The November 17 petrol price strike in France60
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!
(The “yellow jackets” protesting fuels prices in a stand off with French riot police. AFP)
Introduction by Viriato
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.
Nicolas 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  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 , 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…
The 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,  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. 
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.
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
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
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.
Will 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.
 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.
 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.
 See the documentation in PJ, PDF and ODT, at the end of the article.
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
” St Etienne:
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… !
It also includes our “Open Letter”:
Following its republication on NNSRST! :
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.
Saint Etienne, 28 October 2018
Brice Telki, Denis Rivier
Our contact details: Denis Rivier – firstname.lastname@example.org: 06 88 97 47 41
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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 / email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blockades continue but in a leser amplitude.
They have concentrated in (“péages”- motorways tolls), oil rafineries, and other so called strategic places with leser people in big cities but still a lot of people in rural and little and medium size towns.
This because in little towns people knows themselves and live near but in big cities, without a center of information or organisation, nobody knows where should be the next demo. There is some information in Facebook but not as clear as it should. I have passed the last to days going here and there to find some people, they as uninformed and lost as me.
There are some rumors-informations (the non organised type of movement makes dificult to know exactly what happends and where and when) of a big demo in Paris next saturday but nothing clear to the moment. I think it would be a very good idea because Paris has always been the center of revolution in France.
Partys, as expected, has moved to the left. LO has made an statement far better than the stupids ones they made before, NPA as reported, also and the PCF Vénissieux are discussing the matter but with a tendancy to participate.
It is of the outmost necessity to propose to the masses demostrating watchwords insisting in the raise of wages, pensions and allocations to the poors. This is a step that should give the whole movement a goal and answer, from the left, to the variously expressed concerns of the masses.
RN push to give as watchword only the “taxes” (the movement began against the taxes on car’s petrol or gas) but the masses in every interview to the TV says that “it is not only so” (which means that they can’t arrive with what they earn) they continue saying “raz-le-bol” that can be translated as “we are fed-up” and what is very politic “Macron demission! (Macron must reseign!)
Of course this actions gives an oportunity to discuss with the worker’s that are there, the majority, and activist are needed badly. Nevertheless people are very receptive to our arguments (some left comunists) and the ED just close their mouth not having arguments.
One little boss that dare to say his word was immediately refuted by worker’s that tell him that bosses “exagerated” and he shut up because no one was willing to hear more. But our words receive an attentive hearing.
We are working to call other left militants and partys to cope the demo and give a more left swing to the whole movement.
LO is turning to the left…at last! “Mieux vaut tard que jamais” (Better late than never)
Here is a “brief” coming from one of it’s work’s reporter:
‘LO Brief on a spontaneous strike that took place yesterday Monday, in the main factory in Annonay (Ardèche) which employs more than 2,000 people (almost half of them temporary workers) to manufacture coaches and buses, following the movement of yellow vests:
https://www.lutte-ouvriere.org/en-regio …. 15065.html
Iveco Bus – Annonay (Ardèche)
A strike from the base
On Monday morning, November 19, discussions started over the weekend on roundabouts at the entrances to Annonay and in many surrounding villages continued at the factory, in all workshops. Many wanted to do something because they can’t get away with it anymore.
Workers then called out to the delegates and told them: “We must call a strike”. And as soon as the CGT union called, workshops emptied out, as workers went to join the yellow vests stationed at the roundabouts in the region. That’s when discussions continued among Iveco workers about what to do next, some of them thinking that the strike should continue. Later, afternoon shift workers joined the movement.
The strike shows how sick and tired it is of Macron’s policy, of unsustainable working conditions and miserable wages.”
From a local LO site,
“Overview of the “yellow vests” movement in Burgundy
The “yellow vests” protest movement brought together about 300,000 people in France. In addition to this figure, we can say that this day is a success also because the movement has reached several small towns. This is certainly true in Burgundy, where cities like Dijon and Auxerre have of course experienced movements, but also smaller cities like Autun, Montbard, Arnay-le-Duc, and even Pouilly-en-Auxois !
Beyond the mobilization of political parties, which were trying to establish themselves as leaders of the “yellow vests”, many of the demonstrators present in the streets on 17 November had never demonstrated before and were not very politically marked.
Here is an overview of the movement by cities:
In Auxerre, some 300 people gathered at the Paris roundabout at 9am. Over the hours, up to 1500 people organized themselves to extend the blockade from the city centre to the ring road. The workers were the most numerous: employees and retirees from emergencies, post offices or the industrial zone set the tone for truck and bus drivers. Most motorists supported the movement and the few snags were resolved by force of numbers, or by police intervention. In a good-natured atmosphere, the bikers who came in droves followed one another with the screams of “Macron, démission ! »
Ambulance workers who had been on strike for ten days were present in yellow vests to join the movement. A small group, carrying tricolour flags and Gallic disguise, appeared, but without succeeding in training many people.
Some demonstrators hoped that the mobilization would continue or change form, others that it would “serve Macron as a warning” and that anger would be “heard”.
In Dijon, the mobilization brought together more than 6,000 people, one of the highest figures in France, as a percentage of the population. The prefecture and the organizers had agreed in advance on a route from the Zenith to the ring road. Initially, only this blockage – of a bypass already closed by the police – was planned, but in front of the number of demonstrators, the yellow vests finally decided to transform the rally into a demonstration. Guided by a group of motorcyclists, they then headed for the city centre.
The demonstrators came to express their frustration with Macron, the tax increases and the decrease in purchasing power. The demonstration carried tricolour flags. Some slogans resounded against Macron and the song of the Marseillaise, without really maintaining itself for long.
Once the crowd arrived near the first squares of the city centre, the CRS fired tear gas and received angry reactions from the demonstrators in return: “We are citizens! We are peaceful! We have the right!”. In return, a CRS, obviously outdated, could only stutter that the demonstrators were not allowed to demonstrate in the city centre.
The demonstration then took place in several streets in the city centre, blocking traffic and the tramway. The prefecture, on the other hand, was completely surrounded by CRS, and the demonstration did not linger there. A little later, the rails at the SNCF station were also blocked for a short while.
Around 4 p.m., the demonstration left the city centre for the Golden Fleece to join the ring road and block it. At 6 p.m., most of the demonstrators dispersed and there were still small groups holding stakes or filtering barriers at some roundabouts.
In Montbard, about 600 demonstrators were strategically located at the six main intersections of the city. The city’s workers’ traditions have involved many workers, old and young, and this has undoubtedly contributed greatly to making this day a success.
From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the filtering roadblocks organised by the demonstrators were held without interruption, in a calm and cheerful atmosphere, even if a minor accident was reported, which highlighted a certain lack of organisation.
Coffee, food, braziers were provided and brought in by the workers as the need arose.
Several groups of workers present expressed their desire to extend and strengthen the movement. They took the opportunity of the day to discuss among themselves their anger at the decline in purchasing power and the government’s attacks.
In Chalon, the demonstrators had been called by Colère 71, a collective of motorists initially trained against the 80 km/h passage on national roads. Demonstrators from Chagny, Tournus and Lux had also come as reinforcements.
Various roundabouts at the entrance to the city were blocked: the roundabout at the entrance to the RCEA, the one at the aerodrome, and the Chalon Nord tollbooth. This last action was the subject of some hesitation on the part of one of the movement’s organisers, who feared fines if the toll was blocked. The situation was settled when a worker shouted out “the highway is that way! “, followed by all the yellow vests.
In terms of participation, the peak of the day was 1300 people, an important figure for a city like Chalon. Motorists showed signs of sympathy, most of them wearing a yellow vest on their windshields at the request of the demonstrators.
In the Creusot region, the express road linking the various towns was blocked in four places: at Le Creusot, at the entrance and exit of the town of Montceau-les-Mines and a little further on, at Génelard. There were up to 500 people in Le Creusot, 400 in Montceau and 150 in Génelard. Blockages were very popular with a significant proportion of workers.
The blockages took place without incident and in a rather calm atmosphere. Slogans against Macron were sometimes launched, as was a woman from Marseille, but everyone noticed that he was there for much more than the increase in fuel prices, and what often came back was the problem of wages. In the evening, some people thought, “We shouldn’t have written our signs in French, all the truck drivers are foreigners… it’s good, they filmed us and it will make us talk about us in their countries. »
In the afternoon, a rally near the town centre of Montceau-les-Mines turned into a small demonstration, before returning to its starting point, but with hesitation on the crossroads to be blocked.
Many people wondered what to do about the movement, about 70 people stayed in Montceau in the evening, and continued to filter cars while distributing leaflets on Sundays.
In many cities, at many points of deadlock, the will to continue the movement was expressed, and the popular and spontaneous nature of this movement was felt. What is certain is that further blockages will occur. As for the impact that the movement will have, including on the social forces that make it up, this will depend on its depth, but also on the emergence of workers’ class demands, such as wage indexation on the cost of living, to counter the decline in purchasing power.”
For further understanding of this movement that will have a demo in Paris this saturday, Place de la Concorde, here are some leaflets, all distributed in a quite little cercle of middle and little towns en center France.
Here is the link https://tribunemlreypa.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/du-17-au-24-novembre-le-combat-continue-vers-une-alternative-anticapitaliste/
Where you can find the originals.
I made a ‘transslation of the three.
Popular Social and Pacific Movement on November 17: Le rReusot, Montchanin, Montcenis, Le Breuil
Why this Popular gathering on November 17
The excessive increase in fuel was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
taxes on everything.
We are affected by all government decisions on our purchasing powers
They’re giving us bullshit laws
the pensioners affected, unemployment, “wages that do not increase”, the handicapped, “all professions are affected, the whole future of our children and grandchildren is compromised.
Only by moving can we make things happen in the right direction, we are not slaves (underlined), we are not pawns in a chess game, we are no longer in the time of Louis 16.
(underlined) We French people must all be united, THE FRATERNITY MUST BE OUR STRONG POINT.
The yellow vests WHY????
Wages and salaries
Let’s express our demands
Giving a voice to those who make FRANCE, its values, its successes: Citizens
To fight against the inequalities that divide our society.
Fight against galloping PRECARITY.
Revalue WAGES and PENSIONS.
Combat CLIMATE HEATING, by considering a real energy transition.
No longer bear the burden of taxes.
Fight against the LOBBYS imposed by their system.
consider another way, another voice because it is now and for our FUTURE.
A STOP for a better START”
These leaflets shows the variety of their origin and of the public. The first one is full of errors but the three of them makes a survey of all of the working class problems and demands.
It is hard to believe that left partys disdained this movement as “manipulated by the extreme-right”
Here is good to remember Lenin’s words: “Whoever expects a ‘pure’ social revolution will never live to see it. Such a person pays lip-service to revolution without understanding what revolution is […] The socialist revolution in Europe cannot be anything other than an outburst of mass struggle on the part of all and sundry oppressed and discontented elements. Inevitably, sections of the petty bourgeoisie and of the backward workers will participate in it—without such participation, mass struggle is impossible, without it no revolution is possible—and just as inevitably will they bring into the movement their prejudices, their reactionary fantasies, their weaknesses slid errors. But objectively they will attack capital, and the class-conscious vanguard of the revolution, the advanced proletariat, expressing this objective truth of a variegated and discordant, motley and outwardly fragmented, mass struggle, will be able to unite and direct it, capture power, seize the banks, expropriate the trusts which all hate (though for difficult reasons!), and introduce other dictatorial measures which in their totality will amount to the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the victory of socialism, which, however, will by no means immediately ‘purge’ itself of petty-bourgeois slag.”
The movement is in one of those typical moments of pause that pearl all the movements at one time or another.
The variety of the movement confuses and misleads a number of activists on the left. Recently, racist yellow vests have collaborated with the police against immigrants who wanted to transit to the UK. Homophobic comments were heard. It is a small minority influenced by the extreme right that the government and some sectors that still do not want to participate in the movement are putting forward.
The CGT has decided on a one “day of action”….. On December 1 in open but silent opposition to the movement of yellow vests.
The yellow vests have called a demonstration in Paris for next Saturday, place de la Concorde, in the centre of Paris in front of the National Assembly, but the Minister of the Interior said that it could not be held there because “no one has declared it to the authorities as required by law”. Of course, since there are no leaders or representatives of the movement (who do not want to have any) this is an absurd requirement.
But the demonstration will still take place and it may get hot and serious. I don’t know how far the government or the demonstrators who are already very hot will go, but chances are it won’t usually be the traditional “union walk”.
Extreme right-wing politicians have told the press that they will be there, France Insoumise and Mélenchon are calling for it, but traditional working class organisations and/or extreme left parties (except the NPA which called) are not yet making a clear statement. It is absolutely imperative not to let the ground free on the far right and to guide this movement to make it converge with that of employees, to show that there is still this perspective.
This movement, through the exclusive fault of the left-wing and far-left parties that have not integrated, oriented and finally imposed a direction with their wage demands, can go in all directions, including becoming an important political support (at least for a fraction of it) for the far right that would make an entry into, so to speak, the workers’ movement. That won’t be true but can be used in that sens.
We are therefore at a tipping point and everything should be done to bring the existing left to this demonstration with their flags and demands (via leaflets for example).
Saturday will be an important day for the gilet jaunes movement and french worker’s political life.
Here is report of worker’s attitude on regard of the 17 November strike coming from the weekly newspaper of LO.
What is absolutely mad is that LO is not yet officially calling for the saturday’s meeting.
