In this SUBMEDIA report, we catch up with some of the recent developments in France, where the Nuit Debout movement is going strong, workers everywhere are going on strike, and a growing, decentralized movement is turning into a laboratory for innovative street fighting tactics. And to top it all off… Euro2016 has just started!
GENERAL STRIKE: DEFYING FRANCE’S STATE OF EMERGENCY.
via Ross Domoney on SUBMEDIA.. As the worlds media attention is focused on football violence in France: yesterday (14/06/16) Paris witnessed some of it’s worst political violence in decades as protesters defied the countries state of emergency and fought battles with heavily millitarized police units. Unions called for a general strike over the governments plans to change labour laws, making it easier for bosses to fire workers. The government refuses to back down as resistance grows across the country with unions calling for more strikes.
EN DIRECT – Premiers affrontements entre policiers et manifestants à Paris
Des affrontements entre les forces de l’ordre et des manifestants ayant dévié du trajet de la manifestation ont éclaté peu après le départ du cortège dans la capitale. Ce matin, Manuel Valls et François Hollande ont tous les deux réaffirmé leur détermination à faire adopter le texte.
Les affrontements continuent place de la Nation. Une journaliste du Monde a été témoin d’interpellations.
À Rennes, les manifestants bloquent à nouveau les trains
Selon la radio France Bleu Armorique, des manifestants ont envahi les voies ferroviaires. Le trafic SNCF a été interrompu, 4 TGV sont retardés et 4 TER ont été supprimés.
À Paris, la manifestation arrive place de la Nation
Les manifestants arrivent finalement, après bien des heurts, place de la Nation. Des jets de projectiles en direction des CRS reçoivent une réponse immédiate : gaz lacrymogènes.
After Sunday’s worldwide NuitDebout demos the movement united with angry workers in a brilliant series of Strikes, Demos, Blockades, Occupations which continue to grow despite police and State Repression.
NUIT DEBOUT started as a protest against the weakening of labor protections. It’s grown since March 31 into a pan European movement driven by students who resume daily protests every night at six.
What’s being lauded as a Paris Spring is also being likened to Occupy Wall Street because the assemblies have no leaders nor do they make any demands. They do present an ultimatum. The month of April will not begin until economic policies are reformulated.
Until then the Nuitdeboutistes are counting successive days against March, not April, so today is March 51. If you think mainstream media is ignoring #DemocracySpring it’s unanimously mum about this spontaneous uprising spreading across French cities and European capitols.
The Nuit Debout movement in France takes on no single form, even behind the ritual of the general assemblies in Paris and now other cities. It is plural, chaotic, fed by the multiple protests against the country’s new proposed labour law and a diversity of organisations and collectives coming from other social movements. Yet it is precisely in this absence of order that the square occupations become spaces of convergence and of proliferation (rather than of enforced collective decision making), susceptible of generating lines of resistance/creation beyond State-Capital.
The events multiply and the voices speaking also become many. We share below two texts that contribute to further understanding, the first from The Acorn (number 23 – 08/04/2016) and the second from open Democracy (08/04/2016), by Geoffrey Pleyers …
1. March 39 and counting… Nuit Debout and the new French uprising
The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiralled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares.
The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on Thursday March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.
text from Crimethinc with thanks. The wave of rebellion unleashed in France in response to the El-Khomri labour law has been impressive. The fighting spirit and political acuity shown by many of those blockading their colleges, blocking the railway lines, looting supermarkets and distributing the goods, attacking police stations, and disseminating tracts against work itself is beautiful. But since 31st March, a new, friendlier-looking trend has emerged alongside the riots. On that night, people responded to a call for a ‘Nuit Debout’ (night on your feet) to occupy something after the day’s demos.
In Paris it led to a large and continuous occupation of Place de la Republique. People had discussions, partied, and even prevented the eviction of Stalingrad migrant camp (note: the camp at Stalingrad is populated by several hundred refugees, many of whom have fled police harassment and eviction in Calais, and it & other migrant squats in the city have has been evicted at least 18 times(!) since last June). The occupations grew in size and spread rapidly over France and into Belgium and Spain.
While Nuit Debout is a heterogenous movement without a particularly distinct identity, it is clear from its statements and the rhetoric coming from the Paris occupation that it is a populist, wavey-hand type citizen movement that emphasises its non-violent and legal nature, sees neoliberalism as the main problem, and set its sights on real democracy.
Nuit debout protesters occupy French cities in revolutionary call for change
from The Guardian For more than a week, vast nocturnal gatherings have spread across France in a citizen-led movement that has rattled the governmentAngelique Chrisafis in Paris As night fell over Paris, thousands of people sat cross-legged in the vast square at Place de la République, taking turns to pass round a microphone and denounce everything from the dominance of Google to tax evasion or inequality on housing estates.
The debating continued into the early hours of the morning, with soup and sandwiches on hand in the canteen tent and a protest choir singing revolutionary songs.
A handful of protesters in tents then bedded down to “occupy” the square for the night before being asked to move on by police just before dawn. But the next morning they returned to set up their protest camp again.