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    Brief report on the struggle in France

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    EricL

    Number of posts : 53
    Registration date : 2008-04-19

    Brief report on the struggle in France

    Post  EricL on Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:56 am

    Brief report on the struggle in France

    As have previous French governments Sarkozy has attacked the working class and dared it to respond. Beginning Thursday with a general strike called by the unions and left parties we will see that response.

    The government is attacking especially education and health with major layoffs and closing of hospitals. The response has been building especially in the schools. In the lycees (secondary schools) there has already been a large movement and there is talk of lyceens occupying the lycees after Thursday. As well there has been a call in the universities for an unlimited general strike starting Monday, Feb.2. There is total unity of students and faculty.

    In addition, in Guadeloupe there is an unlimited general strike since Thursday.

    The unions call for the strike is fairly tepid. However the NPA initiated a joint call that is far more offensive in tone and is, quite surprisingly, signed by many left parties ranging from mainly anarchist groups like Alternatives Libertarian to the French Communist Party. To achieve unity, the call states goals rather than demands but is, it seems to me, a step in the right direction. (See www.npa2009.org). I would be very interested in what others think.

    This is not the first time the French government has tried to take back working class conquests made in the ‘40’s 60’s and 70’s nor would it be the first time the government backed down if that occurs. But it is the first time this confrontation has occurred in the midst of such a drastic global crisis, in the context of growing mobilizations in many parts of Europe—Spain, Italy and Greece.

    What is missing is organization. As yet there are no real strike committees that can act as an alternative leadership to the unions and continue the struggle beyond Thursday. But there are efforts to build such committees. There is a public meeting in Paris Wednesday at 20:00, 26 Rue de La Banque which may discuss this.

    January 29 is the first step. Everyone is hoping there will be many more.

    Eric



    As have previous French governments Sarkozy has attacked the working class and dared it to respond. Beginning Thursday with a general strike called by the unions and left parties we will see that response.

    The government is attacking especially education and health with major layoffs and closing of hospitals. The response has been building especially in the schools. In the lycees (secondary schools) there has already been a large movement and there is talk of lyceens occupying the lycees after Thursday. As well there has been a call in the universities for an unlimited general strike starting Monday, Feb.2. There is total unity of students and faculty.

    In addition, in Guadeloupe there is an unlimited general strike since Thursday.

    The unions call for the strike is fairly tepid. However the NPA initiated a joint call that is far more offensive in tone and is, quite surprisingly, signed by many left parties ranging from mainly anarchist groups like Alternatives Libertarian to the French Communist Party. To achieve unity, the call states goals rather than demands but is, it seems to me, a step in the right direction. (See www.npa2009.org). I would be very interested in what others think.

    This is not the first time the French government has tried to take back working class conquests made in the ‘40’s 60’s and 70’s nor would it be the first time the government backed down if that occurs. But it is the first time this confrontation has occurred in the midst of such a drastic global crisis, in the context of growing mobilizations in many parts of Europe—Spain, Italy and Greece.

    What is missing is organization. As yet there are no real strike committees that can act as an alternative leadership to the unions and continue the struggle beyond Thursday. But there are efforts to build such committees. There is a public meeting in Paris Wednesday at 20:00, 26 Rue de La Banque which may discuss this.

    January 29 is the first step. Everyone is hoping there will be many more.

    Eric

    luxemburguista
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    Group : Alternativa Roja y Verde - Los Alternativos
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    Re: Brief report on the struggle in France

    Post  luxemburguista on Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:56 pm

    Workers Struggles Grow in France: Two Million on the Streets, Universities on Strike (send by Eric Lerner)

    The national general strike on Thursday, Jan 29 in France was a resounding success for the unions, left political parties and many other groups who called it, with some two million workers in the streets, equal to the largest of recent mobilizations. While in Paris the march of some 200,000 was not exceptionally large, the protests were very widespread, with major demonstrations in dozens of cities that have rarely seen such marches. Support for the strike in the opinion polls was high as well, with 70% of the French agreeing with the aims of the strike.

    In Paris, the demonstrators came mainly with the banners of the unions, with both the largest federations the CGT and the more leftist SUD being most in evidence. There were large numbers of professionals, health workers and social workers, marching in protest of the Sarkozy government's attacks on all public service sectors. The strike occurred against the background of the nearly two-week old unlimited general strike in Guadalupe, where the latest demonstration called out 65,000 people nearly 15% of the island's total population.

    Despite the protests, Sarkozy vowed to continue with his “reforms”, his word for his attacks on the public sector, which predated the economic crisis, but have only intensified since then.

    On Saturday, a national meeting was called to try to unify the many struggles of professionals in education, health, justice and social services. The Paris meeting was packed with 700 participants and filled the day with tales of the disastrous effects of the Sarkozy reforms in slashing budgets and attempting to roll back worker gains of past decades. The reforms reflected policies being implemented across Europe.

    However, when there were calls for action, including refusing to carry out unjust laws, those at the podium resisted. “Words are actions” protested one of the organizers of the event. In the end there was broad agreement only on the need to set up coordinating committees with representatives from all the professions. A few participants also called for broadening such committees to representing all those in the struggle, including workers in the private sector, students, undocumented immigrants and the unemployed.

    The confrontation with the government broadened on Monday, when professors voted to begin a national unlimited strike of all university and research institutions. Some 300 elected delegates from 74 universities, including a few student representatives, met at the Sorbonne University in Paris as the General Assembly of the National Coordination of the Universities. The delegates were elected for the meeting by the faculties –they were not union officials. They unanimously voted to extend to all institutions an unlimited strike which has already begun at Strasbourg University and some other campuses. The key demands of the strike were to roll back government decrees that would make graduate studies vastly more difficult, limiting them essentially to the wealthy, slashing enrollments, and greatly reducing the pay of new professors. The strike was also protesting the recently passed “loi LRU” which, under the pretext of giving individual universities autonomy, concentrated all powers in the hands of university directors, taking then way from the faculties.There was a general realization that the strike could only win if it gather the support of the students, and reached out to other parts of the educational system. The delegates agreed to adopt a demand to undo the Sarkozy “reforms” for primary and second school teachers. There was general agreement that mobilizing students, organizing an active strike with political meetings substituting for classes, was a priority. However, only a handful of students were delegates. The formula adopted for the next General Assembly, three faculty delegates and one student delegate per university, was also not the most welcoming for students, who,after all, vastly outnumber the faculty.

    The first key test of the strike will come Tuesday, the first day of the strike on most campuses, where support from the bulk of the faculty and students will become visible. A second key test will be on Thursday, with the first mass demonstrations. If the faculty can succeed in bringing in students and the broader community, the movement in the university may fan the flames of workers' protests throughout France.


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    Alternativa Roja y Verde - Los Alternativos
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    lucien

    Number of posts : 118
    Registration date : 2008-05-18

    Re: Brief report on the struggle in France

    Post  lucien on Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:37 am

    could you post it on http://socialist-blogs-news.blogspot.com/ please ?

    luxemburguista
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    Registration date : 2008-04-16

    Re: Brief report on the struggle in France

    Post  luxemburguista on Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:20 am

    Oui.
    Text in SB News
    And in Spanish (en castellano) in:
    http://www.luxemburgism.lautre.net/spip.php?article48&lang=es
    SALUD


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