France: a reader & chronology

This page shows events from February 2016 till April 2013

Events from March 2016 to the end of 2016 are now here

For events starting at the beginning of 2017 up until the present, see here.

This has been due to over-long pages causing technical hitches.

On all pages, the chronology is followed by a list of texts on this site and elsewhere which are related to a critique of contradictions related to France

A chronology:

February 2016 back until April 2013

26/2/16:

France, Marseille: 2 luxury cars burnt out by anarchists

24/2/16

France (Rennes) : migrants declare hunger strike in detention center after a miscarriage and a suicide attempt Laval: farmers clash with cops – eggs v. tear gas

23/2/16:

France, Vigny-sur-Seine: 2 CCTV cameras destroyed on estate, the third such destruction in area in a month

21/2/16:

France, Essonne: 1.5m. euros of damage to 6 machines for constructing road for police and fire engine use through enclosed estate, as 30 hooded youths  molotov site

20/2/16:

France, Nantes: smoke bombs v. tear gas as 300 demonstrate against state of emergency; banks, EDF, Socialist Party offices, get paint-bombed; several billboards attacked, Town Hall tagged; no direct confrontations with cops

18/2/16:

France, Paris & Seine-St.Denis: 5 Socialist (governing) Party offices have their windows smashed, anti-state and anti-state of emergency communiques sent to Indymedia
https://attaque.noblogs.org/post/2016/02/20/paris-et-seine-saint-denis-contre-letat-durgence-contre-le-ps/

17/2/16:

France, Toulouse: 2 youths arrested by cops freed by travellers, but re-arrested after cop is hit

…Rennes: farmers and cops in clashes as massive amount of rubbish is dumped at the entrance of the prefecture

…Corsica (Corte): 100 youths attack gendarmes &  gendarmerie (kind of police station) with molotovs after arrests and flashball wounding of football fans (video)

…Amiens: cops forced out of estate by rapping youths (quite funny video)

..Metz: 2 buildings of detention centre for refugees awaiting expulsion from country made unusable by arson

6/2/16

France, Rennes: banks, insurance companies, estate agent and travel agents attacked in anti-airport carnival after judge orders explusion of ZAD Before the carnival, a somewhat Leninist line was voted for by the General Assembly – that there should be no window-breaking so as to seduce/entice/win over farmers and others to come along and have fun in the traditional normal carnival manner, by which means the politics of the ZAD could be seen as acceptable. It’s classic Leftism to develop ones actions in submission to the point of view of the spectators of revolt, a “correct” image argued for by the Tiquunists/Appelistes, who accordint to some were not a sufficiently invisible committee. On the actual demo/carnival, there were clearly some who weren’t into this notion of democracy but wanted all different forms of expression to be allowed, in this case including physical attacks on obvious expressions of this stupid society (if the majority had voted to smash windows would those who subsequently didn’t smash things up have been attacked for going aginst the wishes of the General Assembly…?). Some of the Tiquunists were outraged, and one of them hit one of the window-breakers – hitting people is ok but hitting banks etc. is clearly bad publicity. They also made out that it was only 4 or 5 people who did this, but in fact it was clearly a lot more – 35 – 50). The effect of all this has made more and more people actively sympathetic to the anti-airport movement seriously question these politicians. Though perhaps, in the eyes of the more passive, their image has been improved. [SF]

See these threads in French: https://nantes.indymedia.org/articles/33269
https://nantes.indymedia.org/articles/33268
http://non-fides.fr/?Rennes-Les-tractations-politiques-finalement-sont-venues

3/2/16:

France, the Somme: 2 customs officers, trying to control car car carrying illegal migrants, slightly hurtToulouse: stones v flash balls & tear gas Guy summons friends to avoid cop control –  guy drives off as about 20 youths attack cops ; cops hurt by breeze block; cops use flash balls and tear gas to get away.

31/1/16:

France, Yvelines : cops use grenade launcher against 15 youths who surround their car and insult them

30/1/16:
France, Paris: 2 military personnel thumped on the margins of demo against state of emergency
In Paris, leftists invited the explicitly statist and anti-semitic Muslim Brotherhood to attend the demonstrations as well (not sure if they came to the one on this day – but they were certainly there on Saturday the 23rd January).

Demonstrations take place throughout France as the prime minister (Valls) announces that the state of emergency will continue until the Islamic state has been defeated, though so far, they have not extended it officially beyond the end of February. Clearly they are waiting for any pretext at all to extend it indefinitely.

Unfortunately virtually all of these demos are largely tame affairs, dominated by leftist and ultra-leftists parading around town whilst people do their shopping, who feel completely untouched by the state of emergency, prefering the usual comatose state of consumerism. In Montpellier, at least, the demo on this day seemed to be excessively concentrated on the idea that BDS (Boycott, Disinvest and impose Sanctions on Israel) is being repressed by this state of emergency, when it isn’t specifically targeted at all. In fact, 2 members of BDS for the Herault region (which includes Montpellier) are currently on trial, having been prosecuted by a bunch of liberals for something that has nothing to do with the state of emergency. Namely the fact that 2 leading members of this branch of BDS, including the vice president, wrote the following bit of delirious holocaust denial fantasy:   “What Hitler did to the Jews was done on purpose so that the world would sympathize with them and give them all the rights… What Hitler did to the Jews was wanted and planned for a specific purpose… They sacrificed some Jews so as to have everything they have today, Hitler took part in the colonization of Palestine, he was part of the plan…. The relation of Hitler with the Rothschild family, this satanic Jewish family that owns all the land of Palestine and which is one of the most powerful families in the world”  (see here – http://www.lengadoc-info.com/1716/societe/la-ligue-des-droits-de-lhomme-porte-plainte-contre-bds-34/ -in French). BDS’s very reformist strategy (and links with lots of very political organizations) is used by leftist parties as a way to set foot in French estates. The NPA (mainly Trotskyist party) fully supports BDS. Fortunately the results are not really obvious: there was almost nobody from the poor areas in yesterday’s demo, even though part of it started in one of the poorest run-down estates in Montpellier. Basically, people seem not be giving a fuck about the state of emergency, when they even know what it is or that it was implemented. That includes muslims, whom lots of leftists and anarcho-leftists pretend to be directly targeted by these measures as a community. Might be a bit different in Paris or other big cities.

BDS’s strategy is to put pressure on supermarkets, etc., to boycott Israeli goods, though so far they have only managed to get some supermarkets to label goods produced by superexploitation in the colonies as being produced there. Besides, boycotts between countries or of specific countries’ products have nil impact historically. For example, people started boycotting South African goods after Sharpeville in 1960, but nothing started to undermine the state until the uprisings of 1976 and afterwards.  Britain, the Commonwealth and the United Nations imposed an embargo on the whole of Rhodesia, the former name for Zimbabwe, after its unilateral declaration of independence in 1965, having  all deemed Rhodesia’s UDI illegal, and economic sanctions, the first in the UN’s history, were imposed on the breakaway colony. It had nil impact because Rhodesia found a way of hiding the fact that its goods came from the white racist  country by diverting them through other fascistic countries such as South Africa and Portugal. But such boycotts give people the illusion that they’re contributing to…what exactly, I don’t know, but it probably gives them the feeling that they’re at least doing something and somehow alleviates the bad conscience that arises from passivity in the face of more directly alterable miseries of this world. This is not to say that boycotts are invariably a waste of energy (see, for instance, this:http://fr.scribd.com/doc/230680607/Extract-from-Popular-Struggles-Resistance-Movements-in-South-Africa ), but ones between countries have historically been shown to have failed.

27/1/16

France, Brittany: 40 roadblocks by farmers, detonators thrown at cops, fiery barricades of straw bales & trashcans
Although these farmers are very often in conflict with the state, their non-stop work work work mentality is invariably corporatist, with no identification with any other struggles going on in the area (not to say that the ZADist anti-airport movement in Brittany ever makes attempts to communicate with farmers either).  These demos were to demand the raising of prices, hardly a demand likely to get much support outside those who earn their living through farming work. As said before, it would make more sense to give away stuff outside supermarkets to undermine these  multinationals, than some of the typical actions of these farmers, like the pouring away of thousands of gallons of milk (not something they did in this instance, however).

26/1/16:

France, Paris: anti-Uber taxi drivers burn tyres in middle of city

23/1/16

France, Quimper: fascist violence against demonstrators, clashes

22/1/16:

France (Calais): Migrants storm port of Calais and occupy UK ferry

21/1/16:

France, Calais : clashes for an hour between police and 200-300 migrants

19/1/16:

France, Calais: cops relentlessly teargas migrant camp on and off over 2 nights

18/1/16

France, Moirans – 3 months after direct actions, repression strikes against gypsiesParis : people mobilize against detention of illegal migrant and imminent deportation, have been occupying school for several days
See October 20 news for more on what happened

17/1/16:

France, Seine-et-Marne: 2 female screws deliberately hit by car and badly wounded in prison car park

16/1/16:

France, Calais: 2 refugee prison container construction site machines destroyed in arson attack
Containers were also tagged. The tags were demands or inscriptions such as “Fuck Cameron”…or”Fuck government”

France, Nice : 300 persons mobilize in defense of wolves, including shepherds
Disagreements between environmentalists and villagers go on for years in mountain areas on the issue of the wolves : some shepherds fight for the right to hunt and kill them to protect their sheep. This protest had some shepherds protesting along with the environmentalists to protect wolves. The NGOs are pretty reformist, and their goal is probably to find ways to protect wolves by finding agreements with authorities (such as employing people to protect herds during the night), but the issue is nevertheless interesting.

15/1/16

France, Calais: 50 migrants demonstrate outside hotel where riot cops are lodged, stone breaks hotel windowStrasbourg (northeast): some legal documents burnt after court break in

9/1/16

France (Toulouse): tramway line and access to airport blocked in support of the “ZAD” at Notre Dame des Landes

6/1/16:

France (Calais): 5 hours of clashes  between riot cops and 30 to 60 migrants; cop car damaged300 migrants slowing traffic to try to board vehicles bound for UK clash with cops; one riot cop  & several migrants hospitalised
…later, armoured vehicles of the military attack migrant camp with rubber bullets, tear gas and concussion grenades
http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2016/01/08/97001-20160108FILWWW00039-des-vehicules-blindes-dans-les-rues-de-calais.php

calais armoured vehlcles(1)Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQCP_inka-Q

5/1/16:

France, Calais: 6 cops hurt in confrontations with migrants

1/1/16:

France (Alsace): the normal peace of the  graveyard restored after several hours of fires and small barricades as youths play cat and mouse with the gendarmes and firefighters
More here: http://www.dna.fr/actualite/2016/01/01/face-a-face-tendu-autour-de-minuit-au-neuhof

France (Yvelines):  22 cars and 3 bins burnt, and 3 separate attacks on cops

France: depressing news – report saying that car burning on New Year’s Eve has been down on last year – 804 compared with last year’s 940

For more detailed list (in French) of car burning see this: http://berthoalain.com/2016/01/01/saint-sylvestre-voitures-incendiees-a-oissel-bellaing-petit-synthe-brest-mulhouse-wittelsheim-charleville-laden-petit-train-limoges-strasbourg-toulouse-31-decembre-2015/

30/12/15
France (Loire-Atlantique): several fires in juvenile prison

25/12/15

France (Corsica): Racist mob sacks Muslim prayer hall after estate ambushers injure fire fighters
“After an attack on firefighters on a poor estate, locals march to several poor estates against Arab immigrants, chant racist slogans and make threats.”

Since the arrival of Arab migrants in Corsica in the early 60’s (as field workers), the island has been plagued by virulent anti-Arab racism. It is the only place in France where Arab migrants and French youth of immigrant origin truly fear the local population, and massively suffer discrimination of different types openly from locals.

This time, some members of the local Corsican population clearly showed support for the police and the firefighters after a small incident, kind of contradictory knowing that the Corsican mentality is usually pretty critical of the French authorities on the island : which doesn’t mean it is opposed to authority as a whole. Corsican traditions are related to the local clans families and individuals belong to, which determine their behaviours and social relationships.

These traditions have always been a good base for the constitution of mafia clans, and never-ending rivalries make the island the most murderous region of Western Europe. This clan logic tends to lean towards the infiltration of institutions and small arrangements with the system through informal relations.

Much more could be written about the links between the French national State and local Corsican representatives. France always found ways to deal with them ever since Corsica became French, especially by enrolling Corsicans in the military, repressive forces (screws, etc.) and the administration. French governments have always made deals with Corsican clans, for example those close to Charles Pasqua, a rightist politicin close to De Gaulle, who created the SAC  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_d%27Action_Civique), a paramilitary organization who did dirty work against the Algerian independentist movement. Just like at the times of the French connection (sometimes called the Corsican connection), the French State never hesitated to use the mafia (involving lots of Corsican gangsters) for its dirty work: against the Jewish population during the Nazi occupation, against the worker’s movement in Marseille in the 1950’s, and against the Algerians through the SAC in the 60’s.

The clan logic perverts society so much that social movements are, generally speaking,  much less radical than in the rest of France, though the whole island is poverty-stricken. Proletarian solidarity through common struggles is of course not widespread, as these actions against a very marginalized population indicate.

Nevertheless, sometimes class struggle erupts in significant expressions of solidarity.  For instance, at the end of September 2005 in Corsica and in Marseille on the mainland, there was  a mini-insurrection over privatisation and redundancies. A few sporadic mini-barricades went  up around Marseille and in Bastia in Corsica there were some small burning obstacles here and there on and off all over the place for at least  48 hours, trucks chucked in the harbour, some riot cops pelted with stones, a blockade of the two ports, solidarity strikes with dockers and petrol refineries coming out in support of the ferrrymen sailors threatened with privatisation – 40 of whom hijacked (unarmed) a massive ferry ship, a virtual mutiny, and took it to Corsica where it was intercepted by three French navy ships, helicopters and armed masked French soldiers, arresting them all but holding only 4 of them after demonstrations of solidarity with them in Marseille and Corsica. The whole island was blockaded, because the airline workers   came out on strike in solidarity, and because nothing is getting into or leaving Marseille. Workers in Corsica held the Town Hall under siege, occupying it, until the last remaining sailors arrested for the mutiny were released, which happened the evening of September 30th 2005.  The word “Freedom” in Corsican was rapidly painted onto banners, whilst the Corsican nationalists clearly tried to represent this movement even though workers on mainland France were also at the centre of things. The “Chamber of Commerce”, a state enterprise that deals with the bureaucracy of businesses, has also been briefly blockaded.

A terrorist rocket attack on the Prefecture in Ajaccio  led to workers to put up banners saying “Terrorists – No! Workers – Yes!” and even a politician said the terrorist attack (in which, by chance, no-one was hurt) was an attempt to distract from the events, though he didn’t say whether he thought it was the French State or Corsican nationalists who wanted to do the distracting. Meanwhile, de Villepin, the P.M. at that time, deliberately connected the terrorist attack with the unarmed mutiny, saying they were equally horrifying (though clearly, the mutiny was far more horrifying for him and his class). On the evening of 1st October 2005, after the riot cops had managed to get rid of the blockade of the ports (Marseille, however, remaining totally blocked), mini-riots of a few hundred youths attacking the riot cops, erupted in Bastia and Ajaccio (the main port towns of the island), whilst a Customs boat was severely damaged by a small explosive device (no-one hurt).

Some mass media info on the recent changes in Corsica’s status :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/corsica-islands-new-nationalist-government-sparks-concern-in-paris-amid-renewed-calls-for-a6787016.html ” [Pi & SF]

19/12/15

France (Nantes): youths try to invade cop christmas party in order to eat and drink for free; cop car damaged by stones, 2 very young teenagers arrested

18/12/15:

France (Montpellier): a few disturbances in poor neighborhood (bins set on fire as well as part of building)

17/12/15:

France (Beauvais) : prisoners’ destroy their prisons before their transferMantes-la-ville: graffiti against the National front after their victory in this municipalityYvelines (Mantes-la-Jolie): cops play with their new toys (Cougar grenade launchers) as a dozen youths attack them with stones etc.