They write that worker’s must demonstrate with their own demands but … they call not their troops to go there to do the work!
The article which speaks by itself, shows that rank and file are more advanced than the “avant-garde”…
“Many workers were present in the various actions on November 17 across the country. In several companies, employees have taken the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction through work stops. The working conditions, the pressure to produce more and more and above all the wages that are not enough to finish the month, were at the centre of the discussions.
At PSA, in Douvrin in the Pas-de-Calais region
La Française de Mécanique, which is part of the PSA group, runs an engine production team on Saturdays and Sundays (SD) from 4:30 pm to 6 am. When they arrived on Saturday, many workers took advantage of the CGT’s call to pay for wage increases, to denounce wages that were far too low, the concern for the future of children… Other workers added to this small group in the hour that followed.
In the factory as in the rest of the PSA group, management puts constant pressure on its production, by overflowing before and after the 12-hour shift, or by postponing all breaks. She even got caught with her hand in the cookie jar not to pay the full SD night work surcharges, not to mention the “errors” on the pay slips of temporary workers.
Those who wanted to disengage wanted people to know about it and went around the two buildings. This was an opportunity for very encouraging discussions with other workers, with a broad understanding.
PSA Sochaux and Mulhouse
Calls for a strike by the CGT were relatively followed in these two PSA plants. Workers who had never gone on strike before got into it this time, even if it was mainly to avoid getting stuck when they came home from work.
In Sochaux, in a Ferrage sector, out of 20 employees on permanent contracts, 17 declared themselves strikers on Friday evening for the next day. As one of the two production lines of the plant was not working, the management had to find people to make it leave the plant more or less normally.
On Sunday evening, at the gates of PSA Sochaux, there were attempts to block it by several dozen yellow vests, which were quickly evacuated by the police but caused some production delays.
In Mulhouse, at the last moment, the CFDT and FO also called for a strike. It must be said that the professional elections are close! At the Montage, about a hundred workers, including temporary workers, were on strike, and the management brought in a large number of temporary workers from the counter-team. Even with reinforcements, she lost three hours of production. On the workers’ side, on strike or at work, everyone was satisfied with it!
At Michelin, in Cholet
The strike called by the CGT on Saturday 17 November was followed by almost 50% in this plant. Entire workshops could not function normally. At 7:30 am, about 50 workers gathered in the factory car park and then joined the nearest rally at a roundabout in a shopping area. Banners, slogans and signs calling for a general increase in wages were well received and sparked discussions.
On Monday, in the workshops, management representatives lamented the loss of production recorded on Saturday, November 17. It is in companies, at the heart of their system, that capitalists can be hurt.
At La Redoute, in Roubaix
There was a lot of activity on Saturday. Some had put a yellow vest behind their windshields and many wanted to show solidarity with the initiators of the movement. The discussions revolved around the fact that all prices are soaring and not just fuel prices, all of them noted that only wages have been frozen for years and that they must be increased. Anger against Macron, “exclusively in the service of the rich”, was a recurring theme in all conversations. A rally was therefore proposed to all workers in the parking lot of Quai 30, the logistics factory in Wattrelos, on Saturday morning, 17. The two weekend shifts, each with about 60 workers, were called to strike.
More than sixty employees listened to the interventions of CGT activists and demonstrated in the neighbourhood by joyfully chanting slogans such as: “The gasoline is burning, and our anger too, wages are frozen, they must be warmed up. “Many people would go to their windows or doors to applaud and approve the demonstrators as they walked by.
The afternoon team largely showed its solidarity with the movement, since more than half of the hired staff left the factory at 5pm and a few more at 7pm, while management pressure became strong for the Black Friday promotional operation.
In Neuhauser, in Saint-Avold
On Monday 19 November, workers at Neuhauser, a company in Moselle, who are still on strike against the threat of redundancies, marched in procession of about 20 people to a strategic roundabout, blocked by 300 yellow vests that had maintained their mobilization since Saturday. A group of employees of the company, who had the same idea, were already there and the reunion was very warm.
The other demonstrators present at the roundabout enthusiastically welcomed the struggling workers and showed their support by blocking all trucks entering and leaving the factory, to the great displeasure of the company manager. “
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Here is a typical worker’s statement made by the working zone of Saint Nazaire, one of the biggest ports in France, made by a rank and file worker who aim the right culprits and give the right solutions.
It is in french (I know not a means to translate directly from a speaking person but I would try a ‘translation’ to give an idea of the developping spirit of the mouvement.
This worker, after à meeting with its comrades all over the “zone portuaire’ (port facility?) made a press conference and said (more or less I try my best)
‘To everyone! to every one!
The november 17 movement is the movement of the whole people that could not longer stand (that are fed up) to be taxed, humilliated, exploited, “brisé” by a power out (? not clear) of this reality, arrogant with the weaks, increasingly commited to the powerfull.
The 17 November the economics acts of blocade of motorways axis, of the big distribution center multiplied themselves all over France.
The objective is to undermine the power of Money (Finance in fact as understand by everyone, the phrase “de l’argent’ means both)scattered to a political class that is in their pockets (qui l’est acquise)
Our actions have as unfortunate consecuency to bother simple citizens in their every-day activities who suffer also from this system wich eliminates human and goodwilling relationships to substitute it by money accounting reports
Their objective is not a durable and sustainable developpement for women and men that foghts in our land. Our goal is to give, as quickly as possible, the decision power to the people, for the people, by the people, a power that belongs to them lawfully.
If we wait too much our movement will fade, it will divide itself fatally
Nevertheless the awakening of the people is spreading everywhere. In Belgium, in Bulgaria, in Germany, other places in the world, they don’t want to be subjected, their problem is like ours.
A parisian meeting has been decided next saturday 24 aiming the Elysée (presidential palace)to go find, as he himself requested the today president Emmanuel Macron.
Those who can go to Paris, just go, it is a very good thing to do, but the executive power has alsdo its local officials, representing the Power in regions and province cities are Prefectures ans sous-préfenctures. They are the ones who are obliged to apply the political decisions taken in high places by elected ones every more deconnected from our reality.
Those place should be, the places where a poppular power, of fraternity and goodwilling, and where social and human problems and environmental could find simples answers with the scope of preserving the well-beeing of everyone and of our common patrimony and this included environement.
The movement of the gilets jaunes of the “zone portuaire de Saint Nazaire” has decided to organize in the yard of the Sous-Préfecture de Saint Nazaire, saturday 24 November at 2 P.M. o’clock.
We call every participant to respect and to make respect the environmental surroundings of the building of the sous-préfecture, our objective is not to destroy but on the contrary to build a more human environement to us and the future generations
We call all towns and cities of France to organize the same day at the same hour, saturday 24 November an assembly (public meeting) in the places where is the executive power and to obeserve there tha same pacific and respectfull ways of common people. We demand to public authorities, let the people enter their facilities that are theirs, that they hace finances and even build with their own hands.
We shall not wait thet the solution comes from above.
The political and fianancial directions and industrials that governs this day our country will ever be incapables to solve ours materials and environmental problems that quite often they do not hear or see.
The solution is in ourselves coming from every origin or color.
Let us do (act, “agir”) everywhere. We owe this to ourselves to our children to our olds ones, From today till saturday 24 Novembre we call everyone to continue our economic blocades.
That is all”
(Forgive the langages faults)
Isn’t magnificent? Please difuse this extraordinary sample of real working class conciousness everywhere.
And to think that the whole “left” in this country has regarded with contempt such movement…
An they are not yet calling to join the demo! Stupid petit bourgeois they are politically dead.
Renseignements généraux the “information” agency (better, political police) of the state has prevented the power that “things were getting ‘radicalized’. That from a “bon enfant” (good boy) mouvement it is becoming quickly a radicalised one”
Saturday, the demo, at first not autorized by the gouvernement (but people were going the same) was finally autorized. The Interior minister has not the choise, even “his” troops obeys himself reluctantly and couldn’t be sure that he can stop the gilet jaunes.
Not only in Paris will be a demo but in every possible other place in France for the ones who cannot afford the voyage.
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Some short videos of french worker’s calling the Unions to join the movement or of the Champs Elysées; https://www.facebook.com/FrancoisRuffin80/videos/230122581232223/UzpfSTEwMDAwMTA5MzkzNzg3NzoyMDcyNTAwNjc5NDYzMDQz/?fref=hovercard&hc_location=none
In Paris, not where the governement want the demo (les Champs de Mars) but where we decided to go there begin a fight where were workers and people fighting against the riot police (CRS) and no “extreme right scum” nor “ultra leftists i.e. “black bloc” as I can testified directly beeing there from noon to the end of the fight.
Luniterre, who was also there, has made an article where you can see some other photos.https://tribunemlreypa.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/jour-de-colere-a-paris/
People answered the gas attacks from the police all around “La place de l’Etoile” where the “Arc de Triomphe” is. All of a suden an after the comander of the riots police have declared that they would not alloud people to go into the Champs Elysées, he or their chiefs retired their troops and let a number near 10 thousands demonstrators take the place and go into the Champs Elysée, a place where very spensive “boutiques” are. all the time we were there, there was not one touched by the demonstrators.
There were, again, mainly workers or youth of popular and low income (if any) origine. Some petit bourgeois (few) , some France Insoumise (not much) and some people with little french flags (10 at most) a Ché Guevara red flag, al least one CGT rank and file activist with it’s badge (we discused with him I shows totally in agreement with what we told him) Four or five people with stickers calling for rises in salaries, pensions and subsidies for the poor, a press table (I couldn’t see who they were because the charges of the police and people comes and goes and it was really no time to go and peruse those papers (perhaps two or three activist from the IMT in France, but it is just à guess they are the only ones who have this habitude), all the rest were common french-immigrants youth and workers and citizens.
All of a suden, some barricades were dressed, the “paves” (the square rocks that pave the streets in that par of Paris) were extracted, ands fire was set to some vehicles, but nothing as the “riots” and “vandalism” that the press, as a whole, cried over the roofs.
And police charged and stopped, waiting for reinforcement or the activity of “agents provocateurs” that were absoluterly inside the demo.
This unorganised kind of demos permit a very easy infiltration. People comes, go, come again; every one that has a ‘gilet jaune’ put it on and no one ask anybody who he is ou where he comes.
Further when we retired home (a bunch of old seventy years old comrades) we fall with a number of policemen, near a commissariat speaking friendly with two “gilet jaunes” with the stature, ways and age of policemen very aparently similar to provocateurs.
At the same moment, the oficial macronist TV, BFMTV, with other “merdias” (merde=shit) as people call hear the medias, began a strong campaing “denouncing the violence, the vandalism, of “the extreme right and Marine Le Pen and the ultra left (putting aside LO and NPA and the PCF who hadn’t call the demo…)”
It was a shame of public opinion manipulation and outright lies.!!! there were none, very very few or invisible RNs
One RN MP, the attorney Collard, had declared he will be at the demo, but we haven’t seen of him the tip of his nose; the cauldron was too hot for these gentlemen to risk in there.
But that press surprised many asking confused ‘gilets jaunes’ if they “approuve the violence on Champs Elysées” that was the fact of the riot police and a plan coming from Castanier the interior minister! All that smells a provocation mounted by the governement.
Some politiciens fall in the trap, but the people no. This sunday they were again blocading and there are some news that say that tommorrow the students will join the movement. Not yet confirmed but possible because there are attacks against students also.
Returning from Paris where I live, there were allmost in every toll people letting pass the cars and in Lyon a group of very young students have removed the toll barriers of a perimeter toll.
1 December CGT has called a demo of it’s own. Worker’s crvy to the face of Macron and the Financial minister their demands. Here two other videos; one with Macron and an old lady looking for her retirement diminued pay check.
The other implying the fiance minister and a worker from CGT in Sochaux Peugeot car plant.
In this social climate Macron will speak tuesday. One of his ministers has already told the press he won’t step back, that just only some cosmetics changes will be make to the mesures on fuel prices.
Every body is prepearing for tomorrow’s demo, everywhere in France.
The Interior Minister (Sinister as people call him) has declared les Champs Elysées “open only to pedestrians” forced by the determination of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ that they will go there no matter what the Sinister could say.
Mélenchon has said he will be in Champs Elysées. He has a very fine feeling of tactics and it is the right thing to do.
LO, at last, has called openly to demonstrate but it isn’t clear if they come to Champs Elysées or go to the CGT demo.
Every one should go to the Champs Elysées with open demands for a rise in wages, pensions and subsidies for the poor, and go fetch the CGT rank and file every where they are to join both currents in one only. This could give such a political blow to Macron that he xill have the outmost difficulties to avoid a general strike in the country.
But CGT has called his troops at the opposite part of Paris, Place de la République in a move that is almost openly against the Gilets Jaunes. The high bureaucrates are frightened (ils chient dans leur froc= they shit in their pants) from this movement that could jeopardize their monopoly in “people representation”. Some ones of them has said “We will not permit “they” put to pieces the CGT” as if it was a question between Gilets Jaunes and them.
Then, in Marseille thre would be two demos, as in Paris even if the rebellion of the bases is spreading in the CGT. Other Unions, SUD, has called.
Macron can be saved by the CGT?
The gouvernement gives the impression they do not know what to do.
Recently there were choosen (by themselves) eight “representatives” from the Gilets Jaunes.
