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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:53 am

An epochal battle against the French pension reform
3 days ago


The strikes underway in France against the pension reform, which began on December 5, have not stopped for the holidays and do not show signs of stopping, making this mobilization the longest in French history since that of May '68. The unions, starting from the CGT at the head of the movement followed by Force Ouvrière, FSU, Solidaires, Unef and UNL, have just announced that they want to continue the protests in an even more obstinate way and proclaimed a new large-scale inter-professional strike, starting from January 9.

So what is the content of this reform that is provoking such fierce protests and is being challenged with such determination?

The reform

The French pension system is a contribution system (pensions are proportional to the contributions paid during a career) to pay (the contributions of active workers collectively pay current pensions in a logic of intergenerational solidarity). The system has different pension schemes depending on whether the worker belongs to the private or public sector, whether he is an employee or self-employed; to this are added the so-called "special schemes" (for workers of the SNCF railway company, of the company that manages the RATP metro, of the Comédie française, of the Banque de France; for workers in the electricity and gas industries; miners, sailors etc.). In total there are 42 regimes: schemes with their own rules that adapt to the specificities of the different professional categories. The pension is accessed through a calculation of the worked quarters and to decide the amount the average of the best 25 years of career for the private individual and of the last 6 months for the public is considered. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%. The retirement age is 62 years (between 52 and 57 for some workers belonging to special schemes) and the amount of the pension is on average 1,422 euros gross per month. This guarantees a good standard of living, certified by the fact that the risk of poverty for retirees in France is the lowest in Europe with 7%.

The government wants to reform this differentiated system and replace it with a single points system. The pretext would be the complexity of management, the supposed "privileges" enjoyed by certain categories of workers compared to others and the deficit that would weigh on "social security". However, it is not difficult to guess - and this is the heart of the criticism of the unions and the left - that we would see, perhaps, a simplification of the system, but at the price of a sure leveling down of all pensions.

Technically, the government proposes a reform project in which workers' pension contributions are converted into retirement points and allocated according to the same formula for all. The Delevoye report (from the name of the reform rapporteur, now resigned) proposes as an example in its first preparatory estimates to assign one point for every 10 euros of contributions and then to convert them according to a single calculation rule, which would be 5.50 euros of pension per year every 10 points. Therefore, a worker accumulates points during his career in an individual account, and it is based on what his pension will eventually be calculated when he stops working. Depending on the value of the point, the "virtual capital" accumulated will be transformed into a pension thanks to a "conversion coefficient". The new system would apply from those born in 1975, and although the retirement age remains at 62, to encourage the French to work longer, the so-called "equilibrium age" at 64 is introduced accompanied by a mechanism of bonus-malus: from 1 January 2022, a malus will be applied to those who retire before this age; on the contrary, those who choose to continue working will be entitled to a 5% bonus.

The criticisms of the unions

For unions and the left, such a system will bring about a significant drop in the amount of pensions since the special schemes will be abolished and the calculation of the amounts modified, spreading it over the entire working career (thus not anchoring it to the best years of salary). Furthermore, the question of the value of the points, crucial for determining the amounts, remains vague: who will manage the system? In what way and according to what criteria? What checks? Few certainties, but apparently this value will be modifiable every year on the basis of parameters mainly related to financial discipline - in order to make it possible to adjust the value of the points according to budget needs.

This would prevent the worker from predicting with certainty the amount, which could only be assessed on the eve of retirement. An element of precariousness already present in the labor code following the recent reform in the anti-worker sense (the Loi Travail, which sparked great protests between 2016 and 2018) is therefore introduced, also at the level of social security. A precariousness and uncertainty that would incite us to work longer in the hope of being able to perceive a satisfactory amount. The worker would sail on sight without the security of a sufficient pension, the unions fear that this means having to work longer for a pension that is anyway lower than today. To reinforce this dark picture, he does not reassure the "golden rule" announced in the first communications from the project editor, which would provide for a freeze on the resources of the pension system at its current levels, 14% of GDP. The problem is that the number of retirees will increase by more than a third by 2050. If the system's earnings are frozen, the level of pensions will therefore be adjusted downwards.

Precisely this precariousness and uncertainty - associated however with the certainty that we want to limit the part of national wealth destined for pensions and therefore for the welfare state - would be the viable to the total opening of the pension system to private insurance and investment funds, paving the way way to an increasingly capitalized system (USA model of pension funds), perfect vehicle for breaking up the solidarity relationships implicit in the current collective system for the distribution and thus fueling the financial markets of French workers' savings. Proof would be, according to opponents, the position of the main investment financial companies in support of the reform.

The concerns of the unions are far from clear: in Sweden and Germany, where a similar points system has been introduced for years, poverty has exploded among the oldest and the reform has pushed a large part of the population to always work longer to ensure a less than decent standard of living. Only in Belgium did a large social movement manage in 2018 to prevent the launch of a similar reform in the country, although they had to swallow the toad of the lengthening of the retirement age from 62 to 67 years. An international trend is therefore at work, that of structural reforms, that is, anti-social counter-reforms, similar for each European country also because they are coordinated by the EU Commission with its clear and persistent pro-austerity orientations.

The state of mobilizations and the sense of struggle

Cutting future pensions, lengthening the retirement age, preparing for the privatization of the pension system. In the face of this offensive, the strike initially proclaimed by the workers of the railways and public transport - who are precisely among the beneficiaries of one of the special regimes called to disappear with the reform - has spread like wildfire: teachers, nurses, post office workers and workers of the state electricity company, refinery workers, dock workers. And despite the profound discomforts caused by the almost total paralysis of the means of transport and the large refineries now blocked, the overwhelming majority public opinion continues to support the reasons for the protest.