16/12/15

France (Eure): 2 cops stoned and teargassed by about 15 youths; cop car damaged

France (Draguignan): police commissioner injured during forbidden pro-Kurd demo

15/12/15:

France (Besancon) : 20 offices vandalized in business building

14/12/15
 
13/12/15
France (Caen): 7 or 8 youths battle the copsAvignon: a dozen youths surround cops trying to arrest someone for giving them the finger and smash the cops’ carOsny : 8 prison vans completely burnt Several attacks against screws happened in this prison this year, and there was a collective movement of prisoners in August.

12/12/15:

France (Rennes): march for man shot 5 times and killed by police 10 days ago see photos here : ….Lunel: firefighters attacked with stones on poor estate….St Denis: TV truck broadcasting COP21 is burnt in front of Paris’ biggest stadiumParis : anti-COP21 demo, a few ATMs attackedCaen: demo against the State of emergency, some protesters take a few blows from forces of order Seine-St-Denis (outskirts of Paris): scandal as 2 national flags are liberated from WW1 memorial and burnt, anti-nation slogans shouted, after recent forced closure of nearby mosque as part of state of emergency; 5 young adolescents arrested afterwards for “outrage”

Note: This article states that the burning of the flags had nothing to do with the closure  of the mosque, but then they would say that. It might not have, obviously – there’s no proof either way.  Of course, this flag-burning  could have been done by youths influenced by fascist Islamic fundamentalists – but more likely just by anyone disgusted by the rise of nationalism in France, this being just 24 hours before the regional elections, which Le Pen’s Front National failed to win, though getting 28% of the vote and at least 6.6 million votes.

Marine Le Pen’s got a better image than her torturer dad – wears jeans and good at demagogic populism and recuperative rhetoric in a far less ranty style. In 2011 she  said, there was discontent and “a desire for revolution in France” similar to the revolts in the Arab world. There was a particularly nauseatingly sycophantic interview with the daughter of the torturer in The Guardian of March 22 2011.

Some quotes ( from the 2011 interview) are interesting to show their relation with what’s happening today: ‘Le Pen’s verdict is that France is on the brink of a revolution to rival that of the Arab world. Social injustice, people who can’t make ends meet, a growing gap between rich and poor, and overwhelming disappointment with president Nicolas Sarkozy means France hasn’t been this angry since the storming of the Bastille. “There isn’t that much difference between the French people and the Tunisian people or Egyptian people,” she said. “The French want justice – political justice, democratic justice, social justice – they want an end to double standards and they want some ethics from their political class. The French are suffering. They are permanently being asked to make sacrifices and yet there’s a political-financial caste that is reaping all the benefits of the economic situation and awarding itself endless privileges.

“We’re in a pre-revolutionary situation here. What’s happening today resembles what was happening before the French revolution. I think the desire for a revolution like those on the other side of the Mediterranean exists here. Of course, I’m appealing for a democratic revolution – and that’s also perhaps the role of the Front National – for a peaceful revolution by the ballot box, a patriotic revolution.”…How am I party of the extreme right? … I don’t think that our propositions are extreme propositions, whatever the subject.” Intellectuals love to psychoanalyse the “raucous, tomboy” Le Pen, who looks uncannily like her father, with a similar gravely, cigarette-inflected voice, and whose trademark on TV is a beaming grin that infuriates opponents….Le Pen’s following is the biggest among the working class, but she is attracting the lower middle-class and the women’s vote. She is a feminist and long-time single mother heading a notoriously male-dominated, traditionalist party. But she feels this works in her favour. “I’ve always thought the French people are the least macho in the world,” she smiles.’ [SF]

11/12/15:

France (Paris): a thief steals one million euros worth of jewelry in one of Paris’ most “secured” areas during state of emergency !

10/12/15:

France (Dieppe): migrants clash with forces of order after trying to get on boat to EnglandOuans: school’s out as arsonist critiques conformist notions of “education”

9/12/15:

France (Albi): cops complain about recurrent “ambushes with bonfires of rubbish just to do battle with the police” as they get stoned twice within a few hours

8/12/15:

France, Niort:  radical kept in cell for 12 hours and then placed on house arrest for 4 days without any charge whatsoever

6/12/15:

France (Toulouse): Arson against five electricity company vehicles, in response to COP21 negotiations

5/12/15:

France, La Reunion (department in Indian Ocean): annex of town hall forced to close after vandalism

4/12/15:

France, Nantes: cops unleash their fascistic mentality against peaceful demonstration in opposition to state of emergency and its house arrests, etc. ‘A demonstration “against the State of Emergency and COP21” was held in the evening … It was above all to avoid abandoning the streets after the ban on the Paris demonstration and to protest against the house arrests of activists and the administrative raids of residences targeted at people who are openly Muslim. The rally was also to enable people to get together and to break the isolation and fear. Shortly after 6pm, the small gathering takes shape… The police are not visible, the atmosphere is calm. Around 6.45 p.m., the small procession of about 150 people rushed along letting off a few smoke bombs. People of all ages are present at the event. For some, this is their first demonstration. Their faces are not hidden, the atmosphere is clearly not on the offensive, nor aiming for conflict. The slogan “State of Emergency – police state, they will not remove us, the right to demonstrate” is passionately taken up. After barely a hundred meters, the procession meets the cars and motorcycles of the municipal police. There follows a confused exchange. [SF note: this refers to the arrest of a man who was begging, and not part of the demo; some people apparently went to his rescue]. Municipal cops very quickly and massively use tear gas cannisters and baton some of the demonstrators. The scene that follows is staggering…. a real outburst of police violence. Everything happens in less than 5 minutes. A brigade of the BAC advances from the heart of the procession, batons forward. These plainclothes police were therefore hidden at the back of the group from the very beginning. One protester is wrestled to the ground and beaten, while a woman of about 50 crying “no violence! ” is also thrown to the ground by police and thrown against a window of Galleries Lafayette. They receive a few blows. The arrested protester is well and truly beaten up on the ground. He is thrown into the municipal police car, his face burned by the gas and twisted in pain. The cops continue to pump their tear gas into the air so as to saturate the street with irritant spray, even though the protesters are more than ten meters away from them. The air is unbreathable. Police trucks arrive immediately. The Grand Chief of Police – the Departmental Director of Public Security – is present in the middle of his men. The attack, then, had been premeditated. He unleashes the charge. Incredible. Policemen in armour, helmets and shields run at full speed, screaming in total confusion, striking at all those within their reach. A couple of passers-by receive blows, customers seated at a terrace are frightened. A protester… is evacuated to hospital with a large wound in his skull. Outraged passers-by intervene. A man dressed in a suit, leaving the Decré store, interposes himself in front of a policeman who unrelentingly persists with beating the young woman on the ground with his baton. Everything goes very fast. Meanwhile, a municipal police vehicle rushes at full speed at a group of demonstrators who drew aside at the last minute, narrowly avoiding being crushed. When starting, the car had already hit a person lying handcuffed on the ground. The injured is evacuated to the hospital, unconscious….’ Normally I would not put up such a report here, in which the state displayed its inherent brutality in an overt manner without the least bit of resistance, because it tends to add to the sense of demoralisation. But it’s necessary to show the nature of the state of emergency in France which is nowhere talked about in the international media (or, for that matter, in the mainstream media in France itself). I repeat what I’ve said elsewhere, which, though obvious, needs to be made explicitly once again: the state of emergency has not cracked down on concerts or sports events, the main scenes of carnage on November 13th, but has, outside of the raids on individuals and (to be fair, rather minimal for the moment) harrassment of anarchist bars etc, concentrated on demonstrations, one of the types of public events that ISIS has so far ignored in France (but not in Turkey, of course, where the state and ISIS are clearly complicit). It would be overstating the obvious to say why. [SF]

1/12/15:

France, Calais: more confrontations between cops and migrantsPerpignan: 15 youths attack cops with stones as they begin impounding vehicle; 2 cop cars damaged

29/11/15:

France, Paris: Hollande scandalised by  climate change clashesvideo shows (19 min, 10 secs in), amongst other things, how it was the cops who were the first to run roughshod over the candles, contrary to global propaganda (surprise surprise)

system change

or

man watching world burn like it was a tv

Account in English of some aspects of the use of the state of emergency in France

securite liberte

26/11/15:

France, Paris: amongst things like harrassment of squatters, arbitrary summonses etc.,high school students attempting to put up a blockade of their school are tear-gassed and truncheoned as part of the state of emergency

25/11/15:

France, Calais: report saying that clashes between migrants and the cops take place every night On this night specifically, about 50 people stoned about a dozen cop trucks, sometimes simultaneously in different place, often waiting up to 15 minutes before the next stoning. [SF]

22/11/15:

France, Paris: demonstration in support of migrants normally banned under state of emergency goes ahead Diverting from the prescribed route, it gets teargassed but the cops cannot control it, and there are no arrests; the slogan “Emergency State = police state” and “Cops, pigs, murderers” is shouted. 10 years ago, during the riots of November 2005, the state of emergency was defied in demos across France. This time there are very few examples of definance. A right-wing anti-migrant demo in Britanny on Saturday 14th November just after the massacre, was allowed to go ahead and the fascists attacked a pro-migrant counter-demo. Since then, even the pathetic climate change demos have been banned, whereas going to sports events and concerts has – after an initial banning – been permitted (after all, unlike demos they generate profits). In response to this demo at least 60 people have been summonsed by the police, in a totally arbitrary manner, designed to scare people. For instance, one was someone who is part of La Discordia, the anarchist library, who was summonsed by the state department for controlling undocumented migrants. The guy is French (with a possibly foreign-sounding name) and was at work during the demo.[SF]

21/11/15:

France, Yvelines (Mantes- la- Jolie): police patrol car attacked, cop gets splinters in eyeSeine-et-Marne: 19 year old chucks several objects at cops, then others stone themMontpellier: garbage bins and cars burnt, firemen attacked, in retaliation for over-the-top cop raids ( under state of emergency large amount of  cops raided unofficial Muslim prayer rooms using big projectors, but found nothing illegal)

18/11/15:

France, Grenoble; motorbike cops attacked by stones etc. by youths after cops pursue fleeing vehicle

16/11/15:

France, Calais: cops prevent Kurds from demonstrating outside their camp, blocking their exit and teargassing them

14/11/15:

 

France, Breton: pro-migrants beaten up and teargassed by fascist anti-migrant movement

13/11/15:

France, Paris: massacre had been predicted at least 36 hours previously – this is from the morning of 12th November… Mayotte: general strike continues [SF]

12/11/15:

France, Mayotte (French department in the Indian Ocean): blockades all over the main island despite the desires of the unions as they lose some control over their official general strike demanding defence of the public sector and for social equality The day was to begin with an operation snailspace [driving convoys of vehicles at a very slow speed] in order to paralyze traffic, but the unions quickly lost control of the movement and were overwhelmed by gangs of young people blocking roads and using violence all over the island, the security forces for the time being powerless in this very tense situation. Blockades were prepared on the roads north, south and center of Mayotte, in particular using the carcasses of burnt cars . By late morning, the convoy, the snailspace in full operation, was itself blocked by Doujani [an area of Mayotte] youth. Incidents occurred between youths and some motorists who were trying to force their way through the blockades. Automobiles, including that of the municipal police were stoned….A journalist from Mayotte France Télévision … was chased and assaulted by youths unhappy to see him filming them with his phone, which they snatched from him. A photographer of the Journal of Mayotte was attacked and slightly injured. Maritime connections between the mainland and the Petit Terre [another island of Mayotte] were blocked by the strike.”

11/11/15:

France, Seine-et-Marne (Pontault-Combault): from rap to riot The shooting of an amateur rap video on an estate ended up with about 60 youths attacking the cops with stones and loud fireworks, the cops using rubber bullets, when the cops drove to where they were filming, a part of the estate where vehicles aren’t allowed. [SF]

10/11/15

France, Calais: 3rd night of clashes between cops and refugees …radical report in French here

9/11/15

France, Calais: after about 200 migrants try slowing traffic with objects thrown onto the road, 16 cops are injured by stoning as cops launch 300 tear gas grenades

8/11/15:

France, Limoges: cops surrounded by 50 youths, 5 cars burnt out, cops and their car stoned, gendarme’s vehicle rammed, after cops control driver… Ardennes (Charleville): as rodeo (stolen vehicles used in a race/dodgems) is broken up by cops, tear gas is launched against stone-throwers [link in French]

6/11/15:

France, Hauts-de-Seine: cop car attacked with fireworks and other missiles

5/11/15:

France, Seine-et-Marne (Melun): missiles rain down on cops from upper floors of estate… Yvelines (Mantes-la-Jolie): 20 youths surround cops, chuck stones at them and their car; 4 bins set alight in different areas

31/10/15:

France, Yvelines (Les Mureaux): cops ambushed by a dozen youths, after they’d blocked roadway with burning binsYvelines (Limay): fire engine attacked with molotovsHauts-de-Seine: 30 youths attack cop cars in one area, 20 youths in anotherCannes: 2 cars and bin torched, firemen stonedRennes: clashes between youths and cops; cops the target of stones and other stuff

30/10/15:

France, Seine-et-Marne (Savigny-le-Temple): cops stoned by youths for the 3rd day running

29/10/15:

France, Calais: migrants clash with copsSeine-et-Marne: a dozen or so youths stone cops as they arrest armed manOise (Compiegne): 2 dozen youths wearing balaclavas stone cops on estate; cops use flash balls; cop car damaged; no arrestsYvelines: report on several different small attacks on cops in different areas from yesterday to today “Wednesday  in Les Mureaux, rue Jean de la Fontaine, about 7pm, a police patrol was pelted with projectiles by a group of ten youths. There were no injuries. Later, in Trappes this time, in Louis Pergaud Square,  foot police were the target of projectiles launched by ten individuals. …Ten minutes later, still in Trappes  but in Albert Camus Square, a police vehicle on patrol was greeted with stones by some twenty young men who sought to provoke the security forces who did not respond. At 10.40 p.m. in Mantes-la-Jolie, in the Val Fourre, police patrolling on foot were the targets of  a glass thrown from the upper floors of a building…. The projectile did not reach them. Finally today just after 4pm, a vehicle with a security group team  was the object of  a stone thrown when it passed through Rue des Marchands in Coignières. The windshield of the vehicle was damaged but the occupants were not injured.”

28/10/15:

France, Dunkirk: migrants stone gendarmes during searches

27/10/15:

 

France, Yvelines: cops attacked by molotovs “Last weekend had already been tense, the security forces having been targeted as they accompanied firefighters  fighting burning cars and garbage cans. But Tuesday night’s episode has raised the alert level up a notch.”

26/10/15:

France, Yvelines: cops ambushed by a dozen youths outside Lidl; cop car window smashed “During a foot patrol of the area, the police discovered some heaps of stones, amassed in several parts of the district”

25/10/15:

France, banlieu of Paris: cops attacked from tower block with paving stones and frozen onions on 10th anniversary of the banlieux riots in district where they started

24/10/15:

France, Finistere: confrontations with cops outside tear gas & rubber bullet factory on anniversary of death of Remi Fraisse (videos)…apparently this is the 3rd day of clashes

life against death

Life against his death

Essonne: motorway exit blocked as youths and cops clash (no context provided here)Hauts-de-Seine: 20 youths attack cop patrolArdennes: cop car attacked with stones in afternoonOise: after arrest of young man, firemen ambushed, molotovs thrown, firetruck burns

23/10/15:

France, Yvelines: cops ambushed, several cars burnt, municipal building damaged “It was at about 2:00 am when a first set of burning bins was reported…The officials who travelled to the scene then fell into a real trap: blocked by a supermarket trolley up the street … their vehicle windscreen stoned by a group of five individuals. The police were forced to use their defense bullets launcher and a disencirclement grenade to get out. At the same time, two fires were reported, in close proximity to municipal buildings: one by municipal workshops, … where three vehicles were on fire and…outside the Town Hall…where three other cars were set ablaze. The total balance of this night, which ended peacefully after these acts, amounted to twelve vehicles burned or damaged by stones thrown at the windows and bodywork, a wall of municipal workshops damaged by heat, a glass of a door of an annex of the Town Hall broken by a stone and three billboards damaged by fire.”

Des voitures stationnees le long de la mairie ont ete incendiees dans la nuit, ainsi que d'autres, aux ateliers municipaux.

Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Yvelines

22/10/15:

France, Orne: mayor’s house and police station molotoved after adolescents are arrested for dealing cannabis The car carrying the teenagers was torched in order to eradicate any clues; later in the night,  cops patrolling the area are stoned (literally).