Two of them talked wit the minister of environnement to no avail, when they went out of the Palace they called for the demo, another went to see the Prime Minister (one of seven because one was forced to resign by the base at Toulouse because he was “far right”. People just through him away) and filmed secretely the interview such is the distrust of this sort of “conversations” coming from rank and file.
The mouvement, it’s support is growing and the gouvernement failed with it’s 24 Champs Elysée’s provocation, and now they have open the Xhamps Elysées to Gilets Jaunes.
I suppose their only goal today is to separate CGT and Unions from Gilets Jaunes and “wait and see” so out of any consideration of the population and even from policement they are. (In the Net there were some masked policement supporting the movement).
Saturday 1rst december.
The same fight in Champs elysées but with open “casseurs” (people who come only to destroy, fight the police, etc.) this time with masks, boots, army fatigues.
Nobody knows where they come from. It can be from the so-called “ultra-left” Black Bloc that are always doing the same and nobody knows who are they serving ou “provocateurs” sent by the Prefecture.
Mélenchon and others have denounced the “violence” as something coming from the governement.
There was also a Union CGT demo in Paris with a ridicoulous number of demostrators ( 2500 after police account and 13 000 under CGT account. My own experience tells that the police account is more accurate.) but PCF and LO who decided to go there and not to the Champs Elysées where were three times the people gathred by CGT.
Such few demonstrator shows the rejets of the rank and file of the manouvers of the direction of the CGT and shows how the ‘gauchistes’=leftists understand what is happening in France.
In Lyon there was a demo in the center of the town with a call coming from students to join the movement. For the moment there were not too much students but on monday there are spected many more.
A lot of discussions, some France Insoumise people, some LO with stikers demanding raises in salaries and pensions, leser RN in Lyon, almost none in Feyzin or Givors (both popular neighbourhoods near factories) but a PCF “élu” elected in a city hall near the place, it seems that the PCF who has finished it’s congress with only a cosmetic “change” has decided, or at leat it’s better activists, to join the gilets jaune movement.
The afternoon, with comrades there were blocades and point of meeting till late in the afternoon.
I have received information coming from Marseille with goods demos around the city and sorrounding working class borroughs.
The Interiior Minister gives an stimation of more than 100 000 in all France, but, as we know he lies like a tooth puller (comme un arracheur de dents).
In Paris many demonstrators tell the press that they were feed up with lacrymogene gaz and next time their pacific protest will become less pacific.
The movement have a big support in public opinion nevertheless and the press and governement has lost almost all their credit, but without the entry of left organisations there is a risk that people get tired.
Next week, perhaps, students will come to join the movement, this will give some support to the movement.
But what is needed is a change in the CGT attitude.
Without the working class and their fighting weapon, the general strike, the most possible issue will be demoralisation (not in the immediate days or week but not far) and only the elections way will rest open, that could see an advance or a triomph of the extreme right.
The France Insoumise of Mélenchon is going through an internal crise and he has been attacked very hard by the press. In addition, he looks far more to the left than his rank and file too petit bourgeois, even if there are dome worker’s.
It is a very instable situation who can go in whatever direction, but, the whole left, the Unions has a enormous responsability if this magnificent movement coming from the bottom of the exploited people switchover to the right or to desillution, demoralisation and not going to the polls, let Le Pen win the next election.
Hopefully is just a pause, the spirit is still there and I am perhaps speculating to far based on today’s data, but a non organised movement cannot last without the support of militants, and the entry of student and principally the active working class in their works.
For the ones who understand or read french here are some samples taken from one Facebooj account.
For the ones who do not read french the photos and images talk by themselves.
These propositions comes from the Gilets Jaunes movement and were posted in a France Insoumise discussion blog.
The 42 Proposals
I give you these 42 demands/revendications in full, not a line that is not worth reading (even those with which we may disagree):
Zero homeless : URGENT. More progressive income tax (more tax brackets). SMIC at 1300 euros net.
Promote small businesses in villages and city centres. (Stop building large commercial areas around large cities that kill small businesses) + free parking in inner-city areas.
Large Insulation Plan for housing. (to make ecology by saving households money).
That the BIG ones (Macdo, Google, Amazon, Carrefour…) pay BIG and that the small ones (craftsmen, very small SMEs) pay small.
Same social security system for all (including craftsmen and self-employed entrepreneurs). End of the RSI.
The pension system must remain united and therefore socialized. (No retirement by capitalisation).
End of the fuel tax increase.
No retirement pay below 1,200 euros.
Any elected representative will be entitled to the median salary. His transport costs will be monitored and reimbursed if justified. Entitlement to a meal ticket and a holiday voucher.
The salaries of all French people, as well as pensions and allowances, must be indexed to inflation.
Protecting French industry: prohibit relocations. Protecting our industry means protecting our know-how and our jobs.
End of seconded work. It is abnormal that a person working in France does not enjoy the same salary and rights. Anyone authorised to work on French territory must be on an equal footing with a French citizen and his employer must contribute at the same level as a French employer.
For job security: further limit the number of fixed-term contracts for large companies. We want more permanent contracts.
End of the CICE. Use of this money to launch a French hydrogen car industry (which is truly ecological, unlike the electric car.)
End of the austerity policy. We stop paying interest on the debt that is declared illegitimate and we start paying down the debt without taking the money of the poor and the less poor but by collecting the 80 billion in tax evasion.
That the causes of forced migration be addressed.
That asylum seekers be treated well. We owe them housing, security, food and education for minors. Work with the UN to ensure that reception camps are opened in many countries around the world, pending the outcome of the asylum application.
That rejected asylum seekers be returned to their country of origin.
That a real integration policy be implemented. Living in France means becoming French (French language courses, French History courses and civic education courses with a certificate at the end of the course).
Maximum salary set at 15,000 euros[monthly, editor’s note].
Jobs to be created for the unemployed.
Increase in disabled benefits.
Limitation of rents. + housing at moderate rents (especially for students and precarious workers).
Prohibition to sell property belonging to France (airport dams…)
Substantial resources granted to the judiciary, police, gendarmerie and army. Whether law enforcement overtime is paid or recovered.
All the money earned by motorway tolls will be used for the maintenance of France’s motorways and roads as well as for road safety.
As the price of gas and electricity has risen since privatisation took place, we want them to become public again and prices to fall significantly.
Immediate end of the closure of small lines, post offices, schools and maternity hospitals.
Let us bring well-being to our seniors. Prohibition to make money on the elderly. White gold is over. The era of grey well-being is beginning.
Maximum 25 students per class from kindergarten to 12th grade.
Substantial resources brought to psychiatry.
The People’s Referendum must enter into the Constitution. Creation of a readable and effective website, supervised by an independent control body where people can make a legislative proposal. If this bill obtains 700,000 signatures, then this bill must be discussed, supplemented and amended by the National Assembly, which will have the obligation (one year to the day after obtaining 700,000 signatures) to submit it to the vote of all French people.
Return to a 7-year term of office for the President of the Republic (The election of deputies two years after the election of the President of the Republic made it possible to send a positive or negative signal to the President of the Republic regarding his policy. This helped to make the voice of the people heard.)
Retirement at age 60 and for all persons who have worked in a profession that wears out the body (e. g. bricklayer or boner) entitled to retirement at age 55.
A 6-year-old child not caring for himself, continuation of the PAJEMPLOI assistance system until the child is 10 years old.
Encourage the transport of goods by rail.
No withholding tax.
End of presidential lifetime benefits.
Prohibition to make merchants pay a tax when their customers use the credit card.
Tax on marine fuel oil and kerosene.
The F.I. should distribute it as a leaflet everywhere and especially among the yellow vests, some of which know it little, because apart from certain ideas where we see the black hand, everything else is perfect for the moment and constitutes a book of grievances similar to the one that prepared the Great French Revolution.
Its 42 proposals must be turned into a political weapon against Macron and against the right and the far right. Already the MLP has stated that it is against increasing the minimum wage, the masks are falling.
My first phrase comenting Saturday 1rst should be completed and corrected.
Written just coming back from the street I know not that several street fight developped in many places in France.
Then the casseurs, that in fact were also there, are to be ‘mixed’ with Gilets Jaunes that are feed up receiving lacrymogène gas and contempt; lies and repression coming from the government.
Things are developping so quickly that I cannot follow well.
CGT members are demanding a change in CGT policy and a mood of “we are going to a new 1789” is developping but it is not yet the main state of spirit of the broader majorities.
The one in that mind’s opinion are those who are at the first front of the fight, the “laissez pour compte” (“the leave aside”people), the ones who do not vote, that are reluctant to politics not because they are “fascists” but because they don’t believe any more in bourgeois politicians, always treasonous left and sectarian “extreme-left”.
Those are the fighting corps of the movement but many workers and petit bourgeois, even if they support heartly the movement, they are not yet in action.
All depend in fact in those categories; if students and worker’s working (sorry I cannot find another expression) comes to the fight, the governement is lost and it this movement snobbed by the sectairans, would have a most salutary international impact.
Again the formidable french working class will be at the first place as the revolutionnary fighting class that has it’s place all over history shown.
Of course, every international solidarity with this movement has a definite impact in the fight in France.
As an anecdote, saturday, in the middle of a blocade, one of the Gilets jaunes show us a map of Germany full of german gilets jaunes (it is not clear where that comes from). Every one fall in the arms of the others and there were moving cheers of spontaneous international class solidarity.
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Lambertists are in opposites positions in relation to the Gilets Jaunes movement.
As Daniel Gluckstein and the POID is against:
” Daniel Gluckstein, after Nov. 17, wrote:
Red is the flag of the workers
“Whatever the extent of the mobilization”, on 17 November “risks being marked by great ambiguity”, we wrote in these columns, on the eve of the day of the blocking of the “yellow vests”. The facts reported in this issue of La Tribune des travailleurs amply confirm this prognosis.
Certainly, slogans such as “Macron resign! “reflect an unprecedented rejection, in all segments of the population, of President Bonaparte who fell from his perch, a rejection that had already disrupted every step of his “memory roaming” in eastern and northern France earlier this month. Certainly, among the demonstrators, all social strata were represented, including workers, the unemployed, young people taking the opportunity to express their rage against the government.
All this is true. But can we stick to this as the “left” and “far left” parties and organizations that greet the “success of 17 November”, some with delirious enthusiasm for a movement whose leadership they are contesting for on the National Front, others with a more moderate but real enthusiasm?
For our part, we have – as our readers know – a bias: to approach all issues not from the perspective of the “people” (from which we were watered all weekend), but from the perspective of social classes and the struggle between them.”
(The whole statement can be found (in french) here https://forumamislo.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=33812&start=40 )
POI, on the contrary has given, before the 24 November, a leaflet with the following:
“A legitimate anger against Macron
When you can’t take it anymore…
Starting from the protest against the rise in fuel prices, it’s a huge boredom
against the Macron government, which expressed itself on 17 November with a desire to “block the
There were hundreds of thousands of demonstrators. And many want to continue.
The workers’ information correspondents were on the roadblocks and we give them the floor (opposite and page 4). They met workers like them, who have been fighting for years to
and it’s getting worse and worse for everyone.
Some, on the left, have taken this movement from above, by lecturing the workers. As the
Macron government, by the way….
But on the roadblocks, there were mainly mothers, young people, pensioners, and many others.
of unionized workers who have not failed to ask themselves what their organizations are doing.
When we can’t take it anymore, when the situation seems blocked, when nothing is being proposed to really make the Macron government bend, then somehow the revolt has to go away somehow-bonus, when this requirement is raised throughout the country: “Enough is enough! »
The government, panicked, repressed, forcibly released the fuel depots, condemned-
The demonstrators’ prison, with the support of the employers, who warn against the blocking of the economy, and Laurent Berger, who denounces the “totalitarianism” of some demonstrators.
But nothing does. Three quarters of the French support this movement, while another major day of demonstration is announced on Saturday, November 24 in Paris.”
Click to access Tract-du-Parti-Ouvrier-indépendant-du-21-novembre-2018.pdf
What is remarcable is that Gluckstein and the POID has not change their initail position even if all the facts shows a real revolt of the french people letting every dat back the taxes demands and RN (Débout la France is already out) and going forward to a new French Revolution! as every one is asking it now.
Having some activist between the bureaucrates in Force Ouvrière, they are putting full the breaks to stop a call from the Unions.
This morning some CGT member has written to the CGT direction to join the movement and a forth “saturday of action” is beeing called in the Web (mainly Facebook).
More than 100 “lycées” (colleges ?) has join the protest, some refinneries are beeing blocaded and people are queuing in the gas services to fill their cars…
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I’m reposting this ongoing commentry on Facebook and its getting many likes. The situation has now developed far beyond the price of petrol and a pre- revolutionary situation is developing. Vital now is the call for workers councils as organs of dual power. Twitter and Facebook and the rest of the social media cannot substitute for those organs of worker’s democratic power.
Please, tell me in which page of Facebook this is published.
“Vital” can be, but things are still not so near from that. Here in Lyon where protest keep going, the situation is yet calm. Only secondary students, some of them, has had some fight with the police.
Today Prime Sinister make “some” promises. Just to have a moratorium in rises…
As a very cinical prime minister, Charles Pasqua, said once: “Promises engage only the ones who believe in them”.
But I think that the Prime Minister talk to no avail, people just through him in the face that it was not enough and that we were not willing to believe him.