Here then is that all the attention is turned to 9 January, the fourth day of the national general strike in which French workers will reiterate their request for a pure and simple withdrawal of the reform. A request that a government deaf to popular and extremist discontent has so far opposed the usual dose of police violence and the media the usual ridicule and verbal anti-union violence of the omnipresent liberal commentators. The intent is clear, a new social regression is preparing to favor capitalists and large enterprises, through yet another attack on the welfare state and popular classes, after the attack on the labor code and the elimination of the wealth on the great wealth .

The opposition to the pension reform is a sign of the growing social opposition against this capital strategy which heavily penalizes the working classes. But beyond the social level, it is a furious political struggle that is underway: two models of society collide, the purely liberal one embodied by Macron, and the solidarity and social one embodied by the CGT. Macron is called to the test of what Tatcher did in the 1980s, if the strikers yield, all collective conquests will be sold off in favor of the interests of the large multinational groups and the bourgeoisie and Europe will sink even further into restoration; if the protesters win, given the centrality of a country like France, a reversal of trend in social power relations could occur,

Alberto Ferretti

Sources ... r#Echobox= 1575653056 ... 0190115-1c ... tc?fbclid= IwAR3Uzt94C-mlTFxH2mTsbqYmDZmdiJpxFFQxM58B4wk-obAtBCJq1lsO1Qk ... -francesi/ ... e-a-punti/ ... VLUhMnHHgQ

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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:55 pm

38th day of strike, 61st act of yellow vests: new day of mobilization on the street 11 Jan 2020, 10:55 Author: RT France

The national strike against pension reform begins its 38th day on January 11 and coincides with the 61st Saturday of mobilization of yellow vests. The Prime Minister promised concrete announcements the day before to resolve the social crisis.

Another big day of mobilization against the pension reform this January 11 at the call of the unions mobilized in Paris and in the region. The yellow vests open the ball of the parades at the end of the morning for the 61st consecutive Saturday of their protest movement . They must join the union processions at the beginning of the afternoon, mobilized against the pension reform.

From 11 a.m., the first yellow vests gathered in the capital, like Isabelle, a mason, who explains the reason for her presence.

Alain, owner of PME and Yellow Vest, for his part came from Clermont-Ferrand to demonstrate in Paris. Every Saturday, he goes to a different city to demonstrate. Its purpose: to inform.

The demonstrators then took over the Place de la Nation, before the afternoon procession at the call of the inter-union (CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, FSU, Solidaires and youth organizations), which does not hear not release the pressure to get the government project withdrawn.

Among several cities in France, the demonstrators gathered in particular in Toulouse, where they were numerous at the meeting.

The day before, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe promised announcements, as of January 11, in the form of “concrete proposals” in writing which could constitute “the basis of a compromise” on the much-contested reform of the pension system, after 38 strike days. Read also POLIT'MAG - Pension reform: "signs of openness"?

Among other controversial measures, the government is eagerly awaited on the pivotal age or “age of equilibrium”, which all unions, including the CFDT, oppose. This age of balance, which should gradually encourage the French to leave at 64 in 2027, under penalty of being inflicted a penalty, is 39 times in the bill sent late January 9 to social partners. Other aspects of the reform are disputed, such as the introduction of a point system. In addition, opponents of the bill suspect that it ultimately aims to favor a funded system for the benefit of pension funds over the existing pay-as-you-go system.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed "the determination of the government" to present this reform project on January 24 to the Council of Ministers and to submit it to the examination in public session at the National Assembly starting on February 17 so that it can be adopted before summer.

The street, for its part, maintains the pressure. Thus, on January 9, between 452,000 (according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior) and one million demonstrators (according to Le Nombre Jaune , an organization close to the Yellow Vests) marched through the streets of France during a day of mobilization marked by significant tensions. Among other punching actions, the CGT called for maintaining the blocking of fuel shipments from refineries until January 16 inclusive, and notably filed a “renewable blocking” strike in two Banque de France centers, in Ile- de-France and Hauts-de-France, which handle more than a quarter of the country's banknotes.

En savoir plus sur RT France : ... ifications ... ifications
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:28 pm

Strikers' press conference: "If the government is firm, we will be ten times firmer than it!" "
Called by the RATP-SNCF coordination, elected officials, political figures and the media joined the strikers on Monday evening in front of the Gare du Nord for a press conference aimed at denouncing the repression which is beating down on the movement. United in the face of government violence, the strikers remain firm: “we will go as far as withdrawal! "


Tuesday January 14

Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

Violence against strikers reached a level unseen last week since the start of the movement. In depots, repression has almost become commonplace: strikers are hit and gassed there almost daily from 4:30 a.m. while they are holding pickets. In the street, too, the violence of the repression has jumped since the demonstration on January 9, which saw the bludgeons, gassings and arrests reach an unprecedented number and level of aggressiveness.

In reaction to the incredible violence of the repression, and faced with the silence on the subject of the trade union confederations which apparently give priority to negotiations with the Elysée rather than to their repressed basic militants, the strikers of the SNCF-RATP coordination, building on the success of the press conference on vows on December 31, therefore called a press conference to denounce this repression. At the meeting, some political figures - such as Nathalie Arthaud from Lutte Ouvrière, Alexis Corbières and Raquel Garrido from the FI, Esther Benbassa from EEVL, Almamy Kanouté from the Justice and Truth Committee for Adama, Madjid Messaoudène, elected from the city of Saint Denis, or even Benjamin du POID (some who could not be freed, like Olivier Besancenot, who nevertheless transmitted his support) -, many strikers, and many media: LCI BFM CNEWS RT France, Radio FPP, AFP , and of course Permanent Revolution whose direct is always available .