21/10/15:

France, Pyrénées-Atlantiques: evicted travellers block roundabout and so win back the terrain they were kicked off from

20/10/15:

France, Isere: travellers politely arm request for temporary release from prison of man to be able to go to his brother’s funeral “A hundred people with iron bars blocked the station.  Around it, there was heavy looting, including the restaurant attached to the station ….. The RD1085 [a major road] at Moirans was blocked “by about thirty people burning pallets and wrecked cars on the road….Traffic remained cut off for hours. At the station, a burning vehicle on the tracks interrupted traffic….”Representatives of the Travellers, settled in Moiran, were negotiating with their lawyer and judge … to ask the brother… of a victim of a road accident that occurred this weekend so he can “attend the funeral to be held on Wednesday,” …But “justice seems to refuse to accede to their request.” “Their lawyer appealed the decision. Having no response…at  4:01 p.m. the standoff began” on the RD 1085… where having plundered the neighbouring breakers’ yard, they blocked the road and then set fire to vehicles, …..A mutiny also erupted in the detention center of Aiton (Savoie) where the young man is incarcerated.”

isere 3

leaves on the line?

isere 2

Moirans, Isere

“…some 100 travelers stormed the company and assaulted the enterprise’s boss. …Roma almost stormed the city hall building, from which all workers had to be evacuated. The schools of the city were under siege, too, and the administration wouldn’t let the students outside….At the same time, a mutiny broke out in the prison of Aiton in Savoy, where the inmate in question is kept. Twenty prisoners set fire to their corridor and destroyed the locks of their cells….No one has been injured in the clashes.” – from here

17/10/15:

France, Corsica: football fans clash with cops, burn bank and binsMontpellier: cops surrounded by 30 youths during control of car and stoned; 2 cop cars damaged This is a popular area of the city, where , despite enormous misery (drug dealing, decrepid housing, poverty, etc.) has still some semblance of community and solidarity, and constantly causes problems for the nice image of passive “calm” that the authorities wish to portray for the town. Which is why there are plans to move people out and turn the place into rubble.

15/10/15:

France, Limousin: cops ambushed, pelted with stones as bin burns; no arrests

12/10/15:

France: 4 arrested following last Monday’s fury at Air FranceMacon: firefighters get stonedSavoie: cops attacked with stones on estate

9/10/15:

France, outskirts of Paris: 30 youths surround and attack cops during control of moped riders without helmets

8/10/15:

France, outskirts of Paris: “large number of people” attack cops during moped control on estate; cop hospitalisedBesancon: anti-military graffiti throughout town

7/10/15:

France, Calais: once again, riot cops v migrants, tear gas v. stones

6/10/15:

France, Paris: anarchists from library-cum-bookshop forcibly expropriate state surveillance equipment hidden, with director’s approval, in school opposite them  pdf in French of leaflet handed out to Montessori school that colluded with the cops – montepourris2

5/10/15:

France, Paris: threat of jobcuts provokes role-reversal at Air France – now it’s the workers who have the shirts off the backs of themanagers “…two high-level managers fled, one bare-chested and the other with his shirt and suit jacket shredded. Road access to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was briefly disrupted, and some flights suffered delays. ” More here “Two security guards, one of whom was knocked out and did not recover consciousness for several hours, were hurt in the fracas” . Video here in French of air hostess participating in sequestration of top managers, trying to have a dialogue with the deaf, dumb and blind. Graphic video here in Portuguese (not necessary to understand the language).

Unions dissociate themselves from the workers’ anger Translated from the French:

“The co-managers of the labour force dissociate themselves (as usual) from the  workers’ anger.

CGT: Air France CGT has expressed its willingness to “calm things down” after the excesses in CCE. “We did not want CCE to be invaded,” Mehdi Kemoune, deputy general secretary of the union told AFP {some media organisation]. He claimed to have intervened to protect HRD Xavier Broseta, target of the protesters, which led him also to be too j0stled. According to him, the CGT had “warned” the directors that the situation could escalate, calling them to strengthen security.
(AFP, 05/10/2015 at 16:48)
CFDT:
“The CFDT unreservedly condemns with the utmost firmness the outrageous violence against representatives of the management that occurred this morning at the Central Committee of Air France.”
(Press Release No. 46 of the Executive Directorate of the CFDT, October 5, 2015)
“I never imagined that it would go this far. It is unworthy of such employees, but I know that it is isolated individuals.”
Beatrice Lestic General Secretary CFDT Air France
(France TV Info, 05.10.2015 | 10:02 p.m.)
SNPL:
the SNPL of Air France ALPA, the main pilots’ union, also “condemned the excesses against the leaders of the company, and the violent repression of the demonstration of quiet and serene employees”.
GSC:
“It’s a real shame, I am stunned by what just happened,” joked Ronald Noirot, manager of the CFE-CGC, CEC member, contacted by FranceTV info. “In thirty-five years spent at Air France, I have never seen it. We witnessed  something very serious. The protesters were white-hot, like utter beasts”.
(France TV Info, 05.10.2015 | 10:02 p.m.)
UNSA:
“UNSA strongly condemns the aggression of HRD Air France’s Directors. Physical violence against persons is not  syndicalism.”
(UNSA Airlines Co. on Twitter, 1:52 p.m. – October 5, 2015)
“It was really hot, there was a lot of noise and an enormous amount of people. It quickly turned into anarchy.”
Jean-Pierre Bernasse, member of UNSA Air France
A little rabble: hooligans and stupid people
Manuel Valls called for “severe sanctions” against the perpetrators of the “intolerable acts” during a visit to the company headquarters in Roissy (Val-d’Oise). “These acts are the work of thugs,” said the Prime Minister.
(francetvinfo, 06.10.2015 | 10:53)
On Monday the violence against members of the management of Air France were the work of “stupid” but “isolated people”, said the Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday in an interview with CNN. “We are talking about a few isolated, extremely violent people, who decided to do that after the announcement of a major restructuring plan,” said Emmanuel Macron.

(BFMTV, 08.10.2015 at 11:14 p.m.)

shirts off backs2

4/10/15:

France, Arles: 30 youths ambush cops, burn cop car; 2 cops injured; bins set alight

3/10/15:

France, Cannes: some looting during & after storm Pi writes: “Authorities seem outraged that some proletarians (who else could it be?) looted shops during floods (they targeted the cheap Lidl supermarket, which indicates they went for pretty basic needs this time) ; they sent the CRS to some areas, probably fearing that some expropriations would take place in some of the many luxury shops of Cannes’ center (which also happens when there are no floods, of course, especially in a region where the most contemptuous wealth stands alongside the same misery as elsewhere).” SamFanto writes: this report implies that it was the floods that smashed the windows or doors of shops, so it might just be that Lidl was looted because the flood had given people access to it.

29/9/15:

France, Paris: victorious striking chambermaids hold fashion week for the poor to celebrate

28/9/15:

France, Seine-Saint-Denis: 3 cars overturned, bin burnt, at high school student demo supporting migrantsla Manche: wildcat strike against sacking of worker

27/9/15:

France, Caen: undocumented squat disused church buildingla Drome: about 20 youths stone passing cars; cop car window broken; municipal building also attackedYvelines: gendarmes attacked with stones and metal bar by half a dozen youths 

23/9/15:

France, Grenoble: 2 cops hospitalised after their car windows are smashed by young man

22/9/15:

France, Calais: migrants and supporters stage sit-in after riot pigs destroy camps and  teargas refugees

21/9/15:

France, Dijon: anarchist squatters successfully resist demolition bid & tear gas, attack ERDF attempts to cut off electricity, barricade social squat for  asylum seekers and themselves

16/9/15:

France, la Manche: nuke transportation delayed for several hours due to fake bomb on tracks “The organisation Greenpeace, in a statement, denied any participation in this action, as explained by Yannick Rousselet, in charge of its nuclear campaign, “Obviously, there is a clear link between the departure of the train from Valognes and the presence of this material on the railways, (…) we just need to make it  clear that we would not oppose such transportation, that we do not intend to disrupt it; now there are different movements in the anti-nuclear movement and the fact can’t be excluded that people have wanted to express their disagreement with nuclear power by this method, but it is not ours’.”

See this official French document on transportation of nuclear substances and this map illustrating routes:

france map nuke transportation

15/9/15:

France, Toulouse: 5 cops hurt as 15 surround them during intervention over bar brawl

10/9/15:

France, Hainaut: industrial zone blocked with cars, lorries & burning tyres by workers resisting redundancies

9/9/15:

France, Pas-de-Calais: deputy director of prison taken hostage by prisoner demanding release from solitary confinement and transfer to another prisonParis: report on empty school occupied by migrants since the start of August

7/9/15:

France, Mayotte: riot by locals against arrest of illegal immigrant; barricades, vehicles burnt

6/9/15:

France, Yvelines: about 20 youths attack cops with stones

3/9/15:

France, Rhin-Rhone: once again travellers block roads with burning tyres, etc. demanding right of prisoners to attend funeral of murdered family members – and win!

31/8/15:

France, Paris: anarchists smash windows of Socialist Party officeNord Pas-de-Calais: cops attacked with bricks and molotovs by about 50 youths as car burnsOise: a dozen or so people stone cop car during arrest

30/8/15:

France, Calais: ferry workers blockade port until early Monday (31/8/15)Nantes: constituency office windows of European deputy smashed, building graffitied with “collaborator – watch your back!”Dordogne: cop car attacked with stones on popular estateBethune: facade of police station set fire toLoos (near Lille): firefighters ambushed, fire truck windows attacked with stones…Nord-Pas-de-Calais: firefighters ambushed again It should be pointed out that firefighters in France, although proletarian,  are militarised and are not allowed to go on strike.

29/8/15:

France, Valence: cops attacked with stonesBrest: cops ambushed with molotovs

28/8/15:

France, Roye: travellers blockade motorway between Paris & Lille demanding prisoner’s right to attend murdered father’s funeral – and win…More here They burnt tyres, bails of straw and trees, stopping all traffic.They were protesting at a court’s refusal to allow the son of one of the victims, who is in jail for selling stolen vehicles, to attend the funeral. They ended their protest at about 11.30am after another court overruled the decision.”  Video here

26/8/15:

France, Drome: cops and military attacked ” Around 11.30 pm, the military returning to surveille the mosque…were stoned. Upon arrival, police vehicles were also targeted by stones, paving stones and chunks of pavement thrown by thirty young people. A car was set on fire in front of the Louise Michel school. “

25/8/15:

France, Toulouse: ruling local Socialist Party HQ walls covered with sticky stuff, gate painted with pro-migrant graffiti (here in English)…30 parking meters vandalised

24/8/15:

France, Loire: about 15 youths stone cops and fireightersCastres: cops and firefighters stoned by youths after electricity box is smashed, destroying CCTV surveillanceCantal: report of lots of damage and graffiti against banks etc. during festival “…a Credit Agricole bank had all of its windows smashed with a sledgehammer, and a big turd was drawn on the wall. Another Crédit Agricole saw its ATM painted over, and every day new tags appeared – “Steal everything” a huge“Rob me blind” and other anarchist inscriptions. Ten ATM’s downtown were also repainted …. At least another ATM was broken by a projectile. LCL[another bank-cum-insurance agency] was smeared with inscriptions hostile to the police, “Fuck the police “, “Get out your pitchforks”, “Fuck you.” Against ads, sixty windows of  JCDecaux [ad company that dominates bus stops etc. but also contributes to prison slavery] and bus stops were broken, as well as insulting  tags –  “stop ads”, “steal everything”. On a large poster in 4 × 3, that read in large letters “Eat your boss (A).” Against labor and capitalist exploitation, temp agencies were tagged, and Adecco [employment agency] lost all its windows and on the door a tag  read“Death to work”. Against politics and its henchmen, the local office of the EELV [political party called “Europe Ecology – The Greens”] of  Aurillac was painted an inscription describing them better – “Europe Ecology – The Yellows”[“jaune”, ie “yellow”, also means “scab” ]. Against the domination of  school and its buildings, could be read on a high school ” burn the high school, with the teachers in the middle”, and a primary school, addressed to the festival and to leftist artists, was tagged , “Contesting the spectacle, or the spectacle of contestation?”. Against speciesism and animal exploitation, several butcher / corpse merchants were targeted with tags saying “Go Vegan” and a veterinary practice  also received a tag with“Collaborator”. Against gentrifiers, several real estate agencies lost their windows, and tags inscribed on their walls. At Aurillac, a housing construction company took advantage of the festival to cover all advertising space with “HOUSES EVERYWHERE”. The ads were quickly diverted, and the local business was corrected with several explicit tags “Squats everywhere”, “squat your town.” Against consumption, “Scoff shit” on McDonald’s, several supermarkets were also targeted, and you could read about the Leader Price “Security guard bastards. Security guards – collaborators, shitbags. This is my Coke. Bosses are thieves”. …many insurance agencies were tagged with “Burn your insurance,” “Fuck everything,” etc. Against the cops and justice, the uncontrollables have been prolific. On a McDonalds in large letters: “All coppers are bastards (A)” – dozens of tags covered the town, “Fuck the  BAC”, “Death to the cops,” … “Fuck the BAC shit “…” fire to the prisons”, “Anticops / Antifrance”, “Anticops, antifascist, antifrance … “, “Riot yourself”, “Riots, looting, sabotage”. In front of the security guard checkpoints around the city center, “1 security guard= 1 bullet” and stuff like that. And everywhere –  “Who wrenched our guts?”, “With rage and joy”,  “ZADs everywhere” etc.“ anti-cop video in French ” “We, the Popular Assembly of ‪#Millevaches‬, call on everyone in the coming days to visit en masse police stations and gendarmerie barracks in order to blockade them by any means necessary – stakes, welding, locks etc – for an end to the unnecessary evil murderers in uniform!”

20/8/15:

France, Loire Atlantique: Zadistes attack cop, burn gendarme’s car A vehicle came up with five people on board, masked and armed. “They attacked the policeman who was alone outside the house with pellet guns,” near the police vehicle…Armed with baseball bats, they then broke the windows of the police car before setting it on fire with a distress flare. The policeman targeted was slightly injured in the arm by a plastic ball,… Then a group of about fifteen individuals rose out of the wood from the Zad, “armed, gloved, wearing helmets,” with “slingshots and sticks” and tried to attack the police, who  fled… “I hired sixty gendarmes throughout the area,” and a helicopter in an attempt to intercept the attackers, but “they had taken refuge in the ZAD,” recounted the colonel. The woman living in the house, believed to have alerted the Zadistes,  and her son, who encouraged the attackers, were placed in custody”Nord: workers at perfume factory on strike for non-payment of wages taken to court by bosses (and threatened with 1000s of euros of fines)  for preventing these bosses going to work

19/8/15:

France, Manche: farmers burn tyres etc. at the gates of the prefecture ” …they first tried to weld the gates of the courtyard of the prefecture, but they were stopped by riot police installed on the other side of the gates, who sprayed them with tear gas. The protesters, mostly dairy and beef farmers, then threw straw and burning tyres at the gates. Then they used several tanks containing 30,000 litres of slurry to spray the grid of the prefecture and the police. They also threw firecrackers at many of the CRS.”

17/8/15:

France, Nice: 3 infant schools vandalised

16/8/15:

France, Trappes: 50 youths chuck stuff at cops dealing with accident; cop’s tear gas cannister explodes and causes shrapnel to lodge in another cop’s leg; 2 cops and 2 bus drivers hospitalisedPas-de-Calais: 15 migrant attack cop car chasing other migrants

10/8/15:

France, Albi: 3 cops injured by masked youths with baseball bats in ambush (video report in French)

8/8/15:

France, Grigny: cops ambushed, their patrol car smashed with rocks thrown by about 30 youths Not entirely clear if the cop car was completely destroyed by molotovs or not (the link says the latter, the report doesn’t)Languedoc-Roussillon: bullfighter tossed Statue disappears, only cloak remains – with graffiti “Abolition” added.