This movement that has having international repercutions, has two main weaknesses: the first one is that even 80% of the frenchs support the movement, they supported it from their cars, or waving scarfs, or cheering but the ones in the street are a minority yet and far a minority (100 000 or even 300 000 is less than some of the demos I haver been in. Up to 2 millions people in the streets). Student just begin to came along, not know if they will come massively and workers are retained by the unions which are supporting in fact Macron, put the brakes full, and by decades of passivity, fear of the dole, lack of dirigents.
How much this will last before a broad insurrection of the base of the Unions, mainly in the CGT where there are already disidency?
The other is a lack of political direction (even if the press make all it’s possible to put forward the extreme right) and of organisation. People could easily get tired and/or can stand a real represion coming from the police or the army. Even this is somewhat paired by the activity of the few left militants inside. LO and NPA has joined but, as I have written, they went to the CGT meeting and not to the Champs Elysées…
If everyone and the so called Extreme left partys are so lost, I look as miracle that the whole thing has not yet fall in the exptreme right pockets. Bande de crétins! (You idiots!)
The police till today has been quite friendly with the Gilets Jaunes everywhere but in Paris or where there has been some fighting. Don’t believe that I has passed the other side of the barricade … is just factual witnesing having known other “interventions” of the police in other times here in France.
They just do as people here say “le minimum syndical” (the minimum trade union level”) of work. Most of the time they let do somewhat tired or annoyed intervening just to prevent accidents. This spirit that goes with their bad “working conditions” and with a mix of simpaties with the people and the extreme right.
This should not fool anyone but, the movement beeing what it is, the lack of real communist political organisation makes a sort of “jamais vue” (never seen) situation that is what it is and would developpe, in my modest opinion, by the laws and paths of the inconcious spirit of the working clases of France. This could be explosive. This people are very polite but don’t push them too much, they tend to make revolutions.
That makes a “pre revolutionnary situation”? I cannot say, but from the begening I “feel”, that it would be something great. Today, not having any means of intervening but in a very reduced local scale, I prefere to avance revendications concerning wages, pensions and subsidies, to separate the movement from the extreme right that could not follow this, and call as much as I can every party or organisation from the left to join the movement.
I put all my trust (confidence) in the natural spirit of rank and file militants.
This is also a cauldron or a sort of test “en grandeur nature” (in real size) of the value of dirigents and partys. In my humble opinion, the only leader of the left that had have some sort of saving his face is Mélenchon. He is a fine tactician and much more to the left than it’s own troops, a bunch of petit bourgeois who are, here in Lyon, more interested in next elections than in the Gilets Jaunes movement.
All the others were left far behind by the mases, not just in the begining where mani “left” and “extreme left” partys oposed the movement, but even after the 17 that shows to everyone the real nature of the movement.
The fact that last saturday LO and NPA were in the CGT divisionist meeting (attended by no one ) when there was a mass fight in Champs Elysées speaks more than twenty volumes of polemics.
Here in Lyon I saw some of them, (a little group when they can mobilise ten folds more) and no NPA. Perhaps they were in Paris.
It is of the outmost necessity to do whatever possible to push the left partys to the fight, to push worker’s revendication firmly in the first place. It is here in the fight that they could have a good understanding of the policies of their groups and partys.
Otherwise, the movement is spreading abroad, this is a magnificent support and encouragement to everyone here. Don’t forget us!. Push the bourgeois as much as you can in your own countries.!
To intent a broader perspective in this Gilet Jaunes movement here is an analysis coming from a chilean newspaper that, albeit its acadamic style is more or less correct.
My coments in parentesis.
“In Gramscian terms we could say that we are in the premises of a process of sharpening the organic crisis by the passage, all of a sudden, of “vast masses”[…] from political passivity to a certain activity and they raise demands that as a whole inorganic constitute a revolution (not allways but it can be…my coment). (The Gilet Jaunes movement is just this )
For the Italian Marxist this type of process has its origin in a crisis of hegemony, that is to say: “The old intellectual and moral leaders of society feel that the ground is sinking under their feet, they realize that their “preaching” has become precisely “preaching”, that is, something alien to reality, in pure form without content, in larva without spirit; hence their despair and their reactionary and conservative tendencies (we are just here) : the particular form of civilization, of culture, of morality that they have represented, decomposes and for this reason they proclaim (not yet at this very day) the death of every civilization, of every culture, of every morality and ask the State to adopt repressive measures (this could come very quickly) , and they constitute themselves in a resistance group apart from the real historical process, thus increasing the duration of the crisis, because the decline of a way of living and thinking cannot take place without crisis”.(And, od course, the harsh concurrence and crisis of capitalism just obstacles, impedes any concesion coming from the government)
That is precisely what is seen today, not only in the empty preaching of the media and their opinion leaders, but centrally in the fate of Macron himself: the president is now rejected by about 80% of the population. A real achievement for a power whose only force or “legitimacy” was based on overcoming the crisis of representativeness of the traditional parties, with the aggravating factor that the same 80% of the population supports a spontaneous movement that sings songs for the resignation of the president while barricading the heart of Paris.
The crisis of hegemony is thus expressed in the fact that certain classes no longer recognize themselves in state life, they separate themselves from the given ruling groups, but at the same time they still fail to impose themselves as new hegemonic classes. This is the general framework in which the GJ movement emerges.”
“The most subversive of the GJ uprising are its radical methods as well as the open expression of its sufferings that resonates beyond the GJ, as expressed by the very broad support of the population that has grown even after the images of violence of the 24 against what the government and the vast majority of the regime’s politicians expected.
For the first time in France, a blockade decision taken from below, which escaped the controls of the government and the unions, as well as the left-wing (extreme left also) and extreme right-wing parties, was effective without prior consultation with the municipal or trade union authorities of the territory. An example of the subversive attitude against the domestication so characteristic of the routine actions of the trade unions or of the left parties is the fact that on November 24 a march was imposed in the Champs Elysées, in a clear challenge to the explicit prohibition of the state authorities.”
“Linked to these two central aspects, and despite the heterogeneous character of the movement, the level of politicization and capacity of expression of the vast majority of people who have been interviewed and often presented as rough people from the periphery or the countryside, unlike the educated elites of the big cities, is surprising. As the great historian Gerald Noiriel says:
“What strikes, in the movement of the Gilets Jaunes is the diversity of their profiles, and especially the large number of women, although previously the function of spokespersons was more often reserved for men. The ease with which popular leaders express themselves in front of the cameras today is a consequence of a double democratization: the increase in the level of studies and the penetration of audiovisual communication techniques in all sectors of society. This knowledge is completely denied by the elites today, and this is what reinforces the feeling of contempt in the heart of the people.
Along with these various broadly radical aspects, two other characteristics emerge, one arising from its social composition and the other acute expression of the organic crisis discussed above.
In relation to the first element, the GJ movement is formed mainly by the white working class, which has become poor as a result of the relative deindustrialization of France since 1980. In the same way, it is composed of entrepreneurs, independent professions as well as, to a lesser extent, small employers, that is, sectors that form, we could say, an impoverished middle class.”
“Of this interclassist social base that goes from a great majority of sectors of the working class but that, as a consequence of the regression of the organization and of the conscience of the workers movement added to the conciliatory attitude with the regime of the trade union organizations, they do not identify themselves as proletarians, The heterogeneous nature of the social demands of this movement, which range from clearly progressive demands such as the increase in the minimum wage, the cancellation of the carbon tax and other indirect taxes, to more ambiguous ones, such as the reduction of employers’ burdens, arises, passing through the entrepreneurs to the petty-bourgeois characteristics of the sectors of the ruined middle class.”
Against the objectivist defeatism that weighs today on much of the left and that is the basis of his majority abstentionist attitude, he is right Amable in that the evolution of the current movement is totally open and can evolve left or right. The confused and heterogeneous character of the GJ movement is not an exception but rather the rule when it comes to the passage to action of mass sectors, all the more so when this takes place after a long period of ideological retreat. We revolutionaries will probably have to intervene in other processes of these characteristics and the worst thing that can happen to us is that we are frightened of the confusion, immaturity or even of the reactionary prejudices of the masses. As Trotsky said, in a text even in the face of an open revolutionary process, such as the Spanish Revolution, where he points out a certain number of parallels and oppositions with the same Russia of 1917, that maturity was still relative, which did not prevent his triumph, since:
“Victory is not the mature fruit of the “maturity” of the proletariat. Victory is a strategic task. It is necessary to use the favorable conditions of a revolutionary crisis in order to mobilize the masses; taking as a starting point the determined level of their “maturity”, it is necessary to push them forward […] Equally abstract, pedantic and false is the reference to the “lack of independence” of the peasantry. Where and when has our sage seen in a capitalist society, a peasantry with a revolutionary program, independent or an independent capacity for revolutionary action? For the whole peasant mass to rise up, it would have been necessary for the proletariat to set the example of a decisive uprising against the bourgeoisie and inspire the peasants with confidence in the possibility of victory. On the other hand, the initiative of the proletariat itself was paralyzed at every moment by its own organizations.”
I can’t copy everything, it’s too long -(defect of the “intellectuals” who annoy the workers with their endless prose)
I give you the link for the spanish reading comrades.
Sorry to continue but this movement is so clear in many ways that should be studied in every school of tactics in every marxist group or party.
Here I copy two opinions coming from the LO’s friends forum where almost sympathiser or LO militants write. Some years ago it was full of vivid discussions but the “moderators” bannished a lot of disident people and now is just what it rest.
https://forumamislo.net/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=33812&start=50 (in french)
The first opinion comes from and old LO militant and principal figure of the forum and his opinion reflects almost ever the position but also the “atmosphere” or the mood of their militants.
“There is a movement going on, and it is not a question of making incantations to Martinez, nor of asking the yellow vests to bow to the flag (red).
So (as always), intervention in works and, in the movement, appear intelligently, mainly on demands that can advance the entire movement: “increases in wages, pensions and allowances, guaranteed by a sliding scale imposed and controlled by workers”. Referendum and even “Macron resignation”, it could very well be a diversion, we are not at the gates of power!”
Martinez is the chief of the CGT.
The “so (as always)” is a pearl. “As always” though, nothing has change, there is a movement, we go there with some correct revendications but we continue ours “every day tasks” with some intervention in the Gilet Jaune movement.
This is exactly the line of LO, the Gilets Jaunes is just another work to do, nothing more, nothing that oblige the party to put all it’s forces into the battle.
But, this other coment comes from one of their sympathisers who has another perspective.
“On the other hand, I have difficulty understanding your low enthusiasm for this popular momentum based on demands concerning the standard of living. In the current period, it does not surprise me any more than that the poor limit themselves to purely “economist” claims, without any particular perspective. I also have difficulty understanding the almost total absence of trade union involvement in this movement, the procession of the CGT in my city was quite outdated on Saturday in my city. Personally, this effervescence makes me feel really good again, it doesn’t allow me to have very interesting discussions in my community, but in any case to open the circle of people around me, and those who criticized the lack of ecological perspectives bow to the despair of the poor.”
His “difficuties” are also mines. But I have some explanations that in him are emerging.
The Gilets Jaunes will shake not only Macron ….
Posts are on the Facebook page of Gerry Joseph Downing:
Demonstrators dealing with the far right issue.
Workers 1 fascist 0
“Lycéens” (college students) entering progresively into the fight. There are some seriously injured by the police. The police throw granades and flash balls directly to the head of students. The reaction tomorrow is to be seen or expected. I just cannot be here and there and I report as common people knows ans diffuse between them. But those facts are confirmed by some press and Facebook.
“The Prime Minister jointly with the President of the Republic wished that the increase in the carbon tax provided for in the 2019 FDP be abolished”, according to the Elysée.
Yesterday it was a “moratory” today they seemingly renounce to the tax that has triggered the movement “if good conditions are fullfilled”. No one would believe a word coming from both. It shows only how desperates they are.
The police is tired and a police unio, unknown to me, has declared if you follow Sputnik russian agency that:
“The VIGI police union announced its intention to join the Yellow Vests movement on December 8, filing an unlimited strike notice.
The police union VIGI filed Wednesday in the National Police an unlimited strike notice as from December 8, the day of the next mobilization of the Yellow Vests movement.
“The demands made by the Gilet Jaunes movement concern us all. It is time to organize legally and to stand in solidarity with them, for the benefit of all,” write the union leaders in a statement.
The strike notice concerns the administrative, technical, scientific and state workers of the Ministry of the Interior.
(It is the police but not the police which who found in the streets. Today, they approach us (a point of blocade) and discused for more than an hour with some of us. We seve them coffee and pastries under the idea that when they don’t attack us, we can be fine with them”)
(But with “lycéens” they were brutal from the begining. In fact they were not the same policemen.)
“Same fight as the yellow vests for purchasing power. Will Mr. Castaner and Mr. Macron finally hear us?”, VIGI said on Twitter.
“Our hierarchy will send us to take the hit again instead of them and the government. We know that we will have wounded and we fear having dead people among us,” deplore VIGI officials who criticize President Macron’s exceptional “bonus” for mobilized law enforcement, which is less than the cost of overtime on 1 December.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced on December 4 the suspension for six months of three tax measures that were to come into effect on January 1. These are the increase in the carbon tax on petrol, fuel oil and diesel, the convergence of the taxation of diesel with that of petrol and finally the price of diesel for professionals.”
Then, there are new troops engaged in the fight, the police apparatus is begining to decompose and the government is retreating.
Still, all this is in the context of a movement without organisation, in a stable bourgeois state, and with a large medium and petit bourgeois layer that, when thing will get to hot for them, they will stick to their long terms interests.