A success for those who, as Anasse Kazib, a railway worker in the Bourget sector, intends to "make the government pay politically" for this strategy of repression.

Violence, beatings, the wounded. Police impunity. Role of the police in society. Striker, strike of the working classes.

It is thus to testify to the terrible violence which they undergo in an increased way since the beginning of the movement that the strikers are the first to seize the microphone after the introduction of Anasse. Alongside Irene - UNSA delegate and one of the figures of the movement at the RATP - when she was violently clubbed at the end of the demonstration for trying to recover her laptop , Damien opens this turn to speak.

Having himself suffered numerous blows and one night in GAV, he denounces this savage violence of the police. It is by warmly thanking the independent journalist who filmed the scene, and by recalling the importance of always filming the acts of violence, that he ends his intervention. A thank you which is indeed very important since it is on the basis of this video that Irene was able to file a complaint.

This illustrates the great fear of the government and the Ministry of the Interior, that fear which has made journalists the privileged targets of repression and arrests during the last demonstrations , taking into account their possible judicial utility as well as their power. media - that of revealing without filtering or cutting the extent of the violence of the police, and its role of armed force of the government, ready to subdue any dispute.

Violence against social movements of which the Yellow Vests have been particularly victims since November 17, 2018, with today, many disheveled, mutilated, injured, but also a deceased person, Zineb Redouane, killed by a tear gas grenade launched into his apartment . A violence which there already, was at the height of the fear provoked by the movement for the government, as reminded elsewhere by yellow vests present in the assembly this evening.

It is thus to a police accustomed to repress, and sure of their role that the strikers today confront each other. A police adept at provocations, which displays coming to bludgeon, gas, strike. This is what Ahmed, a machinist at the Flanders depot, denounces, by recounting the police presence, sometimes colossal, every morning during the pickets with strong reinforcements of threats and baton blows . "We are just strikers who defend our pensions!" They're the thugs! They are the ones who come in the morning to break our heads! "

Ahmed, a machinist on strike at the Flanders depot. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

The violent repression that has swept through social movements has seen a particular accentuation in recent months. Despite this, it is nothing new or inherent in this government, as recalled Elsa, activist of the NPA, referring to the death of Rémi Fraisse, - killed, under a socialist government, by a tear gas canister during a demonstration in October 2014 - for which the responsible gendarme received a dismissal confirmed just a few days ago . It is the nature of the police, as the armed arm of a government, as an instrument for maintaining the domination of one class over another, which appears in the demonstration of the repression of social movements, but also of classes popular in general.

This is the message that Almamy Kanouté of the Justice and Truth committee for Adama also brought, which recalls the literally murderous reality of police violence in working-class neighborhoods, and total impunity from justice. It is against this system as a whole, and the violence with which it treats and kills the working classes, that it calls to rise. "I would like our anger, we can add it up, we can multiply it" he begins before denouncing the union leadership "I would not even go and argue with these irresponsible politicians!" Even just arguing for me is not possible, because they don't respect us. Every day they spit on us! " .

A very applauded intervention, during which the activist affirms his support for the strike and the place of the suburbs at the heart of it "the suburbs are there, when you go to the Vitry depot!" » Before ending with the mention of the declaration of the father of Cédric Chouviat dead, like Adama Traoré, of a violent police arrest : " It was very clear: "Macron, I declare war on you". And all together we must declare war on Macron, his team and those who are accomplices of everything that is happening! "

Almamy Kanouté, from the Justice and Truth Committee for Adama. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

Against this government which has only repression to respond to the dispute, "We will go until withdrawal! "

Thus, like the Almamy Kanouté intervention not only against pension reform, but especially against a government and a system that massacres the working classes, shatters the lives of workers, and destroys the future of young people. generations, that striking workers are fighting in this already historic movement that started on December 5, 2019. It is also in this sense that political figures are present, like Esther Benbassa who came to affirm ecological support "We, environmentalists, we are with you ", or France Insoumise who, through Alexis Corbière, salutes " the leaders and activists of high quality " which the social movement needs, who are revealing themselves in this struggle.

It is in this same perspective to declare war on a government which has only the repression to respond to the social anger that intervenes Clément, railroad worker of the technicentre of Chatillon. After recounting the repression and violence he too suffered alongside his striking colleagues and comrades (some of whom remain injured today after several weeks), it was on the strength of the movement and the pressure that he exercises on the government he supports: "The only weapon they have is to suppress us!" And if they repress us, it is because we are not far from victory! "

Clément, striking railway worker at the Chatillon technicentre. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

A victory which strikers have been working night and day for more than 40 days, at their workplaces, in demonstrations and in actions, putting themselves in danger, faced with police repression, but also employer repression "essential in every strike movement " , which strikes down " on all those who militate from the start " as Anasse underlines to present Hani, striker threatened with sanction of the Belliard bus depot .