Millas-avant-300x225Millas-apres-300x225

                  Before                                                                                                                                     After

5/8/15:

France, Grenoble: agricultural workers build breezeblock wall at entrance of admin building, burn building’s letter box, after convoy of vehicles block roads by driving at a snails’ pace (video)

2/8/15:

France, Calais: immigrants break down several layers of fencing, tear-gassed by riot cops1700 try to storm channel tunnelvideo by Calais  migrant solidarity group Given the ongoing ferry workers’ struggle, what keeps these 2 very different proletarian conflicts from joining up? Perhaps on the one hand, the specificity of the activist mentality focussing only on the horror of the migrants’ plight, tends to ignore more “traditional” forms of struggle (in the case of the ferry workers, wildcat strikes,occupations of the ferries, burning barricades). Whilst in no way downplaying the absolutely essential solidarity given to the migrants amassed in Calais,  there’s a tendency to want to support victims who find it very hard to speak for themselves (for instance, the chants in the above video seem to have been led by activists), and who themselves would find it difficult to communicate directly to the ferry workers even if they thought about doing so. At the same time, the ferry workers seem to have expressed no interest at all in what’s been happening in the migrants’ camps. And yet this would be a great opportunity to connect the 2 struggles and, dare I hope, to weaken the horrible xenophobia developing among the working class generally. It’d be a great slap in the face of the media and all the ruling bullshit. See this  article, which, despite some rather hack ultra-leftisms, at least focusses on the concrete situation of these 2 struggles in one article.

1/8/15:

France, Seine-et-Marne : education-for-beginners; 5 – 13-year-olds ransack infant school

31/7/15:

France, Calais: port workers block major port road with massive fire…Video here “We’re finished with being nice…Calais is going to have a hot summer”Paris: 200 migrants and supporters occupy abandoned school

28/7/15:

France: farmers continue barricading for price risesLanguedoc-Roussillon: cop car badly damaged by paving stone, cops attacked with apricots and eggs

26/7/15:

France, La Reunion (French department in the Indian Ocean near Mauritius): cops launch tear gas after shops and bar attacked and wrecked, firemen stoned, bins set on fire

25/7/15:

France, Languedoc-Roussillon: cops attacked with stones and table legsLoire: 30 youths attack cop dog squad with chairs and stones

23/7/15:

France, Lyon: farmers blockade the city “…farmers have stationed tractors on the key roads around the southern city, vowing to block or slow access until at least Thursday night.”

22/7/15:

France: around 50 farmers’ blockades scattered over northern areas of country

21/7/15:

France, Yvelines: another night of low-level attacks on the cops in popular area “Hostilities started at 11 pm [Monday]…A specialized patrol brigade …was taken to task by twenty individuals, suspected of throwing projectiles at the police vehicle which was damaged by an impact. Around half past midnight, a patrol of the BAC…was also a victim of projectiles launched by a group of twenty individuals. A Molotov cocktail thrown at the police vehicle set a wheel alight. Reinforcements responded immediately to secure the area. The author of the thrown incendiary device was arrested – a neighborhood youth aged just 14 years. A few minutes later,  four incendiary devices were thrown from the roof of a building at police patrolling on foot. No injuries. 1 a.m. gendarmerie squads and police crews in turn experienced missile throwing. The BAC saw three young people aged 12-15 years picking up stones off the ground. They fled and took refuge amongst a group of twenty individuals. The group, up until then peaceful becomes hostile with the  arrival of law enforcement and tries to prevent the intervention of security forces. The men of the BAC carry out the arrest of a suspect author of the rebellion and incitement to rebellion. A crowd gathers to try to prevent the arrest, but the arrival of reinforcements push the attackers away. The individual arrested is a 30 year old man, a native of Mantes-la-Jolie.”report listing the  19 gendarmeries and police stations that have been attacked since 5th July

20/7/15:

France, Calais: striking ferry workers again blockade channel tunnel, set fire to tyresYvelines (Mantes-la-Jolie): yet another night of anti-cop attacks The first events were reported shortly before half past midnight. A CRS security patrol in Val Fourre spots a trash fire of trash…. CRS were subsequently the object of projectiles thrown at their vehicle, which was damaged. …Moments later, firefighters are called to intervene in a fire that broke out on a billboard …. A crew of the BAC is responsible for assisting the firefighters for their safety during the procedure. Upon arrival at the scene, firefighters and police officers establish the presence nearby of a dozen individuals, who start launching projectiles at them. The police are obliged to make use of their weapons (flash-balls, grenade launchers …) to disperse the assailants. Shortly before 1:30, another fire – this is a trash fire – is reported…. Firefighters must apply again the police assistance to be able to intervene safely…a vehicle of the BAC street is the target of projectiles.“ Normandy:  farmers movement against supermarkets forcing them to sell at (or below) cost price and banks  that encourage these supermarkets in its 3rd week…..access to Mont-Michel blocked…more here Of course, even as 10% of farms face bankruptcy (25,000 farms), such a perspective is unlikely to win them solidarity from other proletarians; as consumers, no-one wants prices to rise. If they distributed their stuff for free (as happened on a mass scale in Brittany in May-June 1968) outside the supermarkets and banks on top of their aggressive actions, that might prove to be more popular…

caen bank july 20

rennes supermarketrennes burning

18/7/15:

France: report showing that 17 police stations have been attacked in less than 2 weeks

17/7/15:

France, Yvelines (Mantes-la-Jolie): 3 separate attacks on cops in banlieux

16/7/15:

France, Beauvais: 3rd night of ambushes and attacks on cops and firemen in normally “calm” banlieuxYvelines (Chanteloup-les-Vignes): cops attacked with stones, molotovs and mortar fireworks; cop car window brokenParis: Vinci (prison construction company) car set on fire

15/7/15:

France, just outside Paris: cop surrounded and beaten (Epinay), molotovs and heavy petanque balls thrown at cop car, and a lot more (Ulis)  “The return of a second night of “high tension” in the Essonne after the attack on the police station of Les Ulis on the night of July 13th to 14th. Les Ulis, fires and bowling balls were thrown. It’s midnight. An armed group threw stones and Molotov cocktails at cars and buildings of the residence of the Châtaigneraie, a few hundred meters from the police station. They especially target the porter’s lodge. A patrol was sent to secure the premises. A flaming bottle struck the police vehicle and left a black mark on the body. A stone smashed the mirror. In the process, to disperse those guarding the police station, several fires were reported in the surrounding streets. Each time the fire crews were sent there they became the target of a rain of projectiles. At around 2 am, the mobile company of gendarmes installed at the entrance of the Avenue des Champs-Lasnier to bar access to those attacking the police, were hit by thrown stones and bowling balls. The gendarmes responded by defending themselves. The assailants retreated a few meters and barricaded themselves using metal barriers and dumpsters and bins set on fire . The armed group was nevertheless pushed further back. Half an hour later, the gendarmes are hit by a second attack. But they scare away the youths  who set fire to two cars …. At Epinay-sous-Senart…heavily explosive mortar-type fireworks …street furniture is smashed up… some vegetation is seen on fire. The police arrested two of the four men they saw fleeing. But when they check their identity, forty youths surround the officers, allowing the two to escape. The officers forced  the hostile group to disperse and then found one of the two youths they wanted…Once again, a group forms around the officers and retrieved the youths from the police…. An additional patrol arrived at that instant. But one of the peacekeepers was caught in a pincer movement by a score of assailants. he was hit several times. The police used a dispersion grenade to release their colleagues. Many projectiles were thrown at both crews as they retreated. A man was arrested in the wake of these incidents at 10pm. He was placed in custody.”Val d’Oise: 2nd night of attacks on cops with fireworks, bricks and even gunfire; 2 molotovs thrown at police station ….Calais: whiskey galore on the ferries occupied by strikers “Angry French ferry workers who have illegally occupied two cross-channel ferries have caused damage and drunk the bars dry, it has been claimed. Striking crew members protesting over 600 job losses are said to have run amok on the Rodin and her sister ship the Berlioz….parts of the ferries have been daubed with graffiti and the ships’ evacuation slides have been released“Seine-St.Denis: 20 cops surrounded and stoned on estateEssonne: 2nd night of attacks on cops, hit by molotovs, stones and bottles; 7 cars burnSeine-et-Marne: cop who threatens noisy neighbours with gun beaten up and hospitalised

14/7/15:

France, Paris: Bastille Day celebrated with confrontations between cops and youths in 5 districts; in one cops are attacked with molotovs; in another several bins & about 20 cars are torched. More hereVal d’Oise: 14-year-old’s  testicle smashed by cop flash-ball because he happened to be in the area of a small riot, though not involvedNormandy: 3 different towns see confrontations between youths and cops In Evreux, Gisors and Vernon (Eure), the night of Monday 13th to Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 was marked by urban violence. In several neighborhoods, cars were burned. Police officers have also been attacked on the estates, including missile throwing….In Gisors at 11:45 pm between 40 and 50 young people threw stones, paving stones and fireworks at the forces of order in the city center. About 40 gendarmes, supported by a helicopter from the air section of Vélizy-Villacoublay (Yvelines), were deployed. A soldier was wounded in the foot …In Greater Rouen (Seine-Maritime), “some” cars were burned …The previous night between Sunday 12 and Monday, July 13, 2015, a middle school in Vernon (Eure) was the target…Broken windows, damaged goods. These acts of vandalism at Cervantes College, in the district of Boutardes, have revived the issue of video surveillance of schools…”721 cars burnt nationwide, 603 people arrested

burnt out cars 2burnt out cars 2

burnt out cars 2

 

13/7/15:

France, Lyon: 2nd night of “disturbances” in Vaux-en-Velin, popular quarter  of city More than 5 cars burned, flaming barricades mounted to slow down emergency services. The night before, cops had been pelted with stones and highly explosive “mortar” fireworks, and the police station was attacked with a “plaster grenade” (?).…Castres: cops attacked with stones, cop patrol car  window smashed

12/7/15:

France, Doubs: car burned, 2 attacks on BAC cops with mortar fireworks

11/7/15:

France, Essonne: attacks on cops with explosive fireworks in 3 different areas

10/7/15:

France, Toulouse: mini-riot in popular district after cops chase youths for stealing car “…fifty individuals reportedly began stoning police vehicles while the alleged thieves were cornered in the area with no possibility of escape …The police were forced to call in reinforcements and use tear gas to disperse the agitators. Finally, the three individuals who were aboard the stolen car were arrested. According to the regional newspaper, the confrontations have multiplied since mid-June…”Melun: 2 police crews attacked by 30 youths after cops clamp down on fire hydrant use during oppressive heatwave; cops respond with tear gas and rubber bullets “The instructions of the police are to show “zero tolerance towards the opening of fire hydrants.”

8/7/15:

France, Valence: heavily armed “vigipirate” “security” guards (i.e. 2 soldiers and a cop) ambushed in impoverished district 30 hooded men break a military car window, try to burn down the police station, barricade the street with street furniture and manhole covers, burn car, smash health company business, break 3 bay windows…cops fire a dozen flashballs, fight continues up till 1.30 Thursday morning.

7/7/15:

France, Doubs: cops and firemen attacked with stones and very explosive fireworks in ambush This manipulative journalist (is there any other kind?) conflates 2 utterly separate incidents – this attack and a nasty attack on a handicapped youth, as if all violence other than the violence of the state is the same.

6/7/15:

France, Essonne: 15 youths attack police station with stones yet again; 2 vehicles damaged also “The police station was already the object of an attack in  November 2012,  January 2013 and February 2014.”

5/7/15:

France, Britanny (Laval): farmers’ eggs v state’s tear gas “300 farmers demonstrated outside Lactalis [dairy product distributor which forces farmers to sell at loss] …They released twenty pigs onto the  site. They also wrote “Thief” on the entrance of the company  wall and destroyed fences near the entrance. Then they went down to the prefecture, where they threw eggs at police who responded by firing tear gas”

4/7/15:

France, Corbeil-Essonne: 2nd night of cops being attacked with stones and molotov after burning of car …Lyon: 13 & 16-year-old fire heavily explosive firework at police station

2/7/15:

France, Britanny  (Quimper): Lidl supermarket trashed, 2 cop vehicles attacked, prefecture attacked, stolen tyres burnt just alongside the prefecture, in night of anger by farmers forced to sell at a loss Sens: cops stoned by 15 people, car and garbage cans burnt

1/7/15:

France, Calais: 2 ships continue to be occupied by strikers on 3rd consecutive day of strike.…Besancon: team coming to clean up paint thrown at security cameras pelted with projectilesPost Office and Vinci vehicles burnt out by arson attack The Post Office grasses up the undocumented, and finances the construction of new offices for the  Ministry of the Interior; Vinci constructs prisons.

30/5/15:

France, Calais: 2nd day of ferry workers strike – sailors break into eurotunnel and burn tyres on track Idiotic anti-refugee comments by union bureaucrat: “Vercoutre said they had ‘done Eurotunnel a favour’ by highlighting poor security when thousands of British-bound migrants are trying to break into the Channel Tunnel every day.”…. l’Isere: cops swamp Echirolles (popular area consisting of maze of estates and walkways), giving chase for several hours, after they’re  pelted with stones in the afternoon More here, which mentions garbage fires, the BAC and firefighters stoned,  school windows broken…

echirolles

Echiriolles

29/6/15:

France, Calais: 2nd strike within a week blocks portLoire: mayor’s car burnt after cops disperse crowds with tear gas

28/6/15:

France, Besancon: cops attacked with construction site material after CCTV cameras are paintballed over

26/6/15:

France, Carcassonne: cops surrounded, projectiles thrown at them, 2 shots also fired at them, as they intervene in estate gang fight; flash balls and anti-encirclement grenades fired; no arrestsHaute-Savoie: cops stoned, insulted and spat upon for 2nd time within few days

25/6/15:

France: 70 vehicles damaged in anti-Uber taxi driver protests across country Admittedly, taxi drivers tend to be amongst the most individualist section of workers, with a largely petit-bourgeois mentality aiming to exclusively guard their own personal niche in the system – in this case, against their undercutting by modern technology and often unlicensed competitors, so I was in two minds about putting this up….Still, it’s funny to read things like this: French taxi drivers pulled out the throttle in an all-out confrontation with the ultra-cheap San Francisco-based Uber car service Thursday, smashing livery cars, setting tires ablaze and blocking traffic during a nationwide strike that caught tourists and celebrities alike in the mayhem. Travelers going to and from the airport were forced to walk alongside highways with their bags, while others, including singer Courtney Love, had their cars set upon by striking taxi drivers. “They’ve ambushed our car and are holding our driver hostage,” Love tweeted. “They’re beating the cars with metal bats. this is France?? I’m safer in Baghdad””

uber france 25 6 15

Besancon: town hall molotoved by Cameroon refugee whose survival project was rejected by local bureaucracy The man had “come to the Town Hall of Besançon, asking an employee present to get out” before launching two Molotov cocktails inside according to a witness…The man, who was moving with crutches, was subsequently arrested in the vicinity. …The suspect had wanted to set up a publishing house in France…His project stalled, the man in his fifties had conducted a sit-in at Besancon Town Hall twice last week, and the police had had to dislodge him.”

besancon fire 25 6 15

more  fire (Besancon Town Hall)

“He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”

-Luke III, 16

…Meuse: site for probable future nuclear waste landfill sabotaged “In Bure, in the Meuse, the government is trying in every way to get people to accept a project for a landfill site of nuclear waste 500m underground. Though the project has officially not yet started, and nuclear waste will not happen before 2025, ANDRA facilities (National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management, in charge of the landfill project) are already all over the area. One night around 25 June, a site containing multiple electrical systems and a well to analyze the state of the rock and the water table was ransacked. The well was then plugged with  concrete, and all the cupboards were broken into and destroyed by the rage of those who do not want to wait till legal remedies have been exhausted to confront this project.”