This is only, in my view, a begining even if it is a good one an also internationally (that’s better).
If the working class join the movement (the transport people of the CGT and lorries conductors will begin a strike on sunday). This afternoon and tomorrow and the next day, the Lyon’s Metro and buses were on strike.
We are prepearing for saturday next and in the week we are also maintaining ours blocades and doing some actions here and there. The spirit is up even if the peoiple feels the fatigue after so many days.
After the Lafarge CGT, which calls for “joining the yellow jackets in all the demonstrations planned in France on Saturday, December 8”, the South-Rail federation calls on railway workers to join the movement and allow the yellow jackets to reach the capital free of charge.
For the french reading persons please look this facebook site that gives more information.
Now we have divisions at the head of the state. Lenin’s conditions are beeing fulfilled at astonishing velocity.
From Le Figaro (right wing ‘seriuos’ paper) this morning:
” The latent differences have just come to light. Between Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe, nothing is going well. “There is a line difference between them that is no longer tenable,” says a pillar of the majority. And for good reason, less than 24 hours after the Prime Minister announced a six-month fuel tax break, the Elysée announced Wednesday evening that the increase initially planned would be cancelled altogether.”
Then the Prime Minister has fallen … in a move to try to save Macron.
But the anger of Gilets Jaunes is against Macron … ‘Macron démission!’ is the massive cry you here everywhere and nobody has cried ‘Philippe démission!’ because he is seen as just a secondary one that obeys to Macron.
The official press and the information services of the police are talking about a very violent demo for next saturday. It can be at least in Paris, center of all revolutions here in France.
Things are developping so fast that you just cannot follow and less of all made a prognosis, but taking in account the general tendency, this movement that is going from Gilets jaunes to broader layers of the french people and to the left (to revendications of workers) even if this is not apparent for the moment has yet more to show.
Students, worker’s albeit what professors or dirigents could say continue joining. In a moment or other the dirigents will be driven forward or rest behind.
Wich will be the political consequencies of this movement? It is hard to forsee because the left is totally non existant and the press talks much of the extreme right. There is Mélenchon but his electoral ways could not succed because when voting all the layers that have fear as their only way to survive in this horrible capitalism, will vote wrongly.
It is now almost a mandatory necessity that the revolutionnary wave that is in the making triomph.
Another mandatory condition is that the working class join massively.
That’s why I see the whole thing as a turn, as a begining in France and abroad of a wave of worker’s opositions (no matter it’s form) to capitalist exploitation. I cannot see further.
This morning afeter a quick tour around some points, and not far from where I live, fights between the police that fills the air with lacrymogen gas and very young students from a neighbourhood college. Blocades continue.
People discuss in the streets about “what’s happening”. Still some “ancient mood opinions” and open mostly simpathy for the students.
Tomorrow General Assembly of students and profs here in Lyon.
A sample of the state of spirit that is developping.
A second CGT federation is calling to join the yellow jackets this Saturday in Paris:
The CGT Services Publics de Paris also calls for convergence with yellow vests this Saturday
Faced with the silence of the Confederal Bureau and Philippe Martinez, a second CGT federation is calling for the yellow jackets to be joined this Saturday: the Paris public services CGT is calling on its members to demonstrate to demand social justice, recruitment into the civil service, and the thawing of the index point to promote the quality of public services.
The link: http://www.revolutionpermanente.fr/La-CGT-Services-Publics-de-Paris-appelle-aussi-a-converger-avec-les-gilets-jaunes-ce-samedi?fbclid=IwAR3GFgnc4yfQpNsFg7p4-M1guGE-VTf24pu-4F68MJB8xEFhGlvMsmWG9NU
Impossible to translate all, there is no time, but you have translators in the Web.
A Montpellier, city in the south of France with a large population of high school (lycéens) and university students
Still this on Paris workers https://paris-luttes.info/de-nombreux-secteurs-syndicaux-d-11211?fbclid=IwAR1d3oYSJhUpgeQLZLfY7Nsb6HilbUO5C170JT-cS09p-7t0_-Ftx5mlajg
I just put the titles
The Health service workers
L’union départementale Solidaires du Val de Marne appelle à la mobilisation.
The departmental union Solidaires du Val de Marne calls for mobilization.
As it can be seen, important fractions of students and the working class are joining the fight, people speaks and see openly in the streets the fight and there is a very fighting mood in the ones who are entering in.
Of course, this tendancy could but increase in the hours coming.
The angers is raising and the workers are coming in.
Here the local union leader CGT in Marseille calls to stop the work with a quite combative speach.
The gilets jaunes in Marseille and the region is one of the more attended. Marseille stick to it’s revolutionnary tradition. La Marseillaise was a revolutionnary anthem that changes France and the world in 1791.
He says at the beginning “Our place is in the works to organise the strike everywhere (partout) (…) we need to meet our union comrades, the workers to decide by which means we shall enter into action. This will be the only way to join the movement that is developping (that’s going on) (…) Looks what happened today in Marseille (he is marseillais) all the rages (la colère) is here (…) they supressed the ISF (Tax on the richs, fortunates) and they rtise the taxes. Who do they think we are?
We are beeing robbed!. There is nothing fair to have buildings falling over over heads (that arrive in Marseille recently), there is nothing fair to go to work and have to eat and not calm our hungry (de ne pas manger à sa faim), that our boys are hungry that they can’t go to universities, and now they are clubbing the “lycéens” (…) We will make them pay every club hit (coup de matraque) every drop of blood they pour from our boys, and you back those fensters, hear it for good! (high cheers coming from workers hearing).
We are the number, we are the ones that produce everything, comrades the social progress we are going to fetch it. Good wages, …, decent pension, a general rise in salaries.
He call some unions to the figh, ones some days others another but in the week. He finishes the speach sayng “We are going to win!”
This is the mood developping and if the local union leaders are having this discours, rank and file are surely more in rage.
“Revolutionaries” are beeing left far behind by the masses and even by the burocrats.
What a lesson!
A cry of outrage is mounting from social medias about these images of the repression against lycéens. It is a further call to demonstrate massively against such a governement.
The coment we hear, from a not seen person, perhaps a policemen, says “Here is a class that stays calm” (sorry for the bad translation “Voilà une classe qui est sage” in french)
More here https://twitter.com/Obs_Violences
That is bourgeois democracy, elections to fool the people in calm times and clubbing, opression and humilliation when not.
After this: https://www.nouvelobs.com/societe/20181207.OBS6727/mantes-la-jolie-cette-video-de-lyceens-arretes-indigne-les-internautes.html
The whole bunch of Unions which have met themselves to give this statement:
STATEMENT BY TRADE UNION ORGANISATIONS
Published on 06/12/2018
The trade union organisations CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, and FSU met on Thursday 6 December to discuss social issues.
They recall that, for months, in the face of social and territorial inequalities, they have been calling for public policies that promote social justice. They also point out that, for months, they have been calling on the government to listen to them through genuine social dialogue.
Today, in a very deteriorated climate, the mobilization of yellow vests has allowed the expression of legitimate anger. The government, with a long delay, has finally opened the doors to dialogue.
Our organizations will commit to this, each with its own demands and proposals, in common whenever possible. The subjects of purchasing power, wages, housing, transport, the presence and accessibility of public services, taxation must finally find concrete opportunities, creating the social conditions for an ecological transition that is effective because it is fair.
Dialogue and listening must find their place in our country. This is why our organizations denounce all forms of violence in the expression of claims.
The CFDT, CGT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, FSU call on the government to finally guarantee real negotiations. This requires that they be broad, open and transparent, both at the national and territorial levels.”
What a shame!
Not a word against the fascistic methods of Macron-Castanier and his police against lycéens.
The preach of a trembling priest can be more decent than this abominable prose.
They talk of “dialogue and listening” and they denounce “all forms de violence” even the legitimate right to defend themselves of students, workers charged with gas and clubs, promiosed to a massacre tomorrow with an Interior Minister who has given the authorisation to his police to fire against demonstrators..
The gouvernment should “open the doors to dialogue” they say, when every one of the gilets jaunes know, are convinced, that the so called “dialogue” is first of all hard repression and then “enfumage” (a cloud of smoke to desorient and lost ), promises they will never fullfil, manipulation, deceit.
We do not want “negociations” we want the whole lot of sons of a bitch, out.
They can kill the movement and they are doing all they can in this direction.
Hopefully, there are some confederations and local unions that do not follow this shamefull and open help to a desperate government.
Sorry, just coming back, I haven’t yet seen this:
“A stab in the back to those who are fighting”,
The CGT Chimie disassociates itself from the communiqué signed by Martinez.
We are relaying a letter from the National Federation of Chemical Industries CGT which “condemns the content” of the interunion communiqué which “is unworthy of the CGT”. “A stab wound to the back of those who are currently fighting.” The federation calls for “a massive strike from now on, as in oil, rubber, chemicals, and for 14 December, an inter-professional strike day”.
http://www.revolutionpermanente.fr/Un-coup-de-poignard-dans-le-dos-de-ceux-qui-luttent-la-CGT-Chimie-se-desolidarise-du-communique?fbclid=IwAR1ynle2p_GoqpEIBj-hCETEAzfc8k6wknoWIYvqj1_Ee0MiYH3_-SeTRco (in french)
Today, fourth day od saturday’s demos.
I have not yet all the information but there are more than 1 300 arrested and more than 900 in “garde à vue” (police custody) in Paris and in the rest of France and it is mounting because the fight continue in some places.
There were fights against the police in some big cities, Bordeaux, Marseille, others.
Here in Lyon, yesterday we have occupied the Administrative Center of the region Auvergne Rhône Alpes where the local Counsel deliberates. This administrative region is bigger than Switzerland and the building is the site of Laurent Wauquiez a right politician, that first was “with the gilets jaunes movement” and now he is against. All the better. As more unionized workers and students join the movement, the more the rats (fascists, rightists) leave the ship.
It was a pacific ocupation that lasted three hours and finished because the Gilets Jaunes would not meet Wauquiez. The ‘action’ has some press coverage. Some of the participants were annoyed that the ‘action’ occurs without a more ‘active’ participation and it was necesary some arguments to avoid a meeting with Wauquiez.
This shows the backwardness of the movement in some regions, i.e. in Lyon.
But, next day, saturday, in the same Lyon, in Place Bellecour, there were easily 7000 people as reported by the local press (it can go to 10 000 or more) plus everyone that was ans still are in the periphery, Feyzin, TEO, Givors, Saint Quentin Fallavier and places going down to Montelimar, west to Saint Etienne where there were the first fights and cars put on fire. That is just 100 times greater than last Saturday’s.
It can be explained because there was also a demo for the environnement that converge to the Gilets Jaunes movement.
Same audience as the original, without the rare fachos because this time the ecologists, the France Insoumise were all there, as well as the anars (the most combative sector) but also couples with children, people coming direct from holidays to participate, isolated, some 6 or 8 LO with their stickers (they can put more thanfive times or more that number) , some Young Comunists with a leaflet, others.
A lot of infiltration too, a group of seven to eight thugs with hoods stashed in a street that the police were pretending not to see. Three or four in black fatigues, engaged from some “Security cmpany”. They were so obvious that every one avoid them.
What is surprising is that the demonstration, at the beginning of a few hundred people and led by a guy (the same as last week) who wore a small speaker, self-identified and started the demonstration as he wanted.
At first by taking a walk in which I did not participate like others and then by training the ensemble which began to grow, to join the other demo and finally to make an honest ensemble which chanted, in front of the CRS, “Maintes-la-Jolie, on ne l’oubliera pas!” (Maintes-la-Jolie we shall not forget! ) and the traditional “Macron démission”.
The flag in the lead was the red and black flag of the CNT and we did not hear “mugir les féroces soldats” ( part of the Marseillaise) although the international neither.
The slogan of wage and pension increases took almost all the territory and the tax bullshit had disappeared. Little to none tricolours flags.
As expected, as soon as the students and workers, there were cegetists and a few South, seize the demonstration, the extreme right, without militants or very few, is drowned and disappears.
At the end the procesion of demonstrators scinded in two. The largest part continues to the Bourse du Travail and the young ones, mainly anarchists, began a fight against the police that do not last long.
From Paris I have only what the TV shows, but it isn’t reliable, just scenes of “violence”, many “experts” given their biased opinions, nothing coming from the government. The experts saying they “comunicate badly” as if this were the reasons of the revolt.
I have no reports from friends, perhaps arrested, in Paris there were a big number of people arrested and prosecuted. Nor ciming yet from Marseille where thre were also fights and many arrested.
The morale is good, in Lyon that formidable demo will stirr up the movement but are going to deal with the consequencies of arrests.
Of course any form of international solidarity is welcome, i.e. fights in your own country are the best possible solidarity campaign.
Further information as soon as I have it;
Begining of the demo at Saint Lazaire
Railroad workers in Paris joigning the gilets jaunes
Lyon and Villefranche sur Saone (north of Lyon)
Haute Loire (near Saint Etienne, 60 Kms west of Lyon)
This is part of the police equipement put forward in Paris by the Minister of Interior
Good demo in Paris.
A reliable correspondent tels me that there were far less “casse” breaks and the policy has prevented with armored vehicles and buses every acces to the Place de l’Etoile where is L’arc de Triomphe conducing to the Champs Elysées.
all incidents and figu-hts with the policy were in the surroundings.
