive to try to achieve it.

    I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that November 17 will be a key event, perhaps a turning point in the political situation in our country.

    For my part, like most of the spokespersons of our Movement, I wish the success of the Blocking Day on 17 November.

    I invite my friends in the field when they agree with this idea to actively participate in the realization of the actions by bringing all their militant experience. And of course, I ask them and recommend that they be very careful not to take any attitude that reduces the significance of the action to that of a particular political family.

    For the movement to flourish, for it to spread in the days and hours to come, it must be as broad, as open, as inclusive as possible. For this reason, the political recovery of the extreme right has been very harmful. It provided a pretext to keep people away from the action that would have liked to engage in it. Not making the parallel error is an imperative for us.

    Indeed, in this circumstance, the people unite on a social claim that concerns their elementary material existence. Because the ruined ones of the increase will not roll any less. They can’t do that. But they will eat, heal or heat less.

    The increase in fuel prices hits more than the tank of the car and the family’s transport budget. It also triggers a more global awareness of the criticism of the system of production, consumption and exchange built on a model of territorial organization where nothing is possible without a car. November 17 is constructed as an episode within a more global and profound rejection of an entire world. That’s what happens on November 17.

    The supporters of the Era of the People and the “theory of the citizen revolution” will not be mistaken. They will recognize in the current events a confirmation of their thesis on the forms of popular activity of our time.

    The incredible withdrawal of the trade union confederations, of the parties and newspapers of the “Left”, reproduces to the point of caricature a now constant cleavage. He has already pitted our objectives of people’s federation against the ordinary avant-gardism of all those who do not believe in the capacity of popular self-organization.

    He continues in this situation by a method where macronists and avant-gardists come together to demonstrate an “understanding” of popular anger that exalts outdated paternalism since it is combined with the refusal of participation in the expression of this anger. From this point of view, the Europe-Écologie-les-Verts communiqué is a monument to this arrogant and socially distinctive good conscience.”…..

    Not too bad for a today’s social democrat or a Largo Caballero…

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  7. Viriato says:

    The contagious effect of popular mobilization.

    As expected, the intermediate trade union sections, which are more in contact with the people, would have great difficulty in “explaining” the absurdity of the CGT leadership’s policies and would be under increasing pressure from the movement of the poor and exploited masses in this country.

    A little everywhere, the protest within the so-called “left” and “extreme-left” parties is manifested by open letters, internal criticism and communiqués.

    The CGT is not out of it and one of its most combative sections has just issued a press release that breaks with the CGT’s fateful directive that opens a boulevard to the far right and save a Macron government hanging by a thread.

    In the hope that the fabric of opportunists and absurdities continues to unravel, here is the press release from the CGT of Tourcoing.

    “LOCAL UNION OF TOURCOING AND SURROUNDINGS

    43 rue de Lille 59200 TOURCOING

    03 20 24 24 48 34 34 / ulcgt-tourcoing@live.fr

    COMMUNIQUE: ON “17 NOVEMBER” THE TOURCOING CGT SUPPORTS THE POPULAR ANGER IN THE ACTION

    The Executive Committee of our Local Union, extended to trade unions and elected and mandated representatives of companies, on Friday 9 November 2018, during its debates, concluded:

    – The “blockage”, based on the demand for a reduction in fuel prices, made by many employees following individual calls spread on social networks, is fair and legitimate, and is objectively in line with the social struggles that our CGT has constantly waged against the employer and government offensive that are destroying our achievements and impoverishing all workers.

    – The essence of this movement is that of a generalized anger, which becomes a struggle, in relation to the high cost of living in general. So this is the business of all workers, so it is a question of class.

    – Class against class: our CGT fights resolutely for the defence of the class interests of the whole world of workers, of the working class and, to this end, cannot be foreign and should not be excluded from defensive initiatives against rising prices and high living costs, which is one of the forms used by employers to reduce our wages.

    It is not for us to judge “from above” the ways and means, this or that particular form taken by the legitimate revolt of the workers.

    – Our objective is to participate in broadening the scope of this basic demand, to help multiply the means of the struggle, to build a great movement against Macron and his policy, for the general increase in wages and pensions, a corollary to the high cost of living.

    – Our objective is to highlight, in parallel, the following ecologically serious demands: free public transport, taxation of capitalists and not of employees, massive investment in ecological transition to achieve means of clean transport.

    The struggle of fellow railway workers against the dismantling of the public rail service shows enough that the government lies when it uses “ecology” as a pretext to justify the increase in fuel prices.

    – This grassroots movement, aimed at blocking roads on 17 November and then revealing other means of action, was opportunely “supported” by the far right. The far right is, like Macron, at the service of the capitalists.

    Fascism has always sought to recover the struggles of the masses by limiting their demands to the “tax cut”, a typically Pujadist watchword, which does not precisely designate those responsible for the crisis and the impoverishment of the masses. It is possible to stay at this dead end, if we leave the field free to the fascists.