24/6/15:

France, Narbonne: BAC cop attacked with his family in supermarket, then later cops clash with 30 youths on estate During their purchases, the man was attacked by a group of four young men, who had recognized him as a policeman….The story might have stopped there but about 7 pm, a crew of Bac is called to intervene in Saint-Jean Saint-Pierre, while a brawl is underway at the foot of a building of the avenue Pompidor …A group of youths in which officials identify the perpetrator of the threats to their colleague…and proceeded to his arrest … not without difficulties. For the thirty people present then rallied to oppose the arrest, uttering insults and threats to the police in their turn , forcing them to use their tear gas. When they left, the officials also suffered lots of stone-throwing, causing extensive damage to their vehicle.” The BAC are the worst of the French cops, known for their psychotic brutality, often getting away with murder. The CRS riot cops, despite their violent history against obviously political movements, are angels in comparison. Perhaps this derives from the fact that the BAC are the permanent foot patrols in the banlieux and the estates, where their racism is given free rein (though they also police other situations) and where they choose to be in hand-to-hand combat with little defensive protection other than their weaponry (gas, guns, light-weight truncheons capable of breaking limbs…) – which possibly attracts those who derive sadistic pleasure from such risky situations, whereas the CRS are used specifically for riots or potential riots, often carrying shields and wearing body armour….Toulouse: cops harassing someone are attacked by about 50 people with tiles, glass, concrete blocks; CRS called, flash-balls, disencirclement grenades and tear gas used; two 15-year-olds arrested

23/6/15:

France, Calais: Channel tunnel shut as wildcat striking ferry workers burn tyres on road and rail tracks in protest against job cuts; tear gassed by riot cops (video) …migrants seize the timeUnfortunately the strikers sang the Marseillaise and their trade union leader talked about the necessity of presenting themselves with a good image (though fortunately this latter was contradicted by some of their actions). Fuck all national anthems! Fuck image!

 

Calais

And this mentions sympathy strikes in Calais: “There were also “sympathy” strikes in the port itself, with around 50 protestors trying to stop ferries from leaving for England”.

22/6/15:

France, Calais: migrants clash with filth

21/6/15:

France, Toulouse: all the windows of an army recruitment centre are smashed

20/6/15:

France, Valenciennes:  stones and cans v. flashballs and police dogs; bins lit

19/6/15:

France, Yvelines: 2 attacks on cops within 15 minutes The police were stoned twice in the night from Friday to Saturday in Carrières-sous-Poissy and Mureaux. Around 11.35 pm in rue des Freres Tissiers police were hit by  projectiles thrown by a  group of at least thirty troublemakers. Police respond by  throwing two grenades to get rid of them. There were no injuries. Fifteen minutes later, Pascal Street in Les Mureaux,  the BAC controlled the occupants of a car when a man well known to them,protected by a group of fifteen people, threw a rock. The attacker has not been arrested up till now.“Tours: 50 people stone police vansClamart (near Paris): 4 cops injured by crowd stoning them

18/6/15:

France, Paris: mini-riotDouai: 30 youths pelt cops trapped in car with stones etc 

17/6/15:

France, Yvelines: 2 cop cars damaged as 40 youths throw stuff at BAC chasing guy who refused control; BAC fire flashballs and grenades

16/6/15:

France, Pins (north of Paris): cops stoned, dumpster burnt, during arrest on estate for attempted bike theft

15/6/15:

France, Lorraine: gendarmes cop car attacked with stones, cop car window smashed on estateToulouse: 2 BAC cops hurt as 30 people chuck stuff at them during attempted but failed arrest; also mentions similar events in different area of city the previous night; cops use flashballs

14/6/15:

France,  Île-de-France: poetry in motion Officers from Stains police station were attacked Sunday night around 11.30 pm by a group of youths while patrolling Poets Estate in Pierrefitte. They were the object of “mortars” and thrown projectiles, which fortunately did not hit their target. Alerted by the sound of explosions, a crew of the ferry Sarcelles (Val-d’Oise) came to their rescue. Upon arrival, the alleged perpetrators  fled after throwing two “mortars” and other projectiles at police in the Val-d’Oise. To get out of the estate, they had to make use of defensive weapons. At 11.55 pm, calm had returned.”  These “mortars” are not the lethal weapons used by armies etc., but are highly explosive fireworks.

11/6/15:

France, Marseille: 2 BAC cops injured on estate after being attacked by youthsCalais: riot cop knocked unconscious; arrested migrant beaten up, elbow brokenCarcassonne: 2 cops hurt as a dozen youths attack them during an arrest

9/6/15:

France, Yvelines: a dozen people attack cops with cans after helping motorbike driver avoid arrestVal d’Oise: small deliberate fire, screws attacked, in prisonLimoges: 10 Eurovia-Vinci construction engines destroyed by arson Damage is estimated at over a million euros.  Threats have been made and sent to various companies involved in building the airport of Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Among the listed companies, there were Eurovia and Vinci. Vinci is particularly involved in the construction of prisons.

limoges engines

Limoges

5/6/15:

France, Bourgon-Jalieu: 30 youths surround cops and insult them; cops pepper spray their way out

4/6/15:

France, Tourcoing: 4th night of rioting “14 cars were torched, there were  three dumpster fires and 12 arrests in the district of Burgundy, a particularly disadvantaged territory of one of the most important cities of Lille area, plagued by high unemployment….The gendarmes…endured some provocations and brick-throwing a little before 11.30 pm …firefighters said they had intervened in a total of 26 car fires and six trash fires both in Tourcoing and in the neighboring towns of Roubaix and Wattrelos.”…France, St Omer: authorities make much ado about nothing Cops and town hall bureaucrats make public statement about some drunk youths who overturned a couple of bins and walked into the park at night. Public drinking is forbidden and the park is locked at night. Big deal, but the cops used tear gas when they were surrounded (but not even touched) and the authorities felt obliged to state the “youths must not think that they make the law and that the street belongs to them” and the whole thing was discussed and pondered over at top council level. 30 years ago this would have been considered an unusually quiet night. Today, zero tolerance and intensified domestication turns a tiny molehill into a mountain, whilst the really vast mountains making life increasingly insane are dismissed as unimportant molehills.

3/6/15:

France, Tourcoing: 3rd night of riots after death of passenger in cop car chase widens to several new areas “The incidents started around 10 pm. Forty people wanted to do battle with the police, throwing stones and flaming projectiles. Twenty cars were torched, bins also, to attract firefighters into an ambush….a hundred police officers and a riot police squad, a riot vehicle and a helicopter of the gendarmerie were mobilized. What especially worries the police is that over the nights, incidents have extended geographically…”

1/6/15:

France, Tourcoing (north of Lille, close to Belgium): cars set alight, 2 cop cars hit by molotovs, riot cops hit by projectiles, etc after cop-provoked “accident” causes death “Burned garbage cans, trash put into  the middle of the road in flames…a dozen car fires… A “visceral” reaction connected with the accident that killed the passenger of a vehicle after a failure to comply with a control? For now, the authorities do not wish to link the two events together even if the drama is, of course, in everyone’s head….It all started around 10 pm Monday night, with the attempt to control a motorist by a CRS team surrounding a silkscreened car. … Twenty individuals then appear to defend the occupants of the vehicle inspected, and launch projectiles at the police. Insults, stone throwing, incendiaries thrown. …The security forces were forced to retreat….no one was injured, no one was arrested….This is the beginning of three hours of tension, over a relatively small area around   Burgundy Square and June Marshal Street and Dr. Schweitzer Road. At 10.30 pm… a Transpole bus is hit by thrown stones:  broken glass causing no injuries. The bus line was diverted until morning. The metro station “Burgundy” was closed during the events….A little later, around 12.30 am , near a police station in the neighborhood, police returning to equip themselves against the “urban violence” are once again targeted by stone-throwing. Fifty youths come into contact with the police, but they are repelled as the riot police stepped in.”...Toulouse: cops attacked with cans, one almost run over, after stolen car incident

31/5/15:

France, Corbeil (Essonne): cop car hit by several projectilesVal-de Marne: anarchists attack main window of Communist Party offices “For the PCF, this is no ordinary act of vandalism. “This is a commissioned operation, it is not just that on  a Sunday morning at that hour that they were equipped by chance …”. And denounced “a despicable act against the Communists and democracy”, “a violation of political democracy.” “In our city where the population predominantly, in the last elections, chose to trust elected communists and the Left Front, we call for a Republican upsurge to reject this dirty work”

30/5/15:

France, Essonne (south of Paris): attacks on cops on 4 different housing estates ” Savigny-sur-OrgeSaturday, around 7pm, three cars were burned. Upon arrival … firefighters and police officers were the target of projectiles up until 10pm. Projectiles launched in Epinay-sous-Senart. Friday late afternoon, a policeman was injured during clashes with young people in the district of Cinéastes… Saturday night, at the end of a rap concert, shortly after midnight, a group of youths  visited  the offices of the municipal police where they tried to burn two plastic bags…. officials then intervened but they received a rain of projectiles. There were nearly a hundred people outside these offices. …Molotov cocktails in Corbeil. In the district of Montconseil Saturday night, a man drove a scooter without a helmet and without license plates. When police went to investigate, it accelerated and started honking …before leading the police into a street where fifteen silhouettes, hooded, came out of the shadows and threw stones and Molotov cocktails…In Evry, youths bar the way to the police. At 10pm, in  square Amouroux, in the district of Epinettes, a police patrol saw four or five people who stood in their way. The police stopped but soon a bottle was thrown from a building. When they back off, they are stoned.” It’s quite possible that these attacks on the cops are linked to  the recent acquittal of the cops who chased 2 youths into an electricity sub-station and failed to help them when they were electrocuted back in November 2005, an incident which happened close by in Clichy-sous-Bois, and which launched the massive riots of November 2005 (see this)….Brittany: mayor punched in the face by travellersMantes-la-Jolie (just outside Paris): cops attacked with stones, cans, etc. respond by teargassing everyone, including kids,  at end of street party

29/5/15:

France,  Epinay-sous-Senart: cops attacked with stones twice in a few hours “Regularly some young people insult us and assault us. We are still waiting for some response – reinforcements. What does it take for us to be heard?”

27/5/15:

France, Compiegne: hail of stones force cops to retreat on housing estate… Savigny-sur-Orge: cop attacked, car and dumpsters burnt, stones thrown at firemen in small housing estate riotParis: JCDecaux (company collaborating in prison building) truck burnt out

26/5/15:

France, New Caledonia: prison riot following suicide

23/5/15:

France, Mantes-la-Jolie: firemen ambushed by group of youths who throw stones at them In this particular case they were called out to a non-existent fire: it was a deliberate ambush. Should be pointed out that firemen in France, although kind of proletarian, also follow military discipline and are not allowed to go on strike (they sometimes do go officially “on strike” – a pretended “strike” which  usually means that they put up a sign in their fire engine reading “on strike” but continue to do their job)….Marseille: cops launch tear gas to disperse sit-in by football fans at busy roundabout

21/5/15:

France, Rennes: skirmishes with cops continue into 2nd nightSeine St Denis: cop badly injured as projectiles are thrown from upper floors of estate building during cop control of motorcyclist

20/5/15:

France, Rennes: cops get stoned as they control motorbike rider; patrol car window broken

19/5/15:

France, Montpellier: parents and supporters block tramway in front of station in continuing movement against ghettoisation/social apartheid See entry for 13/5/15.  The demo was lively, winding its way across town for several miles until it came to the station where it blocked the tramway for about 30 minutes. Stupid  “cityoenniste” discourse, dominated by statist republican values demanding integration and the mixing of classes, though the organisation of this movement is totally independent of parties or any other organisations. Lots of Arab women. A late middle aged white French woman angrily held up an improvised piece of paper with the words “Les cheveux a vent”- roughly translated as “let the wind blow through your hair”- an attack on the wearing of the veil. She was surrounded by mainly young Arab women who laughed at her and chanted “We love you”, which made her more aggressive. An obviously non-Arab French woman came up to her and pushed her. The cops arrived and took the woman who’d provoked the incident away. Such nice republican cops. She wasn’t arrested, so  later continued her highly stressed aggressive stance when the demo arrived at the main square.

18/5/15:

France, Melun: youths stone cops and firemen as they deal with accident scene

13/5/15:

France, Besancon: firemen pelted with stones as they put out fire of carMontpellier: parents block tramway for over an hour in protest against social apartheid “After having  blocked 4 schools for several days against the indifference of the Town Hall, on Wednesday, May 13 this afternoon  nearly a hundred parents and residents of the neighborhood of Petit Bard blocked the tram line 3 for more than an hour. This mobilization aims to end the social apartheid experienced by the inhabitants of this popular neighborhood, including the modification of the school map, which increases the ghettoization of the district. Already hit hard by social deprivation, stigmatization by the media, by a heavy  police presence and many problems related to housing (unhealthy conditions, eviction), the Petit-Bard neighborhood has rallied against contempt and and segregation, in particular calling for equality for all in schools to make their demands about co-education heard in particular.”

9/5/15:

France, Besancon: 3 separate attacks on cops Saturday night was particularly rough in the Planoise neighborhood of Besancon. Shortly after 8pm, rue de Bruxelles, riot police came under fire from an explosive firework…Around 10 pm, avenue Ile-de-France, the bus carrying the riot police was targeted by a Molotov cocktail that fortunately missed its target. The perpetrators immediately fled and have not been located. Finally, around 11 pm, again in rue de Bruxelles, a dozen young people threw a Molotov cocktail at the forces of order. They  also missed their target and fled immediately. Police were able to identify them”

8/5/15:

France, Mantes-la-Jolie: cops surrounded and projectiles thrown at them as they arrest man for not putting his seat belt on

3/5/15:

France, Lyon: about 20 youths throw bottles and stones at cops after arrest of 14-year-old

1/5/15:

France, Nantes: court painted blood-red

30/4/15:

France, Lille: report of shopkeepers arming themselves against massive increase in shoplifting, aggression etc. “A lot of shopkeepers are armed, from  pump action shotguns to Magnum 357s…We’ve lost 30% of our finances…It’s become like Chicago here”

29/4/15:

France, Paris: projectiles thrown at cops during an arrest A scuffle then broke out, forcing the police to suddenly use  tear gas, and three shots of flash-balls …. The confrontation had only one victim: a policeman was slightly wounded in the left knee, who had to be rushed to the hospital in Gonesse. Among the thirteen men who landed in custody, the majority are from Deuil-la-Barre and the youngest is 14 years old.”…Vigneux-de-Bretagne: company biologists chased off ZAD and their vehicles sabotaged

26/4/15:

France, Boissy-Saint-Léger: stones and glass thrown at police station windows (same happened on 24/4/15) “…In november 2013 it was bottles of hydrochloric acid”

25/4/15:

France, Gard: as gendarmes confiscate stuff from  illegal rave party, people fight back “18 gendarmes were injured…These are minor injuries – “bruises, wounds, bent fingers” – most of them. However, a policeman was hospitalized with “significant facial trauma,” …… 85 police came to remove the sound system… “Everything was dismantled and loaded at 9:30 p.m.,” … Some of the participants threw stones, some of which contained …metallic nodules. “There’s been  great damage to vehicles,” including one whose “bodywork has been pierced,” ..Samuel Raymond, …one of the organizers, who defends “free party” culture… denounced the “pretty brutal” gendarmes.” …France, Tarbes: street birthday party ends with fights with cops “At 2.50 am they began to set fire to garbage containers. Firefighters supported by the police intervened. Then a person threw a projectile at the vehicle of the security forces, damaging the driver’s door. A young man was arrested and taken into custody. Soon after,  at 3.30 am, a flaming container was again rolled into the middle of the avenue…. Further violence: many people, hidden in the darkness, threw stones, cans and bottles at police who had intervened to protect firefighters. “

24/4/15:

France, Corbeil-Essonnes: BAC cop car attacked by masked youths; no arrestsMontpellier: 4th day of middle school staff common room occupation by parents and students in over 4-week old struggle against course-cutting This is during the half-term holiday, though some parents and students are sleeping there at night, and aim to continue until Tuesday, which will include the Monday when teachers and students return from their vacation. The cuts involve suppressing special needs classes, which will particularly impact on kids in difficulty and will also involve the end of German-French bilingual classes (the only other school in the country doing this is in Strasbourg), rock climbing, swimming, and other things.  Whilst I think schools are fundamentally rotten institutions, making them worse and narrowing options in a working class neighbourhood is hardly contributing to a critique of miseducation.

22/4/15:

France, Yvesline: 2 cops attacked and bruised by large group  during traffic control stop

21/4/15:

France, Yvesline: 15 youths throw projectiles at BAC (Brigade Anti-Criminelle) as they arrest guy for racing stolen 4-wheeled motorbike; cop car window broken Apparently in some areas on run-down banlieux estates in France, young people are forming the  BAK (Brigade Anti-Keuf = Anti-cop Brigade).