The police sistematically put in custody people with glases, or any device to protect himself againt gas lacrymogène, thats one of the reasons of the big number of detenees and put into custody.
The number of demonstrators was even greater than past saturday and this is quite encouraging because there was a full campaign of threatens and terror (the minister has even said that the police has the authorisation to fire their arms, that they expected deads in the ranks of police and the like).
Still some extreme right militants with “against taxes” watchwords, some anarchists ans “casseurs” but rapidly contiened by the demonstrators.
The police could forbide the demonstrators to enter in the area of Cchamps elysées but not to prohibit the demo to take place.
The spirit is high and FI peoples got the impression that the movement is still alive and going for it’s fifth week with no visible damage.
That is time enough to join the Unions’ demo the 14th and that gives momentum and perspectives to the movement which by itself is looking for solutions at their own problems or organisation.
The students and workers question is still the decisive question ,but today workers but mostly young people were in the demos and best of all the people doesn’t not retrait on fear of repression and this night nobody knows how the government that was betting on this day repression will do with a dissatisfactioin that continues to grow and even grows to its support.
Laurent Wauquiez, chief of the LR (right) has distance himself from the Gilets Jaunes because the movement is going steadely but firmly to the left. Still rest MLP but she is speechless and have nothing to say with the mounting revendication of better wages ,salaries, pension ans subsidies to the poor.
We must hold fast this movement, otherwise elections could give it to our worst enemies.
On Minister of the Interior records, there were 125 000 demonstrators all over France and 1385 arrested.
The Sinister Castaner lies as he can but no one believes a line what he can say.
One of the problems of Gilets Jaunes movement that it is totally inorganized and sometimes it is hard to find here they will be, when and at which hour….
Yesterday for instance à Lyon, there were calls in differents parts of the town, and one in place Bellecour, center of Lyon and traditional start of a demo place, at 11 AM, 1, 2 and 3 PM o’clock!
Then, people cames when they feel like to.
In many cities there was a “day for the environnement demo” which in many cases rejoin the gilets jaunes. In Lyon with passed from some hundreds at 1 o’clock PM to 10 000 or more (the press says 7 000) at 3 o’clock PM.
Here https://www.facebook.com/vellamanolo/videos/pcb.2092314384148339/2092310214148756/?type=3&theater at the TEO toll barrier, some Gilets Jaunes cry the slogan of every Union demo “Tous ensemble, ouai!” (They say “All together, yea!).
Macron, if we follow Le Monde semi official paper of the Macronie (sort of principal ‘serious’ paper ) will speak and make “anouncements” with some offers to the gilets jaunes.
Le Monde put things in this way:
” Above all, for several media, the demos are now resolutely anti-Emmanuel Macron.
“Why are the “yellow vests” still protesting in France? The reason is called Macron,” the Washington Post headlines.
Before explaining: “the weekly demonstration “yellow vest” (…) also clarified the direction of rabies: directly against the president”.
The BBC notes that while support for the movement is declining, “according to an opinion poll conducted on Friday, it remained at 66%”. While the rating of the Elysée tenant “fell to 23% in the context of the crisis”.
(What the BBC says not is that this loss is the consequency f a massive campaign of terror and threats coming from the governement, it’s press and the so called “experts”, “journalists” and the like. Such a little low shows that trhe movement is still strongly supported by the people but some ones deceived by the terror propagande “condemns violence”. But french workers are no fools.)
The head of state, who has so far remained silent, will speak next week, Prime Minister Edward Philippe announced.
The content of his future announcements could decide the future of the “yellow vests”, warns El Pais: “The announcement of a resumption of the president’s speech earlier this week did not (…) help to calm the atmosphere this Saturday.
Angelique [a demonstrator] made it clear: “Macron will have to be very credible, otherwise we will return to Paris as many times as necessary”. The country would then move towards an act V.”
The mood in the Gilets Jaunes is still high and Macron should give a lot to defuse the movement. He is running against the clock because on 14/12 some Unions has call for a demo and a strike.
This words, coming from a discussion forum, shows the variegate forms of the spirit that are “slowly” building (in the scale of what is needed) of people attacked by the police.
Not everywhere is the same mood but this was not conceivable four weeks before.
Things are changing but there still no party or Union, albeit very little organisations, that is full time with these people. They came to demos, a few of them.
Then, sometimes they go to a blocade, one hour or two, this is routine work and they can not distract too many of their activists because ‘the every day work they do when nothing happens should be maintained’. With these kind of “revolutionnaries” we are well served…
It is not extrange that the France Insoumise people and Mélenchon are seen nationally as the left wing of the movement. Sometimes the TV press invites LO speakers (which is something bizarre, in the middle of workers and students invite a revolutionary …I have never seen such a thing.
She then says their solidarity an their wish that the working class join, but this is hear more as a good hournalistic report than a call coming from revolutionaries somewhat afar of the movement. Of course, better this than nothing, but…
This comments were publisshed in the LO forum by one person.
“We heard about the events in Pouzin (a small town in the Ardèche region) on 1 December, where many media outlets presented things as if they were a “breakers’ riot”.
There had long been a “filtering barrier” in Pouzin, totally peaceful, not blocking traffic, welcomed with sympathy by the local population, and supplied by people in solidarity. There was its equivalent on the other side of the Rhône, in Loriol-sur-Drôme (a small commune in the Drôme). The “police forces” suddenly started attacking the Pouzin dam with tear gas, which made people angry. Seeing the smoke, those of Loriol decided to raise their dam and come to reinforce those of Pouzin. When they arrived, there was a battle between the yellow vests and part of the angry population on one side, and the “police forces” on the other. With Loriol’s reinforcements, the latter found themselves in clear outnumber, became afraid and finally ran away…
Le Monde made a written report on the roundabout still occupied in Le Pouzin yesterday, December 8, of which here is an extract:
Retired, logistics agent, itinerant merchant, tattoo artist, hairdresser, worker, etc., they built themselves a cabane-guinguette with construction site pallets, installed a fire basket, a small Christmas tree and erected, in the middle of the roundabout, a wooden guillotine on which is written “Happy Birthday Manu”. Underneath the cardboard blade, a cut head was glued. “The revolution is a bit what we want,” says Roger, 73, who says he is fighting for the “future of young people. “The guillotine is violent, but it responds to the violence we are opposed to,” says this former employee in mechanical manufacturing.”
Who are the more advanced? The working people in the blocades or the ‘extrem-left avant-gardes’?
In life, everywhere you are confronted wuth contradictory phenomena, but those coming from a centrist entity are the most bizarre.
Jus read this questions coming from an ex-LO activist that went to the Paris demo:
“The NPA’s calculation of calling to La Nation (a well known place in Paris) to the green (ecological) demonstration was not so bad after all.
It wasn’t a pro-Macron demonstration at all, but some of it was wearing yellow vests, according to my sweet, 10%. (In Lyon it was the same, people that finished the “green” demo joined the gilet jaunes demo.)
Where did LO comrades call? I didn’t find it on the site. Did they have a fixed point somewhere?”
What ressort is that the rightist NPA joined and worked out an ecological demo in such a way that could easely join the gilets jaunes demo.
LO the most radical party that affirms that they are the only ones who are trotskists in France (I do not believe a word of that) they just do not call to the ecological demo neither to the gilets jaunes one.
I was in Lyon and perhaps they have sent some of their people in Paris, in Lyon there were some of them, a little fraction, but they haven’t called!
The ones who can understand such a policy, please, explain it to me.
Even if I think that is a mix of sectarianism, roitine, distrust of revolted masses and perhaps an internal compromise between opposites.
I you wait, you have your answer.
Here it comes from the same LO member that gives the other answer:
” Zelda_Zbak wrote:
Where did LO comrades call?
I don’t think they were calling for anything special. And that it has no particular meaning. Besides, what did you expect them to call? ”
Well, it is “nothing special”, then, there is no call.
Is just a movement that has politically upset all the country and abroad. The masses entering into the political arena and fighting hard as it is difficult to remember such another exemple.
A turning point or the beginning of the end of a long decline of the fighting spirit of workers and poors in France. An encouragement for working class fight all over the world.
I have found italiens, german comrades in the saturday demo who welcomed ‘this nothing special push’ and were demonstrating with us. They should be wrong, of course…
In fact, it is “nothing” for these people who denies any worth, ‘explains’ in the most negative way, every step forward of the masses .
The only ‘nothing’ is where they are, at the bottom of the blind pit of sectarianism.
Well it is not so important, these people since a decade doesn’t do but to go further inside that pit, no one occupies of them albeit me perhaps. But what a waist to see good comrades lost in such an awfull pit of sectarianism, dogmatism, contempt for the masses.
The problem is that there are many of them not only in that party but in others that call themselves “marxists”, “leninists”, “trotskists” “comunists” to the point they have totally ruined those words.
After that, they are surprised that some desoriented parts of the masses turn to the extreme right or that many more ignored and mistrutsted them. They deserved it well.
The only ones who have had a decent attitude has been Mélenchonites with their limits and libertarian communists (the best anars) with their own defects and beeing so few.
It has been more than four weeks that this has began and the extreme right is loosing ground in conditions that they could make a hold up of the whole thing. That’s a good thing and the merit of the masses that won’t be fooled and the work of the few left comunists inside the movement.
But if we lost, and in the end, by way of elections or by an enourmous abstention that gives her the power and this magnificent movement of the poor layers of french society falls in the pockets of RN or MLPen it would be the exclusive fault of Unions, CGT in first place and of the sectarian policy of all the left in France except the ones I have mentioned before.
This is not yet clear, there is some fatigue but the spirit remains good, and layers of the working class and students are joining, that is our unique hope.
We should wait at least till the 14 with theUnion’s “day of action” coming from the ones who has betrayed the gilet jaunes from the begining. That’s the problem, but perhaps a bottom wave coming from rank and file will decide all.
The demo in Nantes
The slogans and writtings say: “Macron demission”
“Every thing is ours, Let’s share”
“For the same diplom, same fees for every one. No to discrimination” Student slogan.
“Angry Proletarians. Rise the wages”
“The House of the People”
“People wants to live, not to survive. Macron clear the way”
Demonstrators try to talk with the CRS to unlock the situation and continu peacefully the demo.
Provocation by the Prefecture generates fights between demonstrators and anti riot police who throughs gases and flash balls into the demo.
After some time demonstrators regroup themselves in center Nantes.
This is quite the scenario that has happened in every demo in France yesterday. Peacefull demos provoqued by the police with some fights, not much, to create a climate against the “nothing special” (as sectarians call it) movement of the Gilets Jaunes.
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I would like to have some coments coming from british comrades to have an idea of the impact of the whole movement in France, that is: Gilets Jaunes, Unions, partys, coming from the different political tendancies (right, center, left) because people here demands of our international impact and the international press …. we do not trust it much.
The government is under the pressure of bosses that, after the police contention of the Gilets Jaunes almost everywhere, they are pushing it to liquidate every blocade around the country.
Till now the polices forces just permitted what is called “barrages filtrants” (filter barriers) that slow the trafic circulation or, in some times and depending in the “rapport de forces” (balance of power?) becomes real blocades.
But after their succes not allowing the gilets jaunes to enter Champs Elysées or other places, the bosses feel that there could be a more strong push and finish with one of the most popular actions of the Gilets Jaunes: openning the toll barriers and slow down the trafic circulation, stopping for some time raffineries, ports etc.
They have then make a public demand to Macron to “put an end to the unacceptable blockages in the French economy”.
Every one is running to catch in good terms the 14th that will show what will be the answer of the rank and file of workers.
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This morning, I returned to my usual blockage location.
The yellow vests, a group of about thirty people who guard the premises and block in front of a refinery, mostly pensioners and unemployed people, all very poor, were debating more than ever.
The usual morning question is whether or not the roadblocks are maintained elsewhere and whether or not the police attack them.
We learned on the Internet that the Chanas toll roadblock on the A6 was burned down by colleagues following a CRS charge.
Thus, under orders from the Prefecture in order to obey the injunctions of MEDEF (the French employers’ union) to clear all the blocking points, free entrance in the roadtolls and action points scattered everywhere.
But, given the very unorganized nature and the limited contact between the action points, we continued on other topics.
Very quickly the question of the “yellow vest proposals” came up in the palestra and there were divergent opinions.
Some have, of course, advanced income increases, the return of the ISF (wealth tax, abolished by Macron) and a greater organization of yellow jackets. Although this last proposal did not receive support, there is a very resistant feeling to any type of organization, the salary proposals were very well received, except by a newcomer, with all the air of a MLPen supporter who wanted us to swallow his “Citizen Initiative Referendum” (RIC) which does not differ much from the MLP proposal of “Popular Initiative Referendum”.
He was politely sent to “see elsewhere if it was raining” (a popular formula to send away someone) with arguments that he could not counter and even left him pensive and we turned him ours back and continued to argue about the need for the “concrete”, the “what we have or do not have at the end of the month” the other questions were sent at a time when we would have a force strong enough to overthrow the entire current political scaffolding.
He didn’t stay long, and we continued our daily tasks without tiring too much the buddies because we have to know how to balance the propaganda. The ones who doesn’t know this and only talk propaganda fails the goal always.
This did not prevent me from thinking that if a group of left-wing activists (and in this case any left party or trade union) could have done a very simple job, in a very receptive environment, for obvious demands that totally leave right-wing and far-right people on the margins.
But no, there’s never anyone there.