In the context of this ongoing conflict with the government, and with a view to keeping the movement going until victory, it is for the union leadership that it intervenes: "There is money in the boxes! We need this money to hold on! If this money has not been released for these movements, when is it going to be released? "

Money thus stands out as the “sinews of war” , after more than 40 days of renewable for many strikers, but also the treacherous policy of the union leaderships which, in addition to not filling the strike funds, do not offer any real plan to win by extending the strike, remain silent in the face of repression, and rush to Matignon to negotiate and define with the government the way of implementing the cut of 12 billion euros on our pensions !

For Nathalie Arthaud, herself a striker since December 5, "it is by the balance of power that we will change our destiny" . A fate that the workers are not ready to hand over to the government, according to the representative of Lutte Ouvrière, even less following the latest announcements by Edouard Phillipe, believing that "with cinema of the pivotal age, it has handed over fuel! " In the machine of social anger.

It is on the assessment drawn up by Anasse that this press conference ends which gave itself the aim of "marking these moments of repression that we lived", "not to let pass. " This is for the activist, " the role of the police, her role of coercion of a bourgeois state " , which is highlighted through repression, the role of breaker of the police institution strike, arrives at the depots at 3am to prevent the strikers from blocking the buses, as she sawed the bars of refineries to unblock them by force in previous movements, and whose role has always been to "serve the bourgeois". It is by affirming that "if the government is firm, we will be ten times firmer than it!" ", That he ends, recalling all the same " that playing too much with repression, it can backfire on them ... "

Anasse Kazib, striker railway worker at Le Bourget. Credits: O Phil des Contrastes

Thus, after having played the decay strategy, it would seem that the government is now putting on repression, and fierce repression, to weaken the movement and make strikers and demonstrators return to their homes or to work. If the method of giving up strikers through fear does not seem to work more than that of isolating them, exhausting them or even promising them corporatist arrangements, this recourse to the police also proves to bring very little result to the government on the side of public opinion, since support for the strike has further increased by 5 points according to an Ifop poll from Sunday !

The strikers' strategy of occupying the media space to make their own voices heard and the meaning they give to their struggle seems on the contrary to be much more profitable. This is the message of a fight for the whole of society, the future of the youngest, against the permanent casualization of the working classes, and for a better world, which is able to reach the whole of the population, whose support is only increasing in response to the scandalous violence that is sweeping down the movement. ... fermes-que

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Leave it to the Trots, never seen a union they liked. As though the sea of CGT banners mean nothing...Well, so far this action has been more effective at mobilizing workers than the Yellow Vests who for all their bravery & tenacity are not well organized.
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:19 pm

The CGT Chimie supports "hard" actions and calls to continue!
It will be understood, the government (and the CFDT) have a fairly flexible appreciation of what "violence" means. For Macron, his ministers and Laurent Berger, the violence is not on the side of the repressive forces which club the strikers and beat the demonstrators on the ground.

Corinne Rozenn

monday january 20

For those who hold the strike, have been in solidarity with the conflict from the start and refuse the masquerade of the so-called "negotiations" with the government, the story is very different.

Thus the National Federation of Chemical Industries, which includes in particular (but not exclusively) refiners of the CGT, calls to maintain pressure and continue the strike in the coming days. From now on, it is no longer the only "pensions" aspect that is at the heart of the fight, but the political dimension of the confrontation against a government that the FNIC describes as " dictatorship ".


As such, the chemists call to " impact the economy and to" continue to make the country ungovernable ", by joining forces" with those who cut the current during the vows pronounced two months before the municipal elections, those who shout their revolt in a Parisian theater or at the headquarters of a trade union confederation which has chosen sides ”. Will understand who wants.


Meanwhile, the FNIC calls to maintain the strike on January 22, 23 and 24, National Interprofessional Day. ... poursuivre

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The Trots not castigating CGT? Knock me down with a feather, clever Treavor.

There have been continuing massive strike and marches in France, but coverage in the capitalist press has been minimal, to say the least.
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:50 pm

France: 7th National Strike Against Marcon's Pension Reform

Protests are getting bigger as more people understand that the French government's reform proposal will require people to work longer for a full pension.


France’s General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Unitary Federation of Trade Unions (FSU) and other organizations called on citizens to join the 51st day of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform.

Today, the seventh national strike will include torch marches that will be held in Paris and 150 smaller cities and communes

"Our determination remains intact," Yves Veyrier, head of the Force Ouvriere union, said ahead of a street march in Paris. "We have weeks, months, of protest ahead of us."

Macron wants to merge 42 different pension schemes, each with their own levels of contributions and benefits, into a single system.​​​​​​​ His proposal, however, not only has to do with the pension system.​​​​​​​
The dignity of health workers in #France against the neoliberal reforms of Macron are an example that should not be lost sight of.

Demonstrations nearly daily yet none of the Western media find it newsworthy ��

Please RT #GreveGenerale #Greve24janvier2020 #Retraites

— ����Amreen Nazanin Rajavi(Amy) (@Amreen__Rizvi) January 24, 2020
The French president wants to introduce labor flexibilization, for he thinks that greater job mobility will prompt a more flexible labor market and a more internationally competitive economy.

Under pressure from the massive protests, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe yielded in the attempt to increase the minimum retirement age for a full pension by two years to 64, although he still insists the reform must result in a balanced pension budget by 2027.

That small concession did not convince the French, for they understand that the Macron's reform will require people to work longer for a full pension.

"I still believe in our fight," said Karine, a citizen who carried a banner reading 'We Shall Overcome'.​​​​​​​ ... -0001.html

French Workers Cut Power to World's Largest Food market


Rungis food market covers 234 hectares and generates revenues of US$10 billion a year.