20/4/15:

France, Corsica, Bastia: riot cops attack farmers’ protest against subsidy reductions after they burn tyres and throw stones at prefecture (video)

15/4/15:

France, Mans: police station forced to close after being attacked More here “…a patrol spotted a man suspected of theft. .. the alleged thief refused to comply with the state functionaries, who became the target of missile throwing….A law enforcement operation was then dispatched to the area. The face-off between the police and fifty residents was tense. Witnesses reported flash-ball gunfire from the functionaries” And here Back at the police station, the police reported violence inflicted on their hierarchy. A law enforcement operation is then organized. Thirty police mobilized…. they faced about forty people ready to do battle. Chairs, bottles, stones and iron bars were thrown at the police. Equipped with shields, they retaliated, firing rubber bullets and using tear gas. Amongst the crowd, seven more people are arrested. All known to the police, they are charged with  rebellion, outrage, threats, and for some, cannabis possession and carrying weapons.”…Brest: cop car attacked by a couple of teenagersSeine-Saint-Denis, Aulnay-sous-Bois: cops fire flash balls and tear gas on an estate as 30 young men attack them whilst making an arrest 

11/4/15:

France, Paris: Corsican football fans and cops in confrontations before match

10/4/15:

France, Orly Airport: heavily armed (in)security patrol soldier gets punched in the face whilst washing hands in  toilet; no arrest

9/4/15:

France:  peaceful scattered blockades of high schools and universities against new labour law largely dominated by the CGT (video)

6/4/15:

France, Chanteloup-les-Vignes: cops prevented from arresting  guy in car during chase, by motorbike rider and 10 others; cops fire 2 flashballs, but no-one hurt and no arrestsVal-de-Marne: over a dozen youths attack cops with stones etc. during routine control of motorbike rider

5/4/15:

France, Marseille: clashes between cops and football fans after cop car gets its lights smashed; teargas chokes large area, flashballs fired

1/4/15:

France: extraordinary report of state bugging people’s homes through (recently made compulsory) fire alarms (not an April Fools Day joke, as the video that accompanies this was published on 31/3/15). An improvement on the fictionalised version of totalitarian state surveillance as portrayed in 1984, as the cameras in Orwell’s book were known and visible, and there was always a little space where you could avoid being seen. But then if you’ve not done anything wrong, there’s nothing to fear. (Put this up yesterday, but some of my friends think it’s almost certainly an April Fools joke; will check up later)

25th March 2015:

France, Charente: National Front candidate’s house wrecked by arson attackNord-Pas-de-Calais: Roma kids surround cops – 2 cops slightly injured in shoot-out

21st March 2015:

France, Meru: 20 youths aged 12 to 15 stone gendarmes’ car and other cars

20th March 2015:

France, Marseille: several teams of cops attacked by stones on estate

18/3/15:

France, Melun: cops attacked with stones by about 30 youths

14/3/15:

France, Beziers: death threats against names & addresses of cops tagged on wall of priority security zone days after arrests for stoning of police station  (but the biggest threat comes from the cops themselves – over 50 cops committed suicide in 2014)

11/3/15:

France, Chelles: cops surrounded and stoned during arrest attempt

7/3/15:

France, Besancon: transformer set alight, CRS attacked with stones “”We’re used to these kinds of events, almost every night.”

6/3/15:

France, Tarn: ZAD against dam construction, where Remi Fraisse was killed by the cops, evicted (videos) “About 500 gendarmes, 2 helicopters and a drone are deployed to evict about 40 ZADists…Though no grenade is fired, arrests are no less heavy handed. 5 or 6 gendarmes per ZADist”

Sivens 6 mars 2015: expuslion de la Zad

Sivens, Tarn

…Strasbourg: stones thrown at cops and firemen in 2 separate incidents

5/3/15:

France, Albi: “freedom of expression” in France – Minister of Interior bans anti-dam demo

4/3/15:

France, Tarn: cops get heavy with Sivens ZADist dambustersHaute-Saône: gendarmerie attacked  with molotov “A surprise on Wednesday morning at 8 am for the gendarmes of Faverney (Haute-Saône). Arriving at the gendarmerie, they discovered that the building had been the target of damage overnight. …The most visible damage concerned the neon sign that indicates the brigade of this village north of Vesoul. It was destroyed, debris littering the sidewalk. A sign “Military Land” put there about two weeks ago was also torn. The call system installed outside the building, which is used to contact a policeman at all times in case of emergency, was also decommissioned. …More seriously, a beer bottle filled with flammable liquid was thrown against the front door …. The Molotov cocktail exploded and the door was blackened. “It could have been much worse,” says Lieutenant Colonel Dedeban, commander of the Haute-Saône gendarmerie group. “The brigade building could have been completely burnt”

2/3/15:

France, Montreuil: truck belonging to prison construction company burnt

28/2/15:

France, Tarn: new clashes at dam construction site – ZADists build barricades 3 times, cops and  farmers destroy them 3 times

France, Beziers: mayor’s pro-cop poster campaign subverted “Twenty billboards have been degraded in Béziers (Hérault). These acts are linked to the communication campaign of the mayor, Robert Ménard – the arming of the municipal police. Visibly, the advertising campaign has had trouble moving to Beziers. Nearly twenty panels dedicated to local council posters were vandalized, and others tagged, Midi Libre reports on Wednesday. According to the regional newspaper, these degradations are related to the communication campaign of the Mayor Robert Ménard about the arming of the municipal police. Since February 1st, in fact, the municipal police has been armed in the county of Herault. And Mayor Robert Ménard, elected with the support of the FN, launched a major communication campaign to make his decision known with hundreds of posters being put up in the city. In a rather hard-hitting style, the images show a close up of a pistol, an automatic 7.65, a French crest on the butt…” 

FRANCE-BEZIERS-MUNICIPALITY-POLICE-ARMS-PARTIES-FN

beziers desoirmais

“From now on, the municipal police have a new friend”

23/2/15:

France, Savoie: cop building set alight as car thieves burn car they parked alongside it

21/2/15:

France, Nantes: Notre-Dame-de-Landes again …

Nantes feb 21 2015

Nantes

Toulouse: cops use water cannon & tear gas as luxury, arty, bank & insurance  shop windows are smashed, walls get anti-cop graffiti, advertising billboards damaged in movement against dam construction “Shouting their rejection of a world dominated by  “commodification” and proclaiming their hostility to the dam project at Sivens in the Tarn where the law has ordered the partial evacuation of the site occupied by  opponents, ZAD (“zones to defend”) protesters marched for more than two hours….slogans against the police quickly blended with  the procession of hooded protesters dressed in black….”Everyone hates the police!” “Cops – murderers!“. Protesters deployed a black banner in memory of Rémi Fraisse, the young environmentalist killed by a defensive grenade by the Gendarmerie at the disputed project for a dam at Sivens, October 26, 2014….The fronts of vending machines were cracked. The “casseurs” were obviously well organized. Having finished their  attacks  they  fled to the Tounis quay-side to change clothes. “The detestible  unemployed thugs came to fight, destroy, let off steam, especially against the police,” said Didier Martinez of the union SGP-FO Police Unit.”

toulouse 21 feb 2015

“Police kill – ZAD everywhere – boredom rules”

18/2/15:

France, Montpellier: riot cops and BAC get heavy with carnival This facebook entry says nothing about what happened, and this even less. Here’s a translation: “There were no major incidents, unlike previous years, at the traditional Carnival of Peasants, which began last night and ended early in the night, in the Crest in Montpellier. Several hundred people marched in the streets. According to the CODIS 34, only 5 rescue people were taken away by firefighters and physicians … for significant alcohol abuse. … The police had to intervene, but for benign reasons. The assessment made by the police and the prefecture will be known in the morning.”This is, unsurprisingly from the professional liars of the media, absolute bollocks (to use marxist terminology). This carnival, first initiated by anarcho-situs about 15 years ago, coincides with the official carnival; but the official one ended at 9pm (17th Feb), whereas this one continued into the night with lots of people doing graffiti. “Je suis Charlie Bauer” was a favourite – a slight alteration of the ubiquitous “Je suis Charlie” slogan  (Charlie Bauer had been tortured by the cops over his opposition to the war in Algeria at the age of 18, spent 25 years in prison partly for “Robin Hood”-type robberies, giving some of the takings to strikers, befriended Jacques Mesrine and was involved with Action Directe, but ended up defining himself as an anarcho-communist , before dying at the age of 68 in 2011). The party finally ending up outside the  Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, a monument to Catholicism, towering, almost overwhelmingly, above the crowd like a gigantic tombstone. Here, at about 2am, a couple of hundred people danced, drank, smoked and chatted.  A bonfire lit up the square outside the main doors of the cathedral, with a plank of wood across it balanced on overturned shopping trolleys, which people walked across with the fire burning underneath.  Mainly young people grasping some sense of joy out of this dying world were resentfully observed by the BAC (the most psychotic of the police force, set up by Jospin’s Socialist Party government in the 1990s), waiting for the moment they could compensate for their boredom to attack this reminder of the sense of  life they were missing out on. A bottle or 2 were thrown towards the cops, who occasionally made charges into the crowd trying to arrest the bottle-throwers, who – with the help of the crowd – managed to escape. Eventually, the BAC charged, hitting out with their batons, then courageously running back behind the the riot cops with their shields and alsatian dogs who were advancing fairly slowly to clear the square. A man on crutches trying slowly to flee the cops was pushed over on the stairs and was kicked by the cops before being pulled up by friends. The whole area was surrounded by the cops, with only one exit, where the dwindling crowd was pushed.  The cops remained still for a short while, which gave some in the crowd the opportunity to put up makeshift, purely symbolic barricades which were obvious beforehand would be as easy as Lego to destroy. Then they charged, this time spraying tear gas direct into individuals’ faces, hitting out fairly indiscriminately, pushing people to the ground. 3 arrests…So much for “The police had to intervene, but for benign reasons.”…But this video (and this one) show some of what happened….La Ricamarie: cop commander hurt by people throwing stones  after they intervene against use of very loud firework during carnival 

9/2/15:

France, Bordeaux: 45 JCDecaux advertising panels smashed  (JCDecaux is a company involved directly in the super-exploitation of prisoners)

7/2/15:

France, Rouen: crowd throw glasses at cops as they arrest man for stealing car

6/2/15:

France, Soissons: flammable liquid pushed through airlock of police station and set on fire as cars burn

1/2/15:

France, Seine-et-Marne: man offers gendarme a cocktail “Sunday at the end of  the evening, a man entered the  private dwellings of the  gendarmerie of La Ferte-Gaucher, with a Molotov cocktail. He did not have time to use it against the police. He was arrested and taken into custody….It seems that these military men, known for their service, have proceeded with a litigation against the man: this is what it would have led him to want to attack them.”

28/1/15:

France: striking truck drivers blockade 2 oil refineries and 2 oil depots 

22/1/15:

France, Nanterre: cops molotoved in ambush on estateChampagne-sur-Seine: Civial Protection offices vandalised and burgled for 2nd time in 18 months “… the damage is very significant. The thief or thieves stole two video projectors, two computer monitors, a satellite phone, four portable radios, two blue flashing lights, uniforms branded Civil Protection rescuers, first aid equipment and € 860.”

7/1/15:

France, Paris (no link for this – taken from a friend in Paris): demonstrations (including many of those working for the Press) take place throughout Paris over the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the main one being in Place de la République. There were many Muslims (including many women, veiled and unveiled), disgusted by what had happened (the massacre also included at least one ordinary proletarian – a proof reader), and obviously fearful of Islamophobic reprisals. Journalists tended to be in favour of intensifying “security measures” (ie repressive laws), as if such things could or would have prevented such a massacre (it’s the typical unthinking knee-jerk response of those who can only see hierarchical “solutions” which merely make things worse). Those lower down in the hierarchy of the Press (eg copy editors and proof readers) were apparently more sceptical about the use by the state of such events as a pretext for intensified “security” measures. The Front National turned up with the French national tricolour flag, were met with immediate hostility from most of the crowd and were given 2 minutes to leave, which they did.  The local 11th arrondisement section of the governing Socialist Party turned up in an official capacity and were told to stay outside the demonstration (which they also did), the crowd telling them to leave because they were using the events to make political capital out of it.  The former minister under Sarkozy – Borloo – was there but made it clear that he was there as a “citizen”, and just milled around like anybody else. A clever move – he was not threatened, and was allowed to stay. In Montreuil, however, the Greens and the Front De Gauche (leftists, including the Communist Party) were allowed to display their party colours and though some were hostile to them, this had no practical consequence, unlike what had happened in the Place de la Republique. This, despite the fact that the Front de Gauche had voted for the intensification of anti-terrorist measures back in November (the Greens had abstained).

In the meantime, in Le Mans the predictable burning of a mosque has provoked a response from youths in the area – burning of cars, containers and smashing of bus stops

Added 9/1/15: apparently not only a proof reader was killed but also a male cleaner. For some obscure reason, the media do not talk about these invisible people, perhaps because they weren’t professional ideologists and are therefore considered by the media who justify nearly every state-run massacre (the Gulf War of ’91, the current killings organised by the French state in Mali, Ivory Coast and Afghanistan, etc.)  as nonentities, rather like the  jihadists who executed them. For the dominant discourse the choice is never between “socialism or barbarism” but “civilised barbarism or jihadist barbarism” – i.e. “frying pan or fire”.

5/1/15:

France, Saint-Denis: cop car hit by different projectiles, including “incendiary device” 

3/1/15:

France, Champigny: molotovs thrown at police station

1/1/15:

France:  cars burnt in Strasbourg, Selestat, Colmar, Macon, Toulouse and Trappesbut this says car burnings are down 12% due to heavy policing after mad attacksLa Rochelle: as youths try to stop arrest of guy for burning car, bowling balls, stones and concrete blocks thrown at tow-away vehicle

29/12/14:

France, Senlis: wild pig joins fight against the more domesticated ones “A Customs Officer on a motorbike was hit by a wild pig. His condition is serious according to early diagnosis.”

24/12/14

France, Dordogne: sabotage of internet lines “…fiber optic cable, transmitting Internet data, was cut along the railway track, at Razac-sur-l’Isle and Chancelade. “We do not know the reasons why the person did it, said Emilia Abrantes, deputy prosecutor of the Republic of Perigueux. It could be an act of vandalism or attempted theft because the fiber could be confused with a copper cable, a popular metal. One thing is certain, she adds, it was not an accidental act, but a voluntary act. “

19/12/14:

France, Rennes:  hotel where Prime Minister Valls is staying is attacked; windows broken, paint chucked 

degradations-lhotel-de-rennes-metropole

hôtel de Rennes métropole

15/12/14:

France, Ales: national inspection office for education occupied in protest about lack of school access for certain impoverished individuals(no link, for the moment)

6/12/14:

France, Paris: 60 arrested trying to break into compound of Socialist Party during demo fo precarious and unemployed

5/12/14:

France, Yvelines: cop car hit with molotov

1/12/14:

France, Seine-St-Denis: ruling party office windows smashed

29/11/14:

France, Lyon: hooded foam-protected black block on anti-fascist demo attack windows, street furniture and cops; water cannon and tear gas used against them

22/11/14:
 
France: various expressions of anger about Remi Fraisse’s murder in Toulouse, Nantes, Bordeaux and Lille (demos in  about 20 different towns) “…trouble was  contained in Nantes, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lille particular”,  the Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve  said in a statement, reporting 38 arrests. Two policemen were slightly injured in Toulouse, a third in Nantes… “bins lit, street furniture   or windows damaged,”…In Nantes, 1,200 people, according to the prefecture, marched behind banners “October 26, Rémi Fraisse’s death – neither forgive nor forget” or “let’s disarm the police” … Then, near the prefecture, protesters threw projectiles at police who responded with water cannons and tear gas….In the afternoon, in Toulouse, a second demonstration – undeclared and therefore “illegal” – attracted more than 500 people…in Saint-Cyprien district, the security forces used tear gas to repel demonstrators who tried to break through their lifeline. At least one highly mobile group then moved into the city, in early evening, and smashed bank branches windows with a sledgehammer, also damaging street furniture”

18/11/14:

France, Paris: all the windows of 11th arrondissement  police station broken

16/11/14:

France, Montpellier: 3rd night of mini-riots round impoverished group of housing estates “Forty to fifty young people, some of whom had their faces covered with hoods and scarves assaulted police and firefighters, with no casualties, on Saturday night 15th to Sunday, November 16th on the tense estate of Petit- Bard..They threw stones at police, traveling first by car and then on foot, while igniting gas cyliniders placed in skips . There  were no injuries or damage to vehicles. Groups of youths had already  ambushed firefighters and police on the night of Wednesday and Thursday to Friday in this sensitive estate in the west of Montpellier.”