    – The trap set by government propaganda is: who “supports” the movement is “facho”, so the millions of employees interested in this movement will have to consider that who does not “support” the movement is on Macron’s side and the price increase.

    This is a formidable gift that fascists will use to pretend to be “friends” of the workers, and that will facilitate their dirty work to limit, recover, divert and mislead popular demands and struggles. The fascists will then be able to continue on other subjects to divide workers on racial and origin grounds. However, being in the struggle with the angry masses is really a step backwards for Le Pen.

    Therefore, and to build a great social movement whose direction will be clearly oriented against Capital and its government, for new workers conquests, a great movement frankly antifascist by the facts, our Local Union calls its union members to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in the actions carried out on November 17, proudly bearing the colors of the CGT and its demands. (We will inform our classmates of the actions that we think will be the most significant)

    – This call was voted unanimously minus one vote against. We were 33 comrades gathered on Friday, November 9.

    Tourcoing, November 11, 2018″

    The tide is rising and whoever is not present on the 17th will have a very bad political time as a deserter and Macron’s accomplice.

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  8. Viriato says:

    17 November at noon.

    More than 2000 blockages and 120 000 people in the streets as mainstream press repports. Other information coming from other sources, I have not.

    It is a succes. What will happend aferward I have not the slightest idea.

    I as saw where I was, 95% people there were workers, mainly “classe ouvrière pauvre” low income working class, no open FN/RN in sight even if I suspect 2 to 5 of their militants in a group of 200 hundreds people blocking an specific point ( The crosroad of a big supermarket where we found a lot of support coming from saterday’s clients ).
    A group of 15 France Insoumise which I recognise without flags but with stickers attacking Macron but not FI signs on it.
    Some individuals CGT militants, no LO or NPA people in the place. A shame because this is exactly where they should have been.

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  9. Viriato says:

    Press mainstream reports this afternoon:

    According to the Minister of the Interior, “Yellow vests”: 244,000 demonstrators across the country, one dead, a hundred wounded.

    (Much more, of course, but even 250 000 for an spontaneous demo is quite a succes. My comment)

    They are employees, pensioners, VTC drivers or ambulance drivers and all wore the “yellow vest” on Saturday. They met all over France to protest against the increase in the price of gasoline and more generally the policy pursued by Emmanuel Macron since his arrival at the Elysée.

    “Do the math: that makes an average of 62 people per gathering,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon flabergasted, who “invited” Internet users “to publish all (their) gathering photos”. He himself selected and shared photos and videos of dense gatherings of yellow vests.

    The former presidential candidate, who was expected to attend alongside the protesters, did not specify the rally point to which he intended to go. (Marine Le Pen or Dupont-Agnan went nowhere. My comment)

    “The French discover by the millions the manipulation of participation figures and the dramatization to which the government is committed on every occasion. Good school of contempt for state information,” he said.

    This afternoon we blocked with good support from car users. See the morning report.

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  10. Viriato says:

    300 000 by governamental statement.
    The worker’s mass movement has change even the NPA.
    In a 180° turn tghey have written today:

    “Saturday 17 November 2018, last Updated Saturday 17 November 2018, 21:29
    The government itself acknowledges that the situation is irrefutable: today, nearly 300,000 yellow vests on roads and streets, and more than 2,000 blockades or rallies. Even if the right and the extreme right wanted to be the spokespersons for this anger, if Macron took the opportunity to display the red rag of Pujadism and wanted to silence the protest in some places with batons and tear gas, the reality is quite concrete: it is a class policy, a policy in the service of the rich, that has been denounced today.

    The anger that has been expressed today is indeed that of the working classes, men and women who are forced to take their vehicles to work, to access public services or to make their demands. Increasing taxes will not change their means of transport, but will further reduce their purchasing power. That is also why the yellow vests mixed in their anger the increase in fuel and that of the CSG, the decrease in pensions, the multiple attacks carried out by Macron for more than a year.

    Macron is now paying the contempt shown for the working classes, a tax that increases the taxes paid at high prices by the poorest, but exempts the richest and the capitalists from taxes with the CICE, flat tax and the abolition of the ISF.

    The pretext of the fight against global warming is a sinister farce: this government, like the previous ones, is pushing the working classes out of city centres and urban areas with exorbitant rents for low salaries, liquidating the rental stock of social housing, forcing them to travel tens of kilometres to find hospitals and schools. At the same time, a third of the rail lines have already been removed and government records predict 8000 km of closures. Rail freight, piggyback transport, have been liquidated by government decisions. A large part of the territory does not benefit from public transport.

    In the coming days, it will be necessary to set in motion the social movement, trade unions, associations and political parties, so that they can extend this anger by initiating mobilizations for purchasing power, a general increase in wages and pensions, the abolition of tax measures that affect the working classes, against Macron’s policy in favour of the Medef and the richest. The NPA will take initiatives in this direction in the coming days.”

    From a “corporative, pujadist, extreme right movement of the transporters and minor bosses to a class worker’s movement that should be amplified…

    The whole affaire is a practical lesson on tactics and absurd leftism.

    LO is speechless.

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