France: The state and the bosses only understand one language

France.The following is a communiqué that appeared on Paris Indymedia, written by comrades who briefly occupied the Opera in Bastille, Paris on Saturday. Since the appearance of this communique, mainstream media reports rising violent resistance across France on Tuesday, as once again up to three million people took to the streets and riots occurred from Lyon to the Paris suburbs. As the Guardian reports, the strikes have “appeared to be pushing France closer to crisis today as fuel shortages were felt across the country and violence erupted on the sidelines of protests by children.” According to media, if fuel is not made available to cargo trucks in the next few days (due to blockades and strikes), the economy could become paralyzed when factories and workplaces run out of supplies.

Translated from French:

Monday, October 18th, 2010

During the last days numerous initiatives have begun to flourish everywhere: secondary schools, train stations, refineries and highways have been blockaded, there have been occupations of public buildings, workplaces, commercial centers, directed cuts of electricity, and ransacking of electoral institutions and town halls…

In each city, these actions are intensifying the power struggle and demonstrate that many are no longer satisfied with the forms of actions and words of order imposed by the union leaderships. In the Paris region, amongst the blockades of train stations and secondary schools, the strikes in the primary schools, the workers pickets in front of the factories, people create inter-professional meetings and collectives of struggle are founded to destroy categorical isolation and separation. Their starting point: self-organization to meet the need to take ownership over our struggles without the mediation of those who claim to speak for workers. Many of us do not organize ourselves according to the traditional forms of strikes on work sites, yet provided, we still find a desire to contribute to the general movement in economic blockade. Thus, we find this movement as also an opportunity to go beyond the single issue of pensions, the question of work, in order to develop and build together a critique of exploitation.

Starting from these questions we decided Saturday to occupy the Opera Bastille. This was to disturb a presentation that was live on radio, to play the trouble makers in a place where the cultural merchandise circulates and to organize an assembly there. So we met with more than a thousand people at the “place de la nation”, with banners stating “the bosses understand only one language: Strike, blockade, sabotage” and “against exploitation: block the economy”, with the desire to go beyond the strictly limited framework of the union’s demonstration. We reassembled at the end of the demonstration in the contrary sense and arrived at the place of action, finally finding ourselves in a free demonstration situation surrounded by an impressive police force. Very quickly more than a hundred police officers in civil dress, helped by the syndicalists service, ordered to split the demo in two and prevented a certain number of people from joining in. With eggs and fireworks we pushed away the cops as far as possible from our demo, and we left “accidentally” some traces along our way. Note in passing to those who find nothing better to do than speculate on undercover officers from images stolen by journa-cops, there is no question of crying over two windows of banks whose attack is merely a weak response to the violence of capital.

Upon arrival at the Bastille, due police repression and confusion, only about fifty people were able to finally enter the opera while others chose to disperse. The cops deployed in the square were able to arrest some forty people who were taken into custody in several police stations. Monday night, most were released, but at least 5 others remain in custody and go before the judge this would be Tuesday…they are charged with “armed assembly” and “destruction of goods by an organized gang”. As always, the powers decided to strike fast and hard, hoping to accentuate or create separations (between reasonable syndicalists unionists and simple shop-owners, between students and rioters …) in order to smash everything that contributes to the emergence of a genuine power relation against the state and the bosses. Police used “flashbang” grenades and rubber bullets against overly energetic high school students; the refinery workers suffer not only attacks from the police but also direct threats by the “prefect” to pursue them, and of requisition; the pissed off demonstrators who decided not to just calmly disperse risk prison as in St. Nazaire. Since the beginning of the movement over a thousand people have been arrested.

The multiplication of initiatives that escape the traditional gravediggers of struggles belies clear to all those who would like to isolate the black sheep and prevent protesting that which is largely accepted, beyond the numbers of years of contribution. These actions allow us to glimpse the possibility of a movement where the corporatist struggles are left behind, where the bureaucrats loose foot, where struggles are not limited to what is allegedly acquired.

There is way more to take than they want us to believe!

Stop the pursuits. Freedom for everyone…

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