12/11/15:

France, Seine-Saint-Denis: some incidents in front of high schools demonstrating  about  Rémi FraisseEure: report about a few town halls in Normandy being broken into and the bureaucracy partially destroyed

10/11/14:

France, Seine-Saint-Denis:   demo about the  cop murder of Remi Fraisse attacks supermarket; 5 schools blockaded; bins and school facade burnt “On Monday morning, a group of more than a hundred “casseurs” attacked   cars and businesses in   Seine-Saint-Denis during a rally   in memory of Rémi Fraisse. … It was around 10am that things started hotting up at   Paul Eluard school, which had been blockaded all morning…A group of about 150 casseurs, ” small, highly mobile groups” according to police,  left the vicinity of the school and started walking towards the center. Along the way, cars were stoned, and shop windows smashed. A police source claimed “They   attacked some motorists,” they sprayed teargas .“They stopped cars, broke windows, opened up the boots,” says Ariane Touko, in the final year of Paul Eluard. “It was  for a good cause, a blockade to defend the memory of Remi Fraisse, and then it degenerated,” she lamented. The schoolgirl, who “condemned the violence,” said she was “very shocked” by a scene: that of a pregnant woman who got out of  her car and was thrown to the ground. A testimony that the authorities were not able to  immediately corroborate. In front of  the Carrefour supermarket, “it was violent,” recalls Roman Miah, a traveling salesman selling flowers  in front of it. “There were forty of them, they wanted to go into the store, but employees  closed the metal shutters. They banged on it… The police arrived, they ran away. “One of the black shutters of the supermarket was smashed in. The “first reflex of the employees was to close the shutters,” but they were “hit, beaten,” he said. “They were casseurs, full stop. They have no political consciousness, ” ….A bus that passed the high school had one of its windows broken, … which stopped tram traffic for over an hour . The subway station serving the Basilica of Saint-Denis was also closed. Along with these excesses, “local youth took advantage of the confusion to increase mugging,” according to a police source. To restore calm, the police mobilized 200 officers. A helicopter circled over the town. Some young people (including many girls) called on Monday afternoon on Twitter   to mobilize in order to attack the shops on Wednesday, now closed due to “the bridge” to the  Nov. 11 holiday. [Note: November 11th in France is a holiday; “the bridge” is a common custom in France to take any day off between the weekend and a mid-week one day holiday] In addition to the rally in front of Paul Eluard school,  five other high schools were blockaded Monday morning in Seine-Saint-Denis. The academy has sent “mobile security teams” to lend a hand to the teams of the relevant high schools, in front of which bins were sometimes burned. The facade of Suger school was partially burned”

France, Toulouse: at least 2 cops injured during “unauthorised” demo about murder of Remi Fraisse and cop brutality in general ” Clashes erupted late afternoon between police and hundreds of demonstrators wearing scarves and gas masks, who began throwing projectiles at the forces of order. Police launched  tear gas in response. A vehicle was burned and a bank damaged… Of the 21 arrests made on Saturday night, 16 people are in custody…. In Rennes, 200-300 demonstrators marched  quietly despite   the prefecture’s ban. One person was injured among the demonstrators. In Lille, 130 people participated in an undeclared , but not prohibited demonstration .”

An email mail-out says: In Toulouse, there was a real push to kettle the protesters and make them sweat to discourage any further demo. The demonstration was banned last night, but the NPA [leftist, semi-Trot organisation] had assured us that it had negotiated with the police the ability to stroll down Avenue Jean Jaures – up to the library. In fact it was a trap because after about 1km, we got stuck in front of the  gates where there were  cop trucks . Most side streets were also blocked by the CRS and finally when we tried to escape, we found  they had also blocked all escape at the rear of the demo. On the sides of the avenue,   groups of CRS and BAC were everywhere. Then they started throwing tear gas and other grenades and moved forward with grids attached to the trucks to gradually tighten the net. On one side of the boulevard, there was a block or two, I don’t know, that was not blocked and some protesters escaped  that way, but by chance,  the BAC (the BAC are the worst) had been waiting for them and pursued them into buildings, where they continued until they found  people in the flats willing to protect them. I have a boyfriend who managed to flee with his wife into the flat of  an old lady who refused to let the cops in, claiming to them to be unaware of anything. He was not a “casseur”. Like me, he did not want to take risks and perceiving the increasing tension, wanted to get out of the demo before the trap closed completely; we felt that the situation would escalate and that the cops were waiting to load and fire   tear gas. But he was 3 seconds behind me. I managed to pass the cordon of riot police at the rear of the march, saying that I just wanted to go home. I must have been the last to pass. For over two hours we screamed in vain “let them out” . Helicopters, CRS cars galore, water cannon, tear gas, grenades, batons and arrests … state of war.

Account by a friend  who was with me:

I was at the demonstration in Toulouse yesterday, I was really motivated, I was well prepared  psychologically, I told myself, if they want war, they will have it, I wanted to take a baseball bat, and then I said it was stupid, I decided to put on my daughter’s trainers, I did well to do that, we were charged, gassed, arrested. I had not thought  we would be caught in in an ambush, the Gestapo had locked us in an avenue, no way to get out, to get away from the state’s violence,  they were everywhere, had blocked all the emergency exits, tear gas, people arrested trying to escape the gas, the violence of the state,   everyone screaming “Let us out!”, we had defied the ban, so we had to pay …and then something happened , a man came to help us, he took us through a residence overlooking a much more tranquil avenue… but others were still on the other side so I expected they’d get out, some of them were able to pass, but when the Gestapo realized, they  came, threw tear gas into the residence to prevent people getting out, I thought I would explode, later I learned that some friends had gone and they took refuge in an apartment, an old lady had opened her door, the Gestapo was on every  floor, knocking on doors to arrest people who had managed to escape. So,  perhaps we should be getting off our ass, now we must take to the streets!

Yet the demo had been  really calm, people applauded the clowns trying to lighten the mood and danced to their music.

Many had been sitting on the ground, many shouted “We are pacifists,” which did not prevent them from being  clubbed and gassed  at close range.

Obviously, this is to discourage people from going to demonstrate through fear.

Not counting the jail convictions…

It seems that this strategy has worked because we were about 1500 that day –  certainly less than 2000, which is not much for Toulouse. What next? And what about another demo?

Paris: mainly peacefuol demo ends in a bit of genuine anger “Protesters, some hooded, booed a cordon of CRS deployed around a gas station and threw   projectiles at them . At the approach of the end , near the Père Lachaise cemetery  in the northeast of the capital, clashes then erupted. Some punches were exchanged and tear gas sprayed.” Levallois-Perret: molotov thrown at HQ of internal security (equivalent to UK’s Special Branch, or US’s CIA) in Paris suburb…text in French on state terrorism and the new “anti-terrorism” laws being introduced: Terrorisme d’Etat 

7/11/15:

France, Rouen: pigs use tear gas to evacuate ecological camp (in memory of Remi Fraisse) at 4.30a.m. “The camp included a dozen tents, a hut and stands built with pallets and cardboard, and a “chat room” with couches. One demonstrator was installed last night on top of a tree. Clearly visible, they called on the population to engage in a dialogue about “police brutality”, served hot drinks and offered some food. “We do not make any demands: what’s at stake  is a chance  to fight and to envisage other futures” proclaimed their leaflets.”

6/11/15:

France, Val d’Oise: cops taser and tear gas 40 anti-fascist demonstrators to protect Jean-Marie le Pen’s granddaughter, now a 25-year-old Front National MP

3/11/14:

France, Yvelines: premises of prison-building company destroyed in arson attack

1/11/14:

France: demonstrations throughout country over death of Remi Fraisse, confrontations with cops in Nantes and Toulouse, windows smashed in Dijon (in French) …flashball fired at face of one demonstrator (Nantes)report in English herevideo here...more detailed report about Dijon here “The protesters then walked down the streets. Along the route, a “hard core” composed of  “twenty hooded window breakers”  began breaking store windows with a hammer, protected from view by the smoke of a large number of smoke bombs…. A dozen businesses were affected. Demonstrators also covered  the downtown  facades with a lot of graffiti and set fire to some trash cans. The event was then dispersed without further incident around 6.30pm. There were no arrests.”   ….French text critical of recuperators : Mort de Rémi et affrontements les récupérateursVannes: cars and bins torched, stones thrown on  3rd night of riots

nantes 1 november 14Nantes

31/10/14:

France, Blois: 2nd night of rioting as 20 year-old loses an eye due to cops firing a flashball at this faceVannes (Kercado) rioters attack cops with molotovs and stones “Lucien Jaffré first deputy mayor and resident of Vannes for 40 years, said he had never seen such a scene in Kercado “…Givors, near Lyon: a dozen garbage bins and 4 cars burnt, firefighters stoned in halloween celebrations … Cannes: projectiles thrown at cops, bins burnt, in 3 different areas of townRouen: demonstration against murder of Remi Fraisse – cops pelted with cans & eggs, graffiti everywhere, police station covered in paint

30/10/14:

France, Rennes: several fires lit, a dozen windows and several bus shelters broken,  on demo about Remi Fraisse’s murder “..protesters, many wearing masks, headed towards the city center chanting “revenge for Remi” or “cops, pigs, murderers!” behind a banner saying “Vengeance for all.” They also tagged many buildings on the way. Arriving near the city center, around 8pm, protesters were blocked by a large police presence  preventing them from accessing it. They repeatedly tried to circumvent the CRS and gendarmes, without clashing with them. A car was over-turned, and police used tear gas….before the start of the procession, the demonstrators had started distributed a leaflet denouncing  “police terror” which “will not survive the death of a comrade.” The leaflet also launched the following appeal: “blockade your high schools and universities, lets’ block the towns and stations, let’s occupy the street!”. Shortly after 9pm, the protesters, who had gathered near the barriers of the forces of order, surged towards the western districts, breaking a dozen windows and several shelters. They also set fire to several garbage bins as well as bottle banks, pursued by the BAC police [Brigade Anti-Criminelle – the worst of the cops, set up some 15 years ago under the Socialist Party president Jospin]  equipped with rubber bullets. Around 9.30pm, there were several fires at the crossroads, covered with tear gas clouds…”dam construction halted 

rennes oct 30 2014

 Rennes: red sky at night, rioters delight

Below: Rennes…One of the reasons bus shelters are constantly attacked is the fact that they’re constructed by JCDecaux, which exploits prisoners (JCDecaux also use the bus shelters for advertising other commodities, from where they obviously make massive profits)

rennes buss shelters

29/10/15:

France, Paris: bottles & stones thrown at cops on demo over cop murder of Remi Apparently there were only about 400 people, which for Paris is very small – and there were at least twice that many cops. Every bottle thrown at them resulted in an arrest. A friend who was there left quickly because Melenchon (demagogic leftist politician, president of the Front de Gauche, former minister under Jospin) and Bove – both of whom had been insulted in the Tarn – were accepted there with virtually no opposition. He was also angry because everything is concentrated on the death of Remi without a mention of all the deaths in the banlieux at the hands of the cops (there’ve been a few this year alone), a bit like the way political prisoners are considered as more important than prisoners as a whole. However, this is more part of the discourse in Paris – in Montpellier, people did discuss, at least in small groups, some of the differences between banlieux riots and “political” riots and the need to overcome this separation.

28/10/14:

France, Montpellier: between  250 and 400 demonstrate their anger towards the murder of Remi during the resistance to the dam construction in Sivens This took place during the evening/nighttime – 7.30pm to 9.30 pm. There was no visible cop presence (though obviously they were amongst us pretending to support the demo, and carefully monitoring it all through the increasingly proliferating CCTV cameras). Obviously they’d been told to keep a low profile, for fear of becoming a more concrete target for the anger., and in the authorities’ hope that the movement would die down through inertia. Slogans included what has now become the slogan everywhere: “Remi – neither forgive nor forget”, but also things like “The police punish,  the police mutilate, the police murder! “ and ” police violence, proletarian response! “. Graffiti was sprayed quite openly, some by people without face covering, including on the city’s massive 2 courthouses. The most stupid moment however, was reserved for one of the organisers who made a little speech telling people not to throw very loud bangers as the family wanted to keep it all peaceful. As if fireworks are violent. Needless to say, this was totally ignored and the sound of loud bangers resounded throughout the 2 hour demonstration.

27/10/14:

France, Nantes: demonstration against cop murder of Remi Fraisse in the Tarn turns into riot “as the rally dispersed, about a  hundred rioters remained in the center. Highly mobile, these masked protesters with helmets smashed 20 windows  (including banks) …. They also destroyed many bus shelters and billboards and lit several fires from garbage bins”..….Albi: clashes with cops after the announcement that Remi had died in an explosiondemonstrations about this murder take place in a dozen citiesYvelines: Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front, gets stoned in her car (sadly, not wrecked)also Nantes: attack on army recruitment office

nantes recruiting

 

26/10/14:

France, Tarn: 21-year-old anti-dam protestor killed by cops…. as 2 riot cops are hospitalised whilst “anarchists” clash with state over dam constructions“Neither forgive nor forget” written on war memorial where demo is held for the young guy killedvideo here (these incidents range from 25th to 26th; links in French“Activists concerned to keep the protest  peaceful, interposed themselves repeatedly in order to …avoid damage to windows. …The small group of militants, faces hidden, dumped  stones on the ground, throwing smoke bombs in the direction of law enforcement, lit fires. The gendarmes followed by firing stun grenades and tear gas filling the entire Liberation Square with smoke, a large number of people …try to clear their lungs by spitting , their eyes red,  trying to protect themselves with handkerchieves or lapels, not managing to breathe….

FRANCE-ENVIRONMENT-AGRICULTURE-ENERGY-WATER-INVESTIGATIONMore here: “A handful of masked militants attacked the war memorial and some windows in Gaillac during the rally in memory of Remi, the young man who died on the site of the disputed Sivens dam…. A tribute  event that turned bad. Scuffles broke out early Sunday evening between   gendarmes and a hundred or so activists who’d come to salute the memory of Remi, the young man who died on the site of the disputed dam Sivens in the  Tarn …the march of 450 people   immediately began in a tense atmosphere.… A minute of silence in a sea of fists was observed near the war memorial which had been tagged “neither forget nor forgive.”...This was followed by a long discussion as to what form the protest should take. Some suggested  a “die in” where protesters   lie on the ground as if dead. Others wanted to fight   the gendarmes   and target the gendarmerie building….The most determined activists had masked their faces and lit smoke bombs despite the interposition of more moderate protesters. In vain. At 7pm   the first stone throwing happened to which the police responded by firing tear gas and stun grenades. At 7:25 p.m., the police received the support of five additional vehicles. Calm returned shortly before 8pm, revealing the damage. Apart from  the vandalised memorial,  flags were burned, street furniture and  the ground were  tagged, garbage burned, and three   windows broken and vandalized. The Interior Minister denounced  the violence “with the greatest firmness”  . “No question, the rule of law, cannot justify this outburst of repeated violence,” said Bernard Cazeneuve, launching “an appeal for calm and responsibility from the  politicians and association leaders..” … This electric atmosphere also hampers the investigation into the death of Remi. Because of the “hostility” of the protesters, investigators were unable to make any  search for evidence  where the body was found.

This is in English. Though this article claims it’s not known how the demonstrator died, in a conversation I’ve been told that the cops fired an “anti-encirclement” grenade (an explosive ball that shoots out hundreds of small rubber pellets, designed mainly for use on the estates when cops get surrounded by angry youths) in the face of the 21-year old. I was also told that  when anarchists and others hurled abuse at Melenchon, the Leftist politician mentioned in this English article, he denounced them as extreme right-wing fascists.

Rough translation of press release from the movement against the dam: “Remi, 21, died during the night of Saturday to Sunday in Sivens. Lots of different evidence – he collapsed a few meters from the entrenched police camp, hit by a shot in the shoulder, before being immediately picked up by the police. Was it a flash-ball or, more likely, an anti-encirclement  grenade …? 