France’s General Confederation of Labour (CGT) Tuesday announced that the French energy workers protesting against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform cut power to Rungis, the world's largest wholesale fresh food market located near Paris.


France: Macron Evacuated From Parisian Theater Due to Protests

"The power source to Rungis is cut this morning," the local CGT energy branch said, referring to a food market that covers 234 hectares and generates revenues of US$10 billion a year.

A spokeswoman for Rungis International Market said emergency power kicked in when the outage began at 5:30 (local time) and that there was no disruption to trade.

The power outage, which lasted 90 minutes, also halted services on the Orlyval rail shuttle serving Orly, the French capital's second busiest airport.

Today's action demonstrates the growing determination of French left-wing unions to defend workers' rights against Macron's intransigence. Rennes
"Dinan. Le service radiologie de l’hôpital est en grève (Ouest-France)"

7:51 AM - Jan 21, 2020
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"Dinan: the hospital's radiology department is on strike in Ouest, France."

Although the country is facing a wave of street strikes and protests, which has not stopped since the beginning of December, the French president does not back down in his pension system reform project, which distributes the burden of change unequally between employers and workers.

In turn, the reform of the pension system, which would be the biggest change to the system since World War II, is appreciated by the French government as the opportunity to introduce rules that generate greater "flexibility" of the labor force, which implies a deterioration of working conditions.

Besides opposing these claims, left-wing unions continue to denounce that workers will have to work longer to obtain a full pension. ... -0001.html
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:07 pm

Bordeaux. Police outside examination rooms to force students to compose
For the fourth time at François Mauriac high school in Bordeaux, high school students and teachers blocked the holding of E3C tests. Still as determined despite pressure from the rectorate and the repression, the day was trivialized!

Jahan Lutz

Wednesday January 29

Photo credit: Révolution Permanente Bordeaux

Since 20 January, the rectorate and the administration of the school have been making every effort to maintain the E3C tests. But that's without counting on the great challenge they encountered in youth and teachers all over France. On the one hand there are the teachers, AED and CPE on strike against the reform of the Bac which destroys the value of the diploma nationally to better establish the selection, but also against the pension reform: they refuse to take the tests of E3C which destroy Public Education and the profession of teacher. On the other hand, many high school students also refuse to take their tests, having nothing to do with having a score of 0 when in any case the Bac will offer them no outlet. It's together, teachers and high school students,

The Ministry of National Education and the Rectorate do not hesitate to use the most vile methods to suppress and bring everyone into line. At François Mauriac high school in Bordeaux, the police prevented the teachers and high school students who were mobilized from entering. In addition, around twenty police officers were on the premises of the school, in front of the examination rooms. In these conditions it is obviously impossible to pass tests normally, some students returned there in tears, under the threat of the police officers who forced them to return. To break the teachers' strike, the administration wanted staff to replace them, but the teachers also declared a strike. The school therefore recruited retirees to watch the tests! After the tests were completed, the students remained locked in the school.

If such a repressive device is put in place, it is good that there are behind interests for the government to apply its reform and above all, to try to extinguish any spark that could arouse youth and take it out en masse in the street. In addition, establishing an increasingly harsh selection to enter higher education is a priority for the dominant classes insofar as the public university is privatized. A privatization which will therefore only select children from the wealthy classes, which will increasingly exclude the working classes and the children of workers since the costs of studying will increase rapidly. On the Parcoursup platform, high school students can only have access to certain training and information by paying fees which can amount to hundreds of euros. In the same way, we learned this morning, during the block at François Mauriac high school, that a student was threatened by the rectorate to have their aid grants withdrawn for not having gone to his E3C tests.

High school students and teachers demand the immediate withdrawal of the E3C tests because they are unfair and unequal. A strong and radical conscience is in germ in a youth who sees no future in the society that is offered to him. If she refuses to take the E3C tests, it is because she is well aware that their Baccalaureate will only offer them precarious jobs on an exploding job market. It is this perspective, the organization of youth with workers, that poses today the mobilization of high school students with their teachers. ... a-composer

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France is in the most revolutionary state that it has enjoyed since 1968 but if ya watch US media there ain't nothing going on.
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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:13 pm

Second wave of protests against pension reform in France

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the entry into force of pension reform. In response, Philippe Martinez , leader of the French General Labor Confederation (CGT) , called for a new general strike.

Second wave of protests against pension reform in France“The actions of the government are outrageous, the reaction to them will follow,” Martinez said .

Recall that the French workers managed to exclude from the reform an increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64 years. However, the authorities did not completely abolish the reform. The authorities are going to introduce a “point system”, due to which a number of professions may lose certain privileges.

Mass protests in France yielded results. The authorities made concessions, but did not completely retreat from their plans. It is possible that the remaining amendments will infringe on the rights of not all French. Obviously, the authorities hope that the protests will not be so massive and that the road to anti-popular reforms will be open.

Consequently, the decisive factor determining the victory of the working people will be the number of protests.

Over the past two mountains, pension reforms have been implemented in a number of countries . However, only the French managed to win. When will the same protests begin in Russia? Why our citizens do not go out to protest on the streets?

The problem of developing a labor and protest movement in Russia has long been a problem. Until the working people of Russia learn to defend their rights and interests, the power of capital will take away some social guarantees and rights after others and shift all the problems and waste of capital onto the shoulders of the working people. ... iv-pensio/

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Red May: in France and not only

“Forbidden to forbid!”

