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#France: Everything is moving

France. France. Strikes, blockades, sabotage, actions and demonstrations, France moves. Like a breath of giletjaunization.

Originally published by Nantes revoltée. Translated by Enough 14.

Compilation of resistance in progress

The rage is infinite. Every day, a blow, a strike, a revolt in the country. In order that the many initiatives do not fall into oblivion, and to give an account of the social situation, here is an attempt to compile the strikes and actions that have been taking place in France since December 5th:

RAILWAY: RATP (public transport in Paris, Enough 14) strikes for 45 consecutive days; Paris virtually paralysed during public holidays. Daily blockades of bus stations, often suppressed. A strike at the SNCF lasting several weeks, the like of which has never been seen before. Railway workers multiplying the actions all over the country. The strike was “interrupted” on January 20th to forcus on blockades. On December 5, the Paris-Lyon-Marseille TGV line was sabotaged. At the end of December, traffic on the lines in eastern France was considerably slowed down by bang signals. Several stations were attacked by protestors, particularly in Savenay, Bordeaux and Paris.

ENERGY: Several blackouts in December, notably in the Prefecture of Nantes during a demonstration and in the Bordeaux police station. Targeted blackouts in January: at the Rungis market, the CFDT (French Democratic Trade Union Confederation), Orly airport, etc. Power was cut off during the “low-traffic hours” for hundreds of thousands of households. On January 15th, the Gravelines nuclear power plant was blocked by employees, with fireworks being fired in front of the buildings. Other power plants threaten to shut down. In the refineries, rotating strikes have been taking place since December. The announced fuel shortage is not on the agenda for now.

PORTS AND DOCKS: Operation ‘ports morts’ in most major port cities. On January 15th, in Le Havre, dockworkers attack the New Year celebrations of the employers in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry by throwing big fireworks and smoke. The celebrations are cancelled. Several blockades in Montoir de Bretagne and Fos. Still in Le Havre, the strikers invade city hall and gobble up pastries and champagne of the mayor’s New Year reception.

EDUCATION: The premises of the academic inspection of Alès have been walled in. Outdated books were thrown on the rectors’ offices. Various flash mobs. Selective support of high school students who block their schools. In several schools, teachers are preventing students from taking the baccalaureate exams from January 20th. The minister promises “warnings” and “complaints”. Resignations demanded.

CULTURE: The Paris Opera gave a series of street concerts. Open-air performance of “Swan Lake” with orchestra and ballerinas at Christmas. The choir of Radio France interrupted the New Year’s speech of the boss on January 8th with the performance of Verdi’s “Slave Choir”. On January 17, striking technicians and artists disrupted the programme of the Rouen Opera House and gave a concert in the street. The Louvre is blocked. The castle of Versailles on strike. The French National Library is on strike and has hung banners.

JUSTICE: Lawyers are camping out in front of the court in Bobigny on January 15th. The lawyers of Paris confiscate the files in the “comparution immédiate” (practice of immediate presentation to a criminal judge in case of arrest), plead in many cases for non-appearance and have the accused freed. In Rennes the lawyers plead for the release of all foreigners who are imprisoned in prison camps. In most courts the lawyers’ robes are laid down. The New Year’s speech of the Minister of Justice was interrupted in Caen. All 164 bar associations are on strike.

INDUSTRY: Work stoppages and strikes. On January 17, workers in the aeronautics industry in Clermont-Ferrand threw down their overalls.

HOTEL BUSINESS: On January 20th, Macron invites the bosses to Versailles. Two workers refuse to serve the prime minister: They were fired on the spot. Others write protest messages on their plates, causing great tension in the organisation of the ceremony.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS: More than one million protestors were in the streets on December 5. Almost 2 million on December 17. In the following days of the general strike, more than one million people demonstrated. Serious clashes in Paris, Rennes and Nantes in December. Record number of burned cars on New Year’s Eve. On January 7, the multinational BlackRock is attacked by railway workers. On January 9, several trade unionists were injured during horrific repression in Paris. Numerous offices of En Marche (La République en Marche, Macron party) were attacked. Emmanuel Macron was evacuated from a Paris theatre on January 17. A journalist arrested / The presidential restaurant La Rotonde burned down the same night. Heavy repression against the yellow vests demonstrating in Paris on January 18.


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