The PCF Vénissieux sings the praises of the movement… but I have not yet seen one of their militants in the demonstrations or in the roadblocks. LO makes lightning passages, with one or two activists wearing their slogans… and leaving in an hour or so. The anarchists send two youngers who pretend to be journalists of radio Canuts (their radio) but they only listen, look a little doubtful, a little bit apart, disguised in black from head to toe their distinctive sign… like all the sectarians identifiables from afar.
Good guys, by the way, but on a roadblock you have to be in it, do the job like one of the group and take advantage of the discussions that will inevitably appear, to advance the good ideas with the language and ways of the audience present.
This ABC of propaganda and agitation they seem not to know it and wander around like souls in pain, not in the middle of the yellow vests but around.
When the importance of the date of the 14th, the day of action of the C.G.T. was brought forward, there was an almost unanimous cry of rejection of the trade unions on the part of these pensioners, proletarians and poor people who are well aware of all the betrayals of the CGT as well as its last one; the abandonment of the truckers’ strike which would have put the government in a very difficult situation because they can quickly block all the activity of the country which operates on the “all by road”.
This is the result of years of betrayals and compromises with the bourgeoisie. What always amazes me is how the extreme right, which sends its militants, has not been able to take the lead in this movement and remains isolated.
Naturally, one day the left and the far left together will claim “their role in the Gilet Jaunes uprising” and then make us pass like slanderers when we will refresh them their memory… but what I tell you about what I have seen today, I have seen and seen again since the 17th. The only left-wing people who are there in their own way are a few from France Insoumise and they too are not doing well the job even if Mélenchon pushed all of them to do the work.
A gap has been created between the class fighting generations and we should work hard to fill it up.
First reactions to Macron’s anouncements. Comments between parentesis.
These are extracts from the pro Macron paper Le Monde.
100 euros increase in salaries at the Smic level; (In fact he has said that for the bosses it would be no charge at all. So he will give with a hand and take by taxes the same amount. It is a treachery but a political retrieval)
Exemption from the CSG increase for pensioners earning less than 2,000 euros per month; (This is a real retrieval. Pensioners were furious with him because he has taken their money to supress the ISF (Tax on fortunes)
Overtime paid “without taxes and charges”; Today, much of the overtimes is just not pay at all in mosts of companies.
The payment of a “year-end bonus” to employees by “all employers who can”, without taxes or charges; ( This is a mockery. “the employers who can” should not be much…This is even politically stupid and not a mesure at all. At any moment a boss can make a bonus “if he likes to”)
Fight against tax evasion: the managers of large French companies will have to pay “their taxes in France”; (quite vage and easely forgotten if the mouvement stpos)
Taxation in France of large companies making profits in France, an allusion to the taxation of GAFAs (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple). (If this is put in application, it is very doubtful because of retaliation coming from the US, it would be a mesure in the war between capitalists groups and imperialisms)
The first answers get by these journalists are: (we cannot have a broader perspective because of the nearess of these anouncements, will see friday and saturday)
To no avail. It (Macron and his anouncements) has often been greeted with disappointment by the “yellow vests” interviewed on television sets or in occupied areas in several regions. While some recognize “gestures”, they consider them “insufficient” or “incomplete” to stop the fight.
However, one of the figures of the “yellow vests”, the Breton Jacline Mouraud, called for a “truce” because “there are advances, an open door”. This spokesperson for the “free yellow vests”, a collective considered more moderate, said:
“Now we have to get out of this crisis[because] we can’t spend the rest of our lives on roundabouts.” (This is propaganda prose and a try to give to that lady, a bourgeoise put forward by the press and ignored by the rank and file gilets jaunes an important rol she has not)
But for others, there is no question of withdrawing because “Macron did not take the measure of what was happening”, according to Pierre-Gaël Laveder, a demonstrator in Montceau-les-Mines (Saône-et-Loire) who watched the presidential address with 60 other comrades.
“Every announcement was booed and the first reaction was,’They are laughing at ourselves.'”
Just after the speech, many protesters announced their determination to continue the blockades, including roundabouts, and called for an act 5 of mobilization on Saturday, December 15 throughout France.
This should be the general mood, but we must wait till friday/saturday to know, because this speech is aimed to defuse the CGT demo that can bring to the movement the working ckass that is unionised.
Students are right now in exams process and many of them won’t loss it. This is also a question in the ongoing movement.
Yesterday some blocades were assaulted by the police but this tendance it seems to have veen stopped for the moment not to provoque the gilets jaunes.
Well, it is not a 100 euros rise but a comptable trick that is beeing exposed publicly even by papers as Le Parisien.
Here is the explanation https://framavox.org/d/4qWpQEUf/on-ne-l-che-rien- (in french but translatable with the web’s instruments.)
In fact it is only 20 euros more and nothing else till the end of his term!
It will provoque, it is provoquing an uproar as Macron and Phillipe, his Prime Sinister knows the formula.
How desperates they must be to cook up such stupid moves…
Mélenchon, quite justly has rejected the deception and called for an “Act Five” demo saturday. He is far in advance of his own troops.
He has win 8 points in public surveys and M.l.Pen only a little one.
The far right has lost any grip in the movement. As it was so clear to forsee.
With more than 147 lycées in the fight today, and Universities finishing it’s exams period, and some ones already occupied there comes hard times for Macron, Martinez chief of the CGT attacked by a series of local federations.
I do not imagine, albeit repression, what can now Macron do, divisions in their governement, not one of their moves that have succeded, it is not far from beeing expelled by the masses.
This is going to mount very quickly and very high till saturday next. We will have some movement in perspective.
Otherwise, some Gilets Jaunes are organizing themselves in some places, again a good step forward.
On ne lâche rien! = We don’t give up anything!
Nox we have a terrorist attack in Strassbourg…
This comes in the right time for the govenrment that fails every move he made and is hanging on a thread . Before this Castaner, the Interior Sinister has said what the press is saying today “police has been diverted from terrorist threat to gilets jaunes ‘violence’…He was almost asking the fondamentalists to come ans help him.
This attack wad made by a fondamentalist that was chequed in the S file (terrorist file. But this file has degrees and he was not in the most dangerous list).
This man has been searched by the police, the same day of the attack for his particpation in a crime. He was not found but he knows that the police was looking for him.
Is this a terorrist attack or just a criminal case, or a mix of both?
Os course, the press is creating a big fuss to drown with that man the Gilets Jaunes.
We shall see what comes from all this, but surely the press campaign aim the persones, the majority, who are for a pacific demo next saturday.
The case is somewhat suspect, you do not push a “file S” to desperation without consequences and you do no fail such arrests.
The press is reporting that in the gilets jaunes blogs “there are many ‘complotists theories” People, correctly, distrust the press, the govenrment and some departments of the police… and the CRS of course.
The government and the press are linking the still nott clear “terrorist assault” xith gilets jaunes that would had permitted this crime “because they distract and tire police forces from the terrorist survey and fight”.
This is totally preposterous not only because the polices that hurt and injure the Gilet Jaunes are ,not the same that prosecute, survey or stop terrorists (I do not see a simple ‘flic” cop doing a complex work of anti-terorism) but also because the police is multiform and the ones that could be tired “working” a day in a week, saturdays can rest the whole week. In Blocades and other points of meeting there are fex policement of the least qualified grade, very calmly sitting in their cars and annoying themselves and not at all tiring in the least.
Of course, with all these elements and “iunfoirmation” coming from the governement telling that the man cried Ahllah Akbar” and taking this as only prouve that is an islamic attack, there are some people that is writting in Internet that it is a “soup” coming from the government.
This false move from people that knows that the government should take any mesure to defuse the Gilets Jaunes movement, has given a golld oportunity to the government to talk about the victims, their famillies and so on.
In fact, the man in on the run till now, he was search not for a pasion crime as indicated first but for a Hold Up. It was described as a young “cery nice” but that could not stand that anyone touch his beliefs, (exactly the type wanted to provoque it and expect the worst).
The police search him this morning for the hold up, he “miss him” (?) and, not with a machine gun but with a pistol he kills three and injured nine.
Than he took a taxi, tell the driver (as he told afterwards) what he has done but against the military, was driven to a neighbourhood, and there he fight again the police. One against a lot and still running.
The only “proof” of the gouvernement are witnesses of the first shooting sauing that the man cried Allah Akbar! …which is very light proof because a man that goes in an amock run will cry his beliefs, more if he is a fervent believer as it was. There is no revendication to this moment and I am very doubtful that the ones who has been defeated by the Syrian Army and are in the verge of total colapse have the possibility or evven the moral to make that kind of terrorist attacks.
It is the act of a delinquant with strong whahabit islamic beliefs that finds itself in a desperate situation and act deseperately, in my humble opinino and not an planified, deliberate terrorist assault.
In the blocades, there was no one who believes in the government and this flood of propaganda involving the Gilet Jaunes is not believed at all. There are some arabs in the blocade and nobody has reproached nothing. Well in a blocade there are stauch supporters and activists of the Gilets Jaunes, but it is still an indication.
Some quick news this morning:
All right and extreme right politicians of some importance including Marine Le Pen (notknow what babbles Dupont Agnan but he is of little importance today) are calling for a stop to the saturday’s demo. Mélenchon haven’t still yet said a word but one of their MP group, C. Autain has declared that the government’s move to through the responsability of the attack on Gilets Jaunes was “obscene”.
The man is still on the run with 700 policemen searching him and knowing the neighbourghood where he is! Are they beeing retained because it is the interest of the government to stirr up that kind of tension and media advantage? From Castagner, everything is possible.
Some CGT federations are calling for an unlimited strike and there were more than 400 colleges in strike yesterday.
One coment: Marine le Pen’s call to stop saturday’s demo reflets exactly her lost of grip on the movement. As Wauquiez from LR (Les republicains) she quits because of bosses’ pressure and because the movement is going clearly to the left even if “the left” plays an awfull rol.
For the ones who want to have a global vision of what is happening the bes book available are the souvenirs of Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray and his “Histoire de la Commune de 1871” (don’t know if translated in english), it’s four first chapters.
It is amasing to note the similitudes (naturally with the diferences makes by time and class numbers) between the developpement of the movement and of it’s political conciousness but even more of the attitude of the left (or liberals in that time and even ‘socialists’). Our sociological rapport is far better, the movement is not only in`Paris but in whole France, but our concious niveau is more backwards then in 1871, not much but back.
Perhaps my impression in wrong, I am not theorician, but read it and if you see that I am wrong, please correct me.
In my opinion every real revolution will goes the path of La Commune when there is no bolshevik party giding. Lost in the beginning, marching as a blind man but who knows where to go, stuborn and adamant in his will, acompanied by a lot of “untrue friends” and putting them them one by one by his own march because it’s way is diferent to the ones who “counsel” him or pretend to be their representatives, falling in visible, avoidable obstacles and finally (this could or could not be) taking the skies by assault.
These are amazing reports. I can confirm from my own experience that these struggles are having an impact among ordinary people in Britain and there is quite a lot of admiration for the way ‘the French’ stand up for themselves against their government.
Though here it is being reported as a battle pretty much around fuel prices, with the wider ecomomic drivers not getting as much attention. The contrast with Britain, where politics is riven by the conflict within the main party of the ruling class over Brexit, is striking. A hard-line imperial nationalist element want to sever ties with Europe just as the French working class is moving and providing inspiration to working class people here.
There is a common problem here and in France of the political prostration before capital of the trade unions, dominated by the bureaucracy that has politically surrendered to neoliberalism.
The working class needs its mass organisations but in this period the bureaucracy has been able to use the resources of the working class’ own organisations against its struggles.
The revolt in France shows one possible way that the bureaucratic stranglehold can be overcome and a new leadership created. We cannot junk the unions, but we cannot tolerate the bureaucracy’s crimes. It may take a social explosion outside the unions to reconquer the unions for working class struggle.
In fact, fuel prices has been settled down with the first setback of the government. Bernard Phillipe, prime minister retreat the new taxes on fuel after the 24 th november demo and even we saw the prices go down by miracle…
But the movement of gilets jaunes at the same time had just found a new momentum and the question of taxes become the questions of revenues, wages, pensions, subsidies, ISF and a lot of political issues forwarded by the Gilets Jaunes.
This turning point, was the natural continuation coming from the class nature of participants, mainly poor working class, pensionist, quite few little bosses not to say almost inexistent after the firsts days. Less working ‘aristocracy’ (the ones with a sure job and earning more or less decent salaries.), less working class that works even if in bad conditions and with poor wages (the most).
The Gilets Jaunes movement is mostly composed essentially of proletarians with their needs.
and from their needs comes their demands.
It should be said abroad that this mouvement that looks so much like as the movement that went on in the process of forming the Commune de Paris 1871 has passed from taxes and fuel to Macron demission!, Rises in wages and pensions financed by the bosses! (not by taxes that is the same as financed by ourselves) MPs payed as a qualified worker, no life retirement pension for the président de la république, RIC Référendum d’Initiative Citoyenne (quite a mélenchonist proposal in chracter, not the Le Pen stuff) and other political issues.
Here and there, there are 42 demands, or 25 demands and some intents to have permanent representatives of the gilets jaunes but this has been more difficult because anyone is disposed to tolerate “chiefs”, “bosses” or any kind of (bourgeois) politiciens going to a sort of complet volontary participation that works well till today with no heads anywhere. Sometimes there are “commisssions” that prepare “actions” and then just fade in tthe air…but this is also a danger if perspectives went exhausted by lack of force enough to impose them.
