France

Two months of “Gilets Jaunes”

Submitted by AWL on 9 January, 2019 - 11:32 Author: Michael Elms
gilets jaunes

On Saturday 5 January, an estimated 50,000 demonstrators came onto the streets of France to take part in “Act VIII”, the eighth national protest of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) movement. In Paris, a bloc of working¬class women in yellow jackets came to the fore and broke police encirclements. The movement has shrunk since “Act I” on 17 November 2018, which saw an estimated 300,000 on the streets, but it has defied predictions that it would die off during the Christmas¬New Year break.

The Daily Mail of the left

Submitted by AWL on 10 October, 2018 - 8:51 Author: Andrew Coates
Morning Star front page

[The French daily] Le Monde recently published a long article on what they call the “anti-immigrant/anti-migrant” left”: a “left” in favour of national sovereignty and closing borders.

The French daily cites the German Aufstehen movement of Sahra Wagenknecht, the “ambiguities” of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise, and Danish Labour and ‘populist’ left forces.

Failures of left rule boosted far right

Submitted by SJW on 21 June, 2018 - 12:52 Author: Michael Elms

In 1981, a radical left government took power in France. Heading up a coalition of the Socialist and Communist Parties, the new President, Francois Mitterrand ,brought the left in from the cold and promised to “Change Life, Here and Now”.

While the workers cheered, many capitalists quailed: the Franc crashed at the news.

The election seemed to herald social changes in France and beyond, and for some, the first steps towards establishing socialism in the West.

Macron: next big protest 2 June

Submitted by SJW on 30 May, 2018 - 10:59 Author: Michael Elms
French protest

On 26 May, the mass mobilisations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-social reforms continued, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in demonstrations billed as a “popular tide”.

Macron wants to cut jobs on the rails, close rural branch lines, break up the state rail company and make it easier for employers in the transport sector to hire workers on insecure, low-paid contracts. These reforms come alongside a raft of other attacks, on education and health in particular.

Macron struggle boosts Fête

Submitted by SJW on 22 May, 2018 - 7:36 Author: Michael Elms
Macron struggle boosts Fête

Over the long Whit weekend of 19-21 May, the French socialist group Lutte Ouvrière holds their annual festival, the Fête de Lutte Ouvrière.

In the context of the massive strike movement sweeping France as workers and students struggle against President Macron’s wide-ranging anti-social reforms, this year the Fête was larger than usual.

Letter: Developing slowly, but we can oust Macron

Submitted by SJW on 9 May, 2018 - 1:13 Author: Olivier Delbeke

The article on May Day Strikes in France (Solidarity 468) contains a slip on the nature of 1 May in France.

Since Marshal Pétain in 1941, 1 May has been a Festival of Labour, in place of the International Workers’ Day of struggle, and this remained the case at Liberation. It is a paid day off. Workers’ class consciousness can be measured by whether or not they attend the union demonstrations on 1 May, which is a day of paid leave.

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