France

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Nuit Debout - the failure of parliamentary politics in France

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Since the worldwide recession in 2008, we have seen governments around the world make neoliberal reforms, states hammering through austerity measures. In Ireland we know only too well the extent of austerity, the state has cut everything from healthcare to social housing. We have seen the struggle communities have been fighting against the privatization of water. We have seen the ever rising number of people being made homeless, mothers and fathers having to sleep in cars and parks with their children. We have seen massive unemployment, our loved ones having to emigrate to the other side of the world to find work.

The centre collapses - the Yellow Vests emerge

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On the apolitical labelling of the movement - Many of us have been following the Yellow Vest clashes on the streets of France with great interest and trying to understand this movement that appeared to come from nowhere.  It is another story of the pressures of late stage capitalism collapsing the center of politics, a center no longer able to fool more of the people most of the time.  A movement made possible by social media but which also reflects the often chaotic ‘apolitics’ of such movements.  And worrying in the context of the millions being poured into far right propaganda a movement in which the far-right have made some progress in infiltrating, even if our comrades in France are physically driving them out of the protests.

There is no such thing as an apolitical movement, all there can be is a movement with internal contradictions as well as internal struggles to resolve those contradictions.

Yellow Vests - People are ready to go onto the streets because they have nothing else to lose - audio

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A look at why the Yellow Vests will reject Macron’s concessions that takes the form of a discussion between two of our members, one of whom is a French migrant in Ireland who has been following the news and discussions in the movement in France online. Looks at the ‘concessions’, the formation of the movement, the clash with far-right infiltration and the contradictions of the relations between the Yellow Vest movement and climate change movement which also marched in Paris this weekend. Ends with a discussion of where the movement is now likely to go. [audio]

 

Fascists attack anarchist bookstore in Lyon, France

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Saturday 19 November saw a mass fascist attack on an anarchist bookstore in France in the aftermath of a fundamentalist catholics rally of the SPXX organisation which in Ireland is central to the anti-choice movement.

Irish billionaire wants your help to break French strikes

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Irish billionaire capitalist Michael O'Leary has launched an online petition asking you to back a capitalist and state move against French air traffic control (ATC) unions. It's called 'Keep Europes Skies Open'.

The end goal of such a move would be to outlaw strikes through state legislation, force unions to submit to binding state backed arbitration and promote the use of scab labour to undermine workers striking for better conditions.

Michael the billionaire is hoping working class people like us can be enticed into undermining French ATC unions by encouraging us to put our holiday plans ahead of the livelihoods of French workers.

That's not going to happen Michael.

The roots of the 2016 rebellion in France

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Since the beginning of March there has been in France a strong protest movement against the El Khomri bill. This bill is supposed to be a complete reorganisation of our labour code. The law would encroach upon our established social rights and degrade our working conditions (increasing working hours, easier redundancy, weaker defences in case of conflict with an employer, etc).

Anti-Racist Groups Withdraw from Charlie Hebdo Rally As It Is Co-Opted Into Republican Grandstanding

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The hijacking of Sunday's demonstration against the assassination of journalists - by the same world leaders who are themselves responsible for censorship of the press and the jailings, murder and torture of journalists - has been well documented. What is perhaps less known is that their presence caused a number of left anti-racist organisations in France to withdraw from the protest.

One statement explaining this said:
"We deeply regret that Sunday's demonstration – initially set up by anti-racist organisations - was transformed into a « Republican march » for which Valls would like to appear as the organiser and where Sarkozy will be marching.

Fiercely opposed to this « national unity », for the reasons mentioned above, we will not participate. It is of utmost importance that all those who feel outraged by this fascist attempt and who refuse to march alongside Sarkozy and Valls, all those who are intent on resisting racism and discriminations, on opposing security policies designed to curb our liberties, regroup and recapture the initiative." (Full text at end)
 

Charlie Hebdo: Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Gold and Liliaceous Statement

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Politicians love to take the high moral ground, especially because they spend most of their time lying and implementing the unethical agenda of the masters. Events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre are excellent opportunities for them to declaim from the pulpit, and distract from their own malfeasance. 'Murdering journalists is bad! Those people are savages, how could they trample on our exquisite Democracy? Why do they hate our Liberty, which we love so dearly?' It is an opportunity to further reinforce the mythology of a Free Society, and Enda Kenny - the ambitious statesman that he is - is not one to let it pass.

In our solidarity we show the agents of such destruction that to us their actions are anathema, their propositions absurd ...
Together, as Europeans, may we nourish our democracy, protect our liberty, cherish our way of life.
” - An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Paris, January 2015.

How wearisome is it when we are more accustomed to our most beloved ideals being used as soundbite seasoning than being expressed in earnest - let alone actually being embodied by the society we live in? Political life is fake, and we expect it to be fake. The politicians are just so shocked that anyone would do such a thing. Where did it even come from? Well don't ask that, but they had nothing to do with fomenting the conditions for its expansion anyway. Iraq, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, (Shannon), speak not of it. The barbarians are on the loose and there's no time.
 

Roma deportation continues in France

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Hundreds of Roma have been deported today by the French government as part of their attacks on Roma camps. To date, over 8,000 Roma have been deported from France since the start of the year, out of a population of 15,000 in the county. There are between 10-12 million Roma in Europe.

On the 2007 elections in France - Interview with Alternative Libertaire

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In late May, we had the chance to interview Edith Soboul, of the federal secretariat of Altrernative Libertaire, our sister organisation in France. The interview dealt with the recent election of Sarkozy, the shift to the right in Europe and its impact on workers' and immigrants' rights, the tasks of the libertarians in France and AL proposals for the moment

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