The Unions are retaining the other categories but there are leaks inside and growing. Tomorrow will see. Some of us will go with our gilets jaunes to test the reception of the unionized workers and try to make the “convergeance” the fusion of both movement.
The gilets jaunes needs imperatively to join an afterwards, not to be separated from the ones who cas stop the country Their strengh and our fighting methods will do the trick.
This question of wealth distribution, of the part from workers in the national wealth was put by this logical condition on the table.
The Macron’s answer with some little mesures had tried to respond to this fact. To no avail, people just shrug their elbows ans send him to the devil.
Yesterday’s and today’s amalgame of terorisme (that is not quite clear if it is terorism or an amok run because of fear of the police after a crime) and gilet jaunes is fading.
The call of Marine Le Pen not to demonstrate saturday next, against the overwhelming reject of the gilets jaunes to stop the movement and her reject of any rising of the minimum wage (smic) creates a big gap between MLP and us, and makes it very easy to counter her supports (that are not seen since weeks at least where I am). They have nothing to say and only the most backwards layers are still talking about “taxes” but submerged by “rises in revenues” propaganda.
Today, in a blocade there was some tiredness, a danger that is looming because a fight must go forward and we lack what workers in entreprises have, the power to stop all, but there was no one willing to stop, on the contrary, there were people insisting for harder mesures.
This, of course, is part of the variegate nature of the movement and can be only words speaked in one place, but the tendancy is clear, going to the left, searching it’s way, there are more discussions and some people are more attentive to some explanations.
But also there is some hooliganism in some places, others try to organise but fail, it is absolutely necesary that the worker’s join and make an all out movement of the whole working class of France.
then it should be an oportunity to stablish “coordinations” that is the know form here of councils, to co-ordonate the gilets jaunes-workers ans students fight. This can be or not, don’t forget there is no left party doing the job albeit the mélenchonists, but they are not a leninist party in the least and is formed mainly by petit-bourgeois thet can support gilets jaunes as well as elections, ecologie demos and others things.
In my view this is a beginning that will leave a strong print in the conciousness of the whole working class in France and abroad. We are forced to go ahead, but the succes is not totally garanteed because on the combined treason of Unions’s dirigents and the whole left, whatever they say. There has been weeks I haven’t seen more than one activist, and he cames for one hours and disapear (some are in annual congress and routine should not be disturbed) Do they know the notion of ‘priority’?.
Of course they support “from the lips out” as we said, but why they don’t call, why are they not present in blocades and meeting points?
Tomorrow as said, there will be the CGT demo with a one day strike, railroad workers will be on strike for sure, others I have not yet knowledge. This “temps fort” (strong time) should be a test both on the real mobilisation of the CGT that could put a lot of people in the streets when they want to, and of the reception and fusions possibilties of a fusion of all the three movement that can decide of the bourgeois government of Macron.
This call, via the France Insoumise forum, has been made.
Everyone to the workers’ demonstration!
Today, is in the balance the fate of the yellow vest movement, the upcoming elections, the long-term future for the people and workers living in France.
If the three components of social anger cannot be brought together and if we cannot pull together and push the Macron government, the weaknesses already identified will become greater and a magnificent social movement of exemplary combativeness will run out of steam and allow the transition to a fatal electoral reaction.
It is very likely that everything will be decided today.
The Yellow Vests after weeks in the field need the support of the students but above all a combative and general strike of the employees.
One of the major difficulties comes from the betrayal of the CGT’s dirigents, which decided to make this “day of action” pushed from the bottom and fearing the risk of a wider internal dispute.
But his heart is not there and that is a very important factor for a strike movement after so many years of passivity, defeats, days of action without tomorrow, open betrayals, a lack of fighting spirit. You cannot lead the masses if they feel the dirigents are not totally engaged in the fight.
The left also played a catastrophic role, distinguished at the very beginning by their open or masked, indirect opposition (they said it was a movement of small bosses, corporatist, led by the extreme right according to these fools, all confused at first) and then, once the evidence was established (a movement of the proletarians fundamentally and the poorest) they turned in words, except the direction of the CGT, but remained outside the movement, leaving the movement without direction or orientation.
Only JL Mélenchon was truly on the left, both of the movement ( he is speaking of a ‘citizen’s insurrection’) and of his own troops, who in some places are more concerned with elections than with the social movement, forgetting priorities.
Such a movement needs both the militants of the left, of the whole left, as well as their watchwords for the specific demands of the proletarians who compose it.
It is a question of being in the roadblocks to see that the vast majority of them are pensioners with small pensions, the unemployed, the excluded, the “part-time”, in short, the most militants are proletarians in the true sense of the word. There are also other categories, but all of them, by the nature of their needs, have led the movement to the left, towards wage demands, living conditions, for the restoration of the tax on fortune (ISF) etc.
So the need created the organ, the movement and its own demands and in doing so put aside the right and the far right almost “naturally”.
Recently, the right-wing politician Wauquiez, who had pretended to “support the GJ movement”, left the ship under the orders of the boards of directors of the major capitalist groups, the true masters of the country.
Marine Le Pen, who still deceives some, first opposed the increase in the minimum wage (smic) because it supposedly “embarrassed the small bosses” (the same ones who drive big cars and earn much more than their workers always on the small portion and most of them are subsidiaries of large groups or live off them) and finally she united her voice with those who, under various pretexts, want us to stop demonstrating.
The masks have fallen off.
But the movement itself is beginning to show some weaknesses and the sustained propaganda of macronism (worse than the Pravda of the Soviet bureaucrats) as the objective help of stupid terrorist reactionaries, but above all the lack of prospects to demonstrate always without being able to make the decisive move (because demonstrating every Saturday can only tire the movement) forces us to unite with employees and students to succeed.
This is the meaning of the call to demonstrate today with the CGT with our yellow vests to try to bring together all the social anger and thus maintain our entire movement.
The unifying slogans are therefore “Macron resignation!” and “Increase in salaries, pensions and retirement!”, “Restoration of ISF!”, “All together!”.
Come in large numbers, the future of the movement and so many things depend on it!
Today, Place Jean Macé, 11.30 am. The I.F. will be there.
The CGT demo was not what it should be.
In Lyon there were no more than 3 000 people, a third of them students and no more than 20 gilets jaunes.
The joinning of the threee movements don’t succed and the demo in Paris I could not have an stimation of the number of people attending. The press just don’t say a word, friends don’t know, nobody knows but, when in Lyon there are not many in Paris and Marseille is just a little better.
CGT is paying cash the attitude of Martinez and his friends in the direction of the Union. Workers hacen’t strike, people doesn’t come to the demo.
Of course, they will tell that “people has not follow our watchwords, they don’t mobilise” ad the like.
Will see what happens tomorrow but, the offensive on wages, pensions and susidies and to make a one whole movement of the entire classe is founding a renowed opposition between gilets jaunes helped by the treasonous policy of the dirigents of the CGT.
This is not good news because the gilets jaunes movement can easely went on another way, with no left activists but a few ones, and tendancies from other ones to put de RIC (réferendum of citizens initiative) in front line as revendication.
It seems that no one takes the mesure of the dangers implicit in the no participation of the working class that could stop the production. The proletarian in blocades cannot be enough and if this continue, we risk to make aeternal demos with no perspective other than repression tireness, confusion and demoralisation.
With other we have lived the strike of the unenployed and it went by the same path but in a leser scale. At the end we demonstrate at 20 and finally the movement stops because everyone feels tired and it was of no use.
Perhaps my perception is biaised by fatigue, and tomorrow things will take a better road.
Today forth saturday’s demo in Lyon. Till yet not news from Marseille or Paris and I cannot in the least trust the papers or the TV. They give the numbers in the morning to scale down the movement.
In Lyon then, as it is usual with this movement, at noon there were two hundreds and at four o’clock in the afternoon roughly the same number of demonstrators than las week.
Some fascist in the demo (I have been told of 10 of them). I councel not to occupy ourselves on these people or only if they create problems. But the “balance of power” was definitevely against this “Identitaires” a much more radical group of the extrême right.
When you tell those “identitaires” that Marine Le Pen abandonned the movement and it is against rises in wages and to demonstrate, they just answer “we do not vote for her” a way to say (as gauchistes said in the same wway) we are more to the right then her. It is a little group mostly here in Lyon, à sort of “gauchisme” of the extrême-right.
The demo till I came back was peacefull with some, very few throughs of lacrymogene gas and a try of policemen to “nassed” (put in a police “sac”) the whole demo.
But it couldn’t suceed, we passed through and, as always, went around the streets of center Lyon crying our watchwords and receiving the claxoning of support and the cheers of people making there Christmas purchases.
What was new is the presence of a COBAS Union delegation coming from ‘near’ Milan, Italy. They were somewhat flabergasted with the form and nature of the movement.
They expected a very left and organized demo, but when they were told that “fascists” were in they couldn’t believe their ears. And when they find that no one distributed leaflets, also.
But, with some help of comrades they distributed theirs own leaflets, take contact with left comrades (the absolute majority of the demo) and have a good discusion with other people to explain the differences between cinque stelle (5 stars itazlian movement) and gilets jaunes movement. It was not the same, they declared.
They promise to send documents to confort their arguments on the subject which is totally needed to fight some “intellectuals” (that plague) who are saying that the gilets jaunes would transform itself in a sort of 5 stars thing.
Of couse there is a risk, and the fault will be of the left partys and the Unions which have not invested with their activist the movement nor called like partys, as usual.
There were as always, France Insoumise people, some LO people a little bit more than others saturdays but not what they can do, some NPA, between them a remarquable woman worker always in the fight, some anarchists, not much, mainly “normal” people leaning to the left.
As in Lyon the tactics of thje police were to tend “une nasse” a “fish net” in Gare Saint Lazare and other place as Opera, to contrôle and take prisoner the whole group of demonstrators that were prent in the place.
This is illegal but they don’t bother. After some time, they let pass, one by one the demonstrators after thorouh search of any kind od lenses, seum against gases, masks, clubs or anything they fins ‘suspect’ in their own and exclusive criteria.
Even Gilets Jaunes, the clothin piece, cas confiscated or they tell the person that he or she could not pas with a Gilet Jaune. They show himm/her a dustbin where to through the yellow vest.
This abusive order, not to be contested on grounds of “rebellion against a lawinforced officer” has been deturned by demonstrators as well as they could to pass and continue the demo.
It was a cold and rainy day and from Gare Saint Lazare they managed to go to Opera where they could see another “nasse” envolving the gilets jaunes who have gathered there. They couldn’t, to the knowledge of my correspondent to freed themselves and pass a lot of time sitting around not having the possibility to join the demo.
They went then to République where there were no riot police and they could gathered some 3000 people and march demonstrating to the center of Paris arriving near Opera and then going to rue de Rivoli and place de la Concorde in the center of Paris..
There were no lumpens nor extreme right thugs and the demo could march peacefully on Paris streets. There was no “casse” breaking or hooliganism and the demo went by the streets of Paris reaping the cheers and claxons of the public. .
Partys were there, NPA very strongly represented and with a good organisation, Besancennot present, some LO people, CNT, PCF even some CGT unionized workers with their flags and sstickers. France Insoumise people but without flags nor leaflets nor stickers, tactic that has been criticized some time already,
To resume a good demo with a good spirit and good atmosphere.
My corresponent returned happy and willing to continue the movement.
But next saturday there is a four days holyday for Christmas and workers and demonstrators should have some rest. There are discusions of whether it is convinient to make a 6th journey next saturday or just make a pause and wait till January.
In Marseille my correspondent has the flu! and she cannot went to the demo. But there were, as in Paris, less people in the streets. Perhaps the weather, perhaps some tiredness.
A pause could be a danger but to break Christmas Holydays could backfire also.
We shall see what it is the will of gilets jaunes next week.
I have this from La Marseillaise paper of Marseille on the demo today.
” In dispersed order, but also sometimes together, Yellow Vests, high school students, groups of citizens of the city, unions and progressive political organizations, beat the pavement this Saturday in Marseille.
Several thousand demonstrators, 2000 according to the Prefecture, in the streets of Marseille and no major incidents (12 arrests, according to a police source). This big day of mobilization where anger converged in the street kept its promises, despite some misunderstandings, in the paths followed by both sides, all anxious not to be assimilated to possible breakers acting on the margins of processions.
All had answered the call of the Yellow Vests, the fifteen progressive political and trade union organisations (Attac, the CGT, Solidaires, the New Anti-Capitalist Party, the FSU, the French Communist Party, the rebellious France), – behind a banner “against the high cost of living and for the increase in wages, pensions and social minima” -, high schools and citizen groups, such as the one on 5 November – Noailles en colère, have beaten the pavement to express their dissatisfaction with the policies currently being pursued in the country and in Marseille.
Leaving the Old Port in the early afternoon, completely sealed off by the police forces, in the direction of the Prefecture, the procession joined on the Canebière, some 200 people demonstrating against the substandard housing as well as about 100 high school students, on their way to join the demo of trade unions and progressive political organisations.”
Some today’s videos and photos taken from facebook friend’s accounts.
“Nasse” at Opera Paris
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2099771820069262&set=pcb.2099775096735601&type=3&theater It reads “the riot police (CRS) arrives faster in lycées that the replacements for teachers on sick leave”
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2099771850069259&set=pcb.2099775096735601&type=3&theater it reads “Together for the conquest of a better future”