In May 2018, 50 years have passed since the largest-scale mass student (and not only student) performances in France since the postwar period, called “Red May”. Some experts considered Red May the beginning of a revolution, which is probably an exaggeration.

I must say a few words about the history of Red May. In 1958, an acute political crisis erupted in France, for which the reasons were the war in Algeria and the difficult situation in the economy. The crisis showed the inefficiency of the Fourth Republic established after World War II in France. And in an extraordinary presidential election, the French preferred a strong national leader, one of the largest political figures of the 20th century, Charles de Gaulle (1890 - 1970).

De Gaulle in 1958

De Gaulle is usually called "General de Gaulle." And during the war years, he called himself that. But in fact, he was not a general. A few days before the surrender of France in 1940, the commander of the tank division, Colonel de Gaulle, was introduced to the general rank. But they did not have time to sign an order to confer this title. Therefore, after the war, de Gaulle refused to receive a general's pension and received the retired colonel's pension. He did not hesitate to become an imposter in order to serve the Fatherland, but he considered it impossible for himself to receive an increased pension. Although for his services to the country, he undoubtedly deserved the title of Marshal of France.

In June 1940, Colonel de Gaulle flew by plane to England and spoke on the English radio with an appeal to the French people. In this appeal, de Gaulle urged the French to continue the struggle against the Nazi invaders. Soon the “Fighting France” movement took shape, with de Gaulle as its leader. In September 1941, the USSR recognized the leadership of the movement by the French government and established diplomatic relations with it. After the liberation of France, de Gaulle led the French government for some time, but did not fit into the political system and resigned. Until 1958, he led the life of a pensioner. But the political crisis of 1958 forced him to return to big politics.

In the 1950s, France was one of the most disadvantaged European countries. The long colonial war in Indochina ended in defeat, and after it the colonial war in Algeria began. French governments have been changing all the time. The economic situation was dysfunctional.

On May 13, 1958, the commander of the French forces in Algeria, General Jacques Salan (1899 - 1984), made a statement about the need to create a strong government headed by a strong leader capable of crushing the uprising in Algeria and solving the country's problems. Otherwise, General Salan promised to move troops to Paris. Salan proposed de Gaulle to the post of head of a strong government.

On June 1, 1958, de Gaulle was appointed Prime Minister of France. In September, a referendum is held on changes to the Constitution that made the president independent of parliament. On December 21, 1958, a presidential election is held, in which de Gaulle receives 75% of the vote.

Having become president, de Gaulle was by no means going to implement the plans of the military. Instead of harshly crushing the uprising in Algeria, he began negotiations ending in independence for Algeria. Other former French colonies gained independence.

SLA poster

In response to this, the right-wing military creates an underground terrorist organization SLA. SLA bombing with a large number of victims. And on de Gaulle himself they organized 15 assassination attempts, but to no avail ...

In foreign policy, de Gaulle began to pursue a policy independent of the United States. On February 13, 1960, France made the first test of its own nuclear bomb. On February 4, 1965, France announced its refusal to use the dollar in international settlements and switched to settlements under the gold standard. And a year later, on February 21, 1966, France withdrew from the NATO military organization.

At the same time, de Gaulle began to strengthen relations with the Soviet Union. In June 1966, de Gaulle visited the USSR, after which Soviet-French cooperation in various fields acquired a new dynamism.
In the 1960s, the French economy developed effectively. The standard of living of the population has grown markedly. However, by 1967, economic growth slowed down, unemployment began to grow, which caused the natural discontent of the working class. However, “Red May” was started not by workers, but by students. And not in France, but in Italy.

On February 2, 1968, mass student performances began in Italy. These speeches were led by both ultra-right and ultra-left student organizations. The leader of the speeches was the neo-fascist Stefano Della Chiaye (born 1936). Students occupied educational buildings and established self-government. March 1, there were large-scale clashes with the police, resulting in hundreds of wounded. However, then the ultra-right and ultra-left students quarreled with each other, which contributed to the normalization of the situation.

In the second half of March, student performances spilled over to France, where they became much more widespread.

There are 13 universities in Paris and its suburbs. Student unrest began on March 22 at the University of 10 in the suburbs of Paris, Nanterre, then they spread to the main university of France Sorbonne. On March 29, the University Action Movement was created at a rally in the Sorbonne. Students stopped attending lectures by weak teachers and began to invite lecturers from among serious specialists. On April 30, classes at Nanterre were discontinued, and on May 3 at the Sorbonne. On May 7, all the universities of Paris went on strike.
Students put forward a large set of bright slogans. For instance:

Be realistic, demand the impossible!
It is forbidden to forbid!
Death to the cows! (policemen are called cows in France)
Forget everything you have been taught, start dreaming!
Workers of all countries - enjoy!
Sex is great!
Orgasm - here and now!
Reformism is masochism!
Twice two - not four anymore!
You can not fall in love with the growth of social production!
The mole of history crawled out at the Sorbonne!
Structures for people, not people for structures!
Do not make a revolution in ties!

Student speeches were supported by many representatives of the intelligentsia, such as philosophers and writers Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980) and Simone de Beauvoir (1908 - 1986), philosophers Gilles Deleuze (1925 - 1995), Felix Guattari (1930 - 1992), Michel Foucault (1926 - 1984), sociologist Andre Gorz (1923 - 2007), writers Natalie Sarrot (1900 - 1999), Francoise Sagan (1935 - 2004), Francois Moriac (1885 - 1970), singers Joe Dasein (1935 - 1980) and Leo Ferre (1916 - 1993).


