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#France: Statement by the Union Communiste Libertaire – Subway, work, tomb: The new confinement

France. The health situation we are currently experiencing is dramatic. Worse than the one this spring, thousands of people will die or suffer serious after-effects from their coronavirus infection, not to mention those who cannot be treated for other medical problems. This health crisis is coupled with a social crisis with an increase of layoffs. As if no lessons had been learned from the previous containment, Macron announces on October 28th a new confinement which is not a new confinement but rather a ban on social life.

Originally published by Union Communiste Libertaire. Translated by Enough 14.

In order to allow capitalists to continue to enrich themselves, containment is now being worked on. From the first confinement, where many non-essential economic activities had been stopped (but not all! bosses continued to bring in employees to make cars…), from now on all those essential to the health of the capitalists’ wallets will have to work.

As a result, some of us will continue to cram themselves into crowded public transportation in the morning and evening. The situation will not be the same for everyone: it is the working classes that are on the front lines of the pandemic.

Between the constant danger at school and at work, the government’s disastrous management of the epidemic, the multiplication of layoffs and the intensification of the economic crisis, especially the end of the year 2020 looks gloomy.

The confinement of sociability

If containment was unavoidable to limit the spread of the virus that has become uncontrollable, not only could this measure certainly have been avoided by better management of deconfinement, but it comes two weeks late and only serves to highlight once again the deadly ideology of the government.

This false confinement is perfectly in line with the logic of the previous measures of the State, which chooses to save the economy with disregard for the health and well-being of the population and sacrifices our sociabilities.

While school facilities and businesses are proven contagion spots, the government persists in wanting to keep them open without establishing appropriate health regulations.

Disastrous authoritarian management of the health crisis

No conclusions were drawn from the first wave: once again forgotten, the precarious (homeless people, the working poor, RSA beneficiaries [1], salaried students, the unemployed) find themselves alone in the face of the virus.

Like in spring, the State is surprised by the crisis. The job and hospital bed cuts of the last decade are being felt hard and the hospitals are once again overwhelmed without any new beds or new emergency recruitments being started during the summer to anticipate a second wave.

From now on, our social life is limited to work: the State deprives us of our freedom and takes advantage of it to impose police controls on us. Once again, the controls will be carried out more in the working class neighborhoods compared to the wealthy neighborhoods. And in a climate of terrorist attacks and intensified state racism and an intensified islamophobic climate, there is a fear that there will be even more police violence than during the last confinement.

We have nothing to expect from the State. It is not up to us to pay the costs of this crisis that capitalists and states have taken advantage of to make us bleed even more.

We demand that the capitalists pay our wages: zero layoffs during this health crisis. Hospitals will soon be overburdened: let’s socialize and reclaim the clinics. In schools, at work through unionization, in the streets with solidarity brigades, in buildings by activating direct solidarity, it is up to us to mobilize as soon as possible to fight against this unprecedented crisis.

Union communiste libertaire, October 31, 2020.

Translation notes

[1] The Revenu de solidarité active (RSA) is a French form of in work welfare benefit aimed at reducing the barrier to return to work.

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