Following the student performances, workers began to perform. On May 1, 100 thousand people took to the streets.

On May 13, trade unions declared a general strike, after which workers began to seize enterprises and establish workers' self-government. On May 20, more than 10 million people went on strike in France. However, many leaders of labor unions, including communists, were quite skeptical of student appearances. “Kids are raging with fat,” they said.

On May 5, the first barricades appeared in Paris. On May 8, President de Gaulle announced that he would not succumb to violence, categorically refused to negotiate with students and ordered the police to be thrown against them.

Refined intellectual Prime Minister Georges Pompidou (1911 - 1974), who began negotiations with participants in the speeches, acted more flexibly. He invited de Gaulle to meet the demands of students and began negotiations with their leaders. At the same time, he began negotiations with union leaders and employers, which culminated in the signing of the Grenelle Agreements on May 25, which contained serious concessions to workers' demands. After this, the wave of strikes gradually subsided. In late May, the French authorities intensified. On May 30, de Gaulle announced the dissolution of parliament and the holding of new elections. On the same day, supporters of de Gaulle held a 100 thousandth demonstration.


On June 16, police seized the Sorbonne and other student-controlled universities. "Red May" is over. In the parliamentary elections that took place at the end of June, de Gaulle's supporters won.
What did students dislike in French life in the 1960s? After all, most of the students came from very wealthy families. And after graduation, they had every chance of getting a well-paid job.

It seems that the main reason for the dissatisfaction of French students was the inevitability of turning young intellectuals into the cogs of large corporations, designed to solve problems that were not set by themselves. A generation has grown up that did not inspire the role of privileged market slaves: they wanted to build a new world. Regarding how this world will be, the ideas of the rebellious students were rather vague, but they definitely did not like the current production and other relations in French society.

The student movement did not have a single ideology. In the minds of its participants was a mess in which the ideas of Karl Marx (1818 - 1883), Lev Davydovich Trotsky (1879 - 1940), Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Ernesto Che Guevara (1928 - 1967), Herbert Marcuse (1898) - 1979), Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980), Franz Fanon (1925 - 1961), Guy Debord (1931 - 1994). This mixture is called "goshism." Students did not really understand what they want, but they knew what they did not want.

A significant part of the participants in student unrest reacted negatively to the Soviet Union. The People's Republic of China and Chairman Mao personally attracted much more sympathy.


The leadership of the French Communist Party (its leader in those years was Comrade Waldeck Rocher (1905 - 1983)) took a rather cautious attitude towards student speeches. On the one hand, the PCF supported the demands of students and workers, but on the other hand, it restrained excessively revolutionary outbursts, believing that the revolution was premature and unpromising at the present time. In late May and early June, the Communist Party partially supported de Gaulle's measures aimed at restoring order. In a private conversation with Soviet diplomats, Yuri Vasilievich Dubinin (1930 - 2013), Waldeck Roche said:“We went through very difficult days. There was a moment when power evaporated. It was possible to freely enter both the Champs Elysees and the television center. But we well understood that this would be a gamble and none of the leadership of the PCF even thought of such a step. ”

Some left-wing figures also sharply criticized students, in particular, the prominent Italian film director Pierre Paolo Pazolini (1922 - 1975), who held communist views. He said that rebellion itself was fruitless and that the revolution should be done in an organized manner, under the leadership of the Communist Party. And from spontaneous student performances nothing but ugliness will not work.

Students ...

About the events of Red May, the writer, member of the PCF Robert Merle (1908 - 2004) wrote the novel "Behind the Glass", published in 1970. Robert Merle sympathizes with the rebellious students, but shows their isolation from real life and the real problems that people live.

I believe that the events of 1968 should be regarded as one of the symptoms of the slowly but steadily impending general crisis of capitalism. Against the "System" was a completely prosperous part of society. Speeches showed that students are not inspired by work for the sole purpose of earning more money. The inherent motivation for capitalism to work began to give serious disruptions.

One should not exaggerate the sustainability of this trend: many Red May activists, having matured and started a family, fit in well with bourgeois society. But in their youth, they were able to doubt his values. And this is a lot.

The defeat of Red May was inevitable. You cannot live on vague emotions for a long time. We need a serious revolutionary theory, which the participants in the speeches did not have. And we need organization and discipline, which students also did not have. For gouging is characteristic of students in all countries of the world. They could learn organization and discipline only from the workers.

... and unions

Against the backdrop of memories of the events of 1968, the question involuntarily raises the question of why we do not see the mass student opposition movement in modern Russia. Although the life prospects of Russian students are far less rosy than the prospects of French students in 1968. But the modern Russian student for the most part does not want to remake this world, he hopes to adapt to it. Someone will probably succeed, but for the most part they will have to eke out a miserable existence.

Sooner or later, but the Russian student is aware of this. And then the Russian political landscape may acquire a different color.

Red May showed that students are a big force. But the power is chaotic and unreasonable. Both left and right can saddle this force (which largely happened in Italy in 1968). But, unfortunately, the Russian leftist organizations do not pay due attention to working with students. Which, of course, cannot be approved.

Student performances put forward bright talented leaders. Their fates were different. Daniel Cohn-Bendit (born 1945) became one of the leaders of the Green Party, Alain Crivin (born 1941) led a small Trotsky party, Andre Glucksman (1937 - 2015), read the Gulag Archipelago, and then broke up with the left, Daniel Bensaid (1946 - 2010), which continued to collaborate with the Trotskyists, became a major sociologist.
Student unrest in 1968 took place not only in France, but also in other countries, both capitalist (USA, Germany, Italy) and the countries of the Soviet bloc (Czechoslovakia, Poland). It should not be forgotten that the uncles in Czechoslovakia and Poland were conducted by adult uncles who knew well what they wanted.

One year after the events of 1968, French President General de Gaulle resigned at his own request. The new president was Georges Pompidou. He continued the policy of de Gaulle, but was less authoritarian and more open to dialogue with the public. The next president, Valerie Giscard d Estin (born 1926), significantly changed his foreign policy, turning to face the United States and NATO, while maintaining good relations with the USSR.

Youth protests in Greece: police guard the bank

The defeat of Red May led to a surge in leftist terrorism. In Germany, the Red Army Faction emerged, led by Andreas Baader (1943 - 1977) and Ulrika Meinkoff (1934 - 1976). In Italy, the Red Brigades appeared, led by Renato Curcio (born 1941). In 1978, the Red Brigades kidnapped and killed the outstanding statesman Aldo Moro (1916 - 1978). In the US, the Black Panthers intensified. And another American terrorist organization, the Symbionist Liberation Army, kidnapped the billionaire’s granddaughter Patricia Hurst (born 1954). The kidnapped granddaughter (apparently under pressure) decided to join the terrorists and participated in several terrorist acts. After the capture, she was sentenced to 7 years in prison, but was soon released. Active terrorist activity was launched by the Irish Republican Army.

In a word, to the delight of the US CIA, the terrorists did everything possible to discredit leftist ideas. What they were helped by the Khmer Rouge, who ruled in Cambodia in 1975 - 1979.

In the 1970s, the “right turn” begins in the world, the peak of which is the events of the early 1990s in the USSR. And the Western left, in a considerable part, switched from the struggle against capitalism to the protection of the rights of sexual minorities. What caused a surprise in their traditional social base - the working class.

Apparently, the right turn is over. Leftist ideas around the world are gaining strength again. What inspires optimism.

S.V. Bagotsky

Editor’s Note: Supporters of the left idea have no right to lose optimism, because the whole course of history brings humanity to the line, beyond which is either the victory of the left idea or the destruction of the planet. Therefore, only the struggle for life lies ahead, in which progress must triumph. As for the mass student protests, modern examples of the chaotic rebellion, in which the "golden youth" took part, are also known. This refers to the events in Greece in 2008 . Many leftists were enthusiastic about them, including in Russia, but in reality this speech, ultimately, played into the hands of the bourgeoisie. ... -ne-tolko/

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"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: France

Post by blindpig » Mon May 11, 2020 1:25 pm

France had Covid-19 in November, hospital says after analysis of chest scans
Study finds person who had the disease 10 weeks earlier than the country detected cases
Contagion believed to have spread slowly until the end of February before accelerating rapidly

Holly Chik
Published: 9:38pm, 8 May, 2020

Medical staff in Mulhouse, where France first detected a spike in cases, transfer a patient to hospital. Photo: AFPMedical staff in Mulhouse, where France first detected a spike in cases, transfer a patient to hospital. Photo: AFP

Covid-19 cases in France can be dated back to as early as November 16, nearly 10 weeks before the country’s first confirmed cases of the disease were thought to have occurred, according to a French hospital.
The November case was identified by the hospital’s medical imaging department after carrying out a retrospective study on about 2,500 chest scans performed between November 1 and April 30.
The findings came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on countries to investigate pneumonia-like cases from late last year to get a clearer picture of how the new disease spread.
Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO expert in animal diseases, said at a press briefing on Friday that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 originates or spreads in bats and can spread among cats, although it remains unclear which animal may have transmitted the disease to humans, Bloomberg reported.

First known coronavirus case in France may trace back to December, doctors say

The global health body has previously said that establishing the animal of origin is key to preventing a zoonotic disease outbreak happening again. The timeline of the spread of the disease can also provide critical information about the viral genome and how it has evolved, which can be important for developing drugs to combat it.
In France, some cases were already in circulation in November, said Michel Schmitt, chief doctor of the medical imaging department at Albert Schweitzer Hospital in the town of Colmar in Alsace, near the border with Germany.
“The first case was noted in our centre on November 16,” said a press release published by the hospital on Thursday.

“[There was a] very slow progression of the pathology’s negative impact until the end of February, then a rapid increase in its impact, peaking on March 31.”

According to the doctor, the virus dispersed sporadically after the first case in mid-November, before accelerating during year-end events such as Christmas markets and family celebrations until the epidemic went full-blown after a religious gathering in the city of Mulhouse, about 40km (25 miles) south of Colmar, in the last week of February.
The hospital said it would collaborate with the French National Centre for Scientific Research to open an epidemiological investigation into its findings.
A peer-reviewed study published on Sunday had already pushed the date of the first known case in France back to December 27 – a 42-year-old man admitted to a Paris hospital with symptoms including cough, chest pain, headache and fever. He was thought to be connected to a person who travelled from China before the virus was identified, the WHO said.
France summons Chinese ambassador after virus comments spark outrage
15 Apr 2020

That discovery came after researchers tested stored respiratory samples of patients with influenza-like symptoms in December and January, said the peer-reviewed paper, published on ScienceDirect.
Before that study, France’s first confirmed cases had been identified on January 24 as two people who had travelled to Wuhan, the original epicentre of the outbreak in central China.
The first confirmed case of the infection in China is dated November 17, according to unpublished government data seen by the South China Morning Post. ... ysis-chest
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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