Only the police know who, up to now, has hidden the truth in various ways. They claim that there were no injuries among the protesters, whereas the coordination medical team demonstrated that there were many on Saturday. Police said they “discovered a body” in the night, failing to mention the violent clashes at that time (the prefecture said that the fighting had stopped at 9 pm and failed to say they started up again at midnight). They claim to have been unable to come  on Sunday to launch the enquiry (once the crime was committed, the police suddenly left without, so far, having  tried to come back). 

We demand that  light be shed on this homicide as soon as possible, out of respect for Remi, his family and his friends. We also hope that those responsible for this tragedy are brought to justice as soon as possible. And for us, the person responsible  is not just Robocop Regiment XXX who pulled the trigger Saturday night – and even less Remi.  It is those  who created this violent situation that could only turn into a tragedy.

So what were the forces of order  doing there on Saturday in  Testet [site of dam construction], while the prefect was committed to not be at his post during the weekend when  thousands of activists were expected (7000)? There were no workers to protect nor any machine to defend: the only one which had not been evacuated on Friday had been burned on the same night. Why have 250 CRS riot police armed with grenades and flash-balls to keep a small square of land surrounded by a moat several meters wide? Was it to protect precious fencing? Or to generate tension and  be provocative? The authorities knew very well what would happen to a vehicle left at  Testet on Friday and by sending  an  armada in on Saturday.

Now, when the futility of the proposed Testet dam has appeared in broad daylight, at a time when all the lies and conflicts of interests denounced by those opposed to it for months has been confirmed by the investigations of journalists (Le Monde 24/10 and Figaro, 26/10) and by the report by government experts released today, the President of the General Council and the Prefect of Tarn no longer have any argument in favor of the dam except to blow  the alleged violence of those who opposed the dam out of all proportion. They therefore needed violence on Saturday. They provoked it. They killed Remi.

We are in shock and extend our deepest condolences to his family.

The Coordination of October 25th

PS: We demand a second independent autopsy be performed and notify the prefecture that if the body is not preserved so that this counter-expertise becomes possible, it would prove that the authorities want to hide the truth. We denounce attempts to sully the memory of Remi claiming that the cause of his death was  related to his “level of alcohol” or his “violence”.

23/10/14:

France, Montpellier: violently evicted squatters of social squat “Luttopia” block tramway for 2 hours (video)Lille: cops fire rubber bullets (including one at Everton fan’s head); fans respond with beer bottles….Paris: various attacks on companies that exploit prisoners or are involved in attacks on immigrants

20/10/14:

France, Calais: 12 hours of on/off confrontations between immigrants and cops

18/10/14:

France, Paris: hard-on loses its potency – a critique of art and Christmas or just a sad reminder of how retrograde people’s mentality has become?…the destruction of the Vendome Column 2014 (more here) …though both took place in the same square, it’s certainly hardly this:

vendome column” the greatest work of art of the 19th century” (Paris 1871)

17/10/14:

France, Essonne: 3 cops caught in ambush by 20-30 people on housing estate hospitalised

16/10/14:

France: the end of the cinema as we know it …see also “Escape from Alcatraz“… 

15/10/14:

France, Nevers: farmers dump manure, and tyres in front of prefecture,  clash with tear gas dispensing cops in protest over administrative burdens, cop controls of farm vehicles, etc.

9/10/14:

France, Lyon: cops surrounded by angry crowd after 2 homeless people are stopped; cop car damaged, occupants hurt, tear gas, rubber bullets….

7/10/14:

France, Toulouse: cops stoned again in joint operation “Around midnight, two policemen want to stop a car that had committed an offense but its driver flees to Empalot. Once there, the police are stoned and surrounded by a hostile group. They use tear gas to break free and call for reinforcements, including the Anti-Crime Brigade (BAC). The latter locate the vehicle that had fled, and monitor it, waiting for the driver. The driver gets back in…he escapes again. He knocks over a policeman and crashes into  a car of the BAC, injuring another officer. One of the two officers is hospitalized for a dislocated shoulder and the other is only slightly injured. Friday night, in the same neighborhood Empalot, “a dozen” people had stoned the police called because a minor had run away. The same evening, police were stoned in the same area again, this time helping a person threatening to jump from the eighth floor of a tower in the area.”

2/10/14:

France, Dordogne: anti-social insecurity office hots up “An arson attack partly destroyed … the offices of the Family Allowances Fund (CAF) in Bergerac (Dordogne). The fire started shortly after 2:30, apparently from a garbage container with tires inside. It quickly spread to the small building on the first floor, mobilizing a dozen firefighters for nearly four hours,…The fire destroyed the facade above the entrance to the CAF and the reception room for the public, and also computer equipment, and made the other rooms unusable  ” Updated on 7th October: “The young man from Bergerac, 25,  placed in custody Friday morning by police on suspicion of setting fire to the  Bergerac CAF has confessed. While he was uncooperative or aggressive with the police during the first twenty-four hours of being held in a police station, the suspect admitted placing a bin filled with tires at the entrance of the CAF before setting it on fire. He wanted revenge for the little regard which had been given  his parents during their visit to the CAF  the day before the arson attack.”

29/9/14:

France, Lisle-sur-Tarn: dam busters fight with cops; tear gas and flash balls from the cops,  bolts, acid and petrol bombs from the ecologists (video)

25/9/14:

France, La Reunion: arson attack on section of the town hall in Chaudron area (for information about riots here in 2013 in French, check out this)

24/9/14:

France, La Reunion: another small riot in the Chaudron area; bus ticket office burnt down

23/9/14:

France, La Reunion (large island off east coast of Africa, a department belonging to France): unemployed rioters attack cops etc. (video) “Tense evening   last night in the borough of  Chaudron [“cauldron” in French]. Four police vans of the departmental Company of Intervention were mobilized to restore calm. Clashes erupted between youths and policemen, throwing stones, tear gas, burning garbage … The area was shaken by the vandalism but no injuries were reported. There is anger in the borough  of Chaudron and last night, dozens of young people decided to take to the streets to express their anger. After several instances of bins being set on fire in the early evening – around 7.30pm – tension rose a notch around 10 pm  ….Once again, the anger of unemployed youth has been evident for several days in the department. After the demonstrations that rocked Sainte-Clotilde earlier this week, the Chaudron district was shaken by vandalism last night. Social unrest is rising up: one in three is unemployed on the island. According to police interviewed last night, many people   also tried to attack the petrol station but the area was quickly made secure. In the end, there were thankfully no injuries   but people will discover a sad spectacle on the roadways …” See also here: “Clashes between youths and police in Chaudron…The anger of unemployed youth has been evident for several days in the department. Yesterday and this afternoon, tensions were palpable in Moufia, in Sainte-Clotilde and more precisely on the outskirts of the city of Alamandas where several individuals disrupted traffic on Monday, September 22 to voice their demands: to find a job.  … incidents broke out tonight in the borough of  Chaudron. Thirty young people decided to take to the streets to express their anger. Bins were set on fire and firefighters were pelted with stones…. calm  returned but at 10pm, it was the representatives of law enforcement who became the object of thrown stones…. masked and armed with stones, protesters launched provocations at the police. Attacked with all kinds of projectiles and particularly large rocks, men of the Commission finally responded with tear gas.”

22/9/14:

France, Mayotte (small island off east coast of Africa, belonging to France): football fans attack each other, then turn on cops At Kawéni yesterday morning, groups of Majicavo young people, armed with clubs, sticks and also chombos and Molotov cocktails harassed the police. The clashes were violent, police vehicles were damaged. The violence began Saturday after a scuffle … At the final whistle, young fans … reportedly attacked Kawéni players  provoking violent fights. According to police, the clashes   injured two people, one being hit by  a sword while the second victim was hit with a bottle. …Officials from the BAC (anti-crime brigade) were stoned near Jumbo. Then fifty youths blocked traffic first by the  SNIE supermarket  then at the Mega roundabout.… Many vehicles were damaged….From Koropa to Kawéni, the ground was strewn with overturned trash cans and debris, sometimes burning.”

21/9/14:

France, Avignon: car set fire to in order to ambush cops and firemen; several cops hit by stones and cop car window broken

19/9/14:

France, Morlaix: agricultural farmer and workers burn down tax office, preventing firemen reaching it (video)

17/9/14:

France, Lille: cops use tear gas as about 50 youths surround cops dealing with moped accident and insult themParis: firefighters putting out  burning car attacked with “projectiles” by youths; speculation that car was burnt deliberately to attract cops into an ambush

16/9/14:

France, Tarn: eviction of those resisting dam construction – and a video (both in French; in English, see this)

15/9/14:

France, Paris: vehicle belonging to prison collaborator company burnt out….Picardie: partial blockade of newly developed 1000-cow factory farm (French video here)

vachusine_non 080112

Unfortunately “NOVISION” would be a more appropriate name for these Good Citizens, blind to anything other than a narrow single issue. Still their poster (above) is quite good. Of course, factory farming, or factories for humans, should be opposed, but not with ideologies that even the Mini-star of Ecology can support. In fact, officially these people are willing to accept a 500-cow factory farm, thus belying even their own single issue ideology (see also entry for 12/9/14, on a cows attempt to liberate itself from the forces of the state and market system reducing it to a commodity).

In  France the eradication of the small peasantry and their replacement with agro-business, battery farms, factory farming  – ie the transformation of agriculture into big business and monopolies – has been vastly helped by the propaganda machine. In 2006 the media went into overdrive with their panicky catastrophist brainwashing about bird flu. For over a month it was the main item of  TV news on every single channel. How many people in France died from this potential plague? Not one. How many people died in Europe? Just 5 – in Azerbaijan, a very poor country on the edge of Asia. How many globally? 359, all in what might be called “Third World ” countries ( though this term is rather dubious) – ie  159 in Indonesia, 61 in Vietnam, 60 in Egypt, 19 in Cambodia….etc. In other words, poor countries, where lots of people die from lack of proper sanitation of which bird flu was merely one of the symptoms.  The 2009 swine fever epidemic was far worse, of course, but even here there were no deaths in Europe or North America, and virtually none in South America or Oceania. Again – poor countries in Africa and Asia. After 3 years the estimate was 284,500 deaths worldwide. A hell of a lot, you might say. But then each year, between 250,00 and half a million people die of “ordinary” flu. And in 2012 1.3 million died from TB, an illness which is very cheap to cure. And yet , because it has no manipulative value – in particular as a method for justifying the increasing destruction of  the small peasantry (and of vastly boosting the profits of the pharmaceutical industry: over 1bn euros worth of State subsidies in France for medication that was never used, in the case of  swine flu ) –  you don’t get constant terrorising by Big Brother of the dangers of flu or TB. And even less about the even more potentially dangerous  looming catastrophes produced by the commodification of everything: fracking, nuclear power, pollution, destruction of flora and fauna, etc. In 2006, at the height of the Black Death bird flu terror campaign that was going to lay half the population of France to waste, a large  free range chicken farm just up the road from me had repeated daily visits from the gendarmes, ordering them to clean up the farm or face being closed down. The enormity of the cost, not to mention the virtual impossibility,  of sterilising an environment filled with chicken shit inevitably meant that they had to close down. The farm had been going for well over 100 years.

14/9/14:

France, Vallé de la Lys: 7 cars burn; mayor claims to be scared of urban guerilla warfare and uses it as a pretext to  write to President for extra cop powers

12/9/14:

France, Seine-et-Marne: over 1m euros worth of damage as Veolia trucks (obnoxious company) are burnt in arson attackMontauban: cow liberates itself from slaughterhouse but the forces of oppression shoot it with 6 bullets … “Liberty or death!”...Doubtless wishing to escape certain doom, a cow took the key to the fields on Friday morning in Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne) by escaping an enclosure of the slaughterhouse. Speeding along the Tarn, this young blonde limousine then caused panic around the station. According to La Depeche du Midi, the beast, in its mad race,  wreaked havoc among motorists at Gasseras roundabout before entering the railway track and heading for the station. To prevent accidents, rail traffic was disrupted on Friday, for about twenty minutes on the Paris-Toulouse line. The cow was  then chased by a large collection  of firefighters, municipal and national police, and also slaughterhouse  and SNCF staff. Those pursuing her managed to isolate the animal at the storage area for SNCF equipment . A veterinarian from theTarn-et-Garonne  county fire and rescue service  tried to anesthetize the animal by means of a hypodermic syringe fired by rifle. But far from asleep, the cow remained agitated, threatening to leave the track and the road.  Potentially dangerous to public order, the decision to shoot it was then taken by the national police. Six bullets were fired into the animal.”

11/9/14:

France, Paris: van belonging to prison building and management firm burnt

8/9/14:

France, Lisle sur Tarn: new confrontations between opponents of dam  deforestation and the forces of the commodity ”Violent confrontation on the site of Sivens resumed this Monday, September 8 shortly after 7 pm. When the riot police appeared to “open the way” for the loggers to carry on with the deforestation perimeter … they found dozens of opponents trying to block the way, some perched in trees, fifty  sitting down and five … buried. Even as riot police were blocking access to the site, dozens of other opponents had managed to reach those on the site, who call themselves “the resistance”. The situation was completely stuck until late morning, no   deforestation machine  managing to enter the perimeter where they were supposed to  be put to work. In early afternoon  firefighters cleared the five people who were buried, who were immediately replaced with five others” (more here in English)

7/9/14:

France, Calais: anti-fascists clash with fascists

6/9/14:

France, Nancy: anti-nuclear graffiti blitz of banks, McDonalds & EDFYvelines: about 20 attack cop crew with “mortar”-style fire crackers and stones; cops respond with tear gas

29/8/14:

France, Haute Savoie: arson attack on shopping mall; over 4000 square meters burnt out (more here)

27/8/14:

France, Lisle-sur-Tarn: barricades, burning tyres and molotovs in resistance to dam constructionParis: arson attack on truck & 3 utility vehicles belonging to council

25/8/14:

France: travellers ambush cops, throw stuff; cops retaliate with tear gas

17/8/14:

France, Paris: convoy of Saudi Arabian prince robbed of 250,000€ and documents

9/8/14:

France, Corsica, Bastia: 44 cops and gendarmes injured (8 hospitalised) by football fans (video)

8/8/14:

France, Toulouse: police station stoned

30/7/14:

France, Thiais: cops giving chase to someone who refused to show ID are stoned

23/7/14:

France, Gap: cops stoned during Gaza demo; anti-semitic attack on handicapped woman.…Sens: report of  series of min-riots spreading on and off throughout the month “…firemen and policemen attacked, cars and bins torched  .” The deputy mayor of Sens adds: “… These extremely serious acts can not go unpunished because the first victims are the police, bus drivers, firefighters and residents of these neighborhoods. “ On the night of Monday 14 to Tuesday, July 15, London Street, two vehicles were burned, requiring the intervention of emergency units and  police security around 5 pm, Tuesday, July 15. In Avenue de la Marne adjacent firefighters had to also control a pile of garbage on fire in the middle of the road. The work of “a dozen youths” according to residents. …New incidents occurred, including the Champs-le-plaisant, Sens, on the night of Wednesday, July 16 to Thursday July 17. Cars and garbage were burned….After a quiet night, the Champs-le-plaisant is ignited on the night of Wednesday 16 to Thursday, July 17 again. Vehicles and garbage were burned between 22 hours and 3 am. Firefighters intervened Boileau Street around 22:45, rue de Rome around 1:30, avenue de l’Europe at 1:45 ET Racine Street, around 3 am, a fire container bins and three vehicle fires. A fourth car was burned as the fire spread….A car was also burned rue de la Fosse-aux-Salmon, and a garden shed, in the Boutours”

20/7/14:

France, Paris: looting of shops  during banned anti-Israel demo-turned-riot… (here it says these shops were exclusively Jewish, but I have been informed that, though there’s a lot of anti-semitic shit in these demos – including from those on the ultra-left/”libertarian” scene – lots of non-Jewish shops were also looted).  The president of the “League for Human Rights” said, “It was a big mistake by the government to ban the march. By forbidding it, it opened the way for trouble and for radicalisation. It encouraged anti-Semitism.”

19/7/14:

France, Calais:  border cops complain about constantly being the object of stone-throwing by immigrants…. Paris: predictably, riots follow state’s prohibition of pro-Palestinian demonstration(from a French right-wing Islamophobic site, by the way) Undoubtedly there’s a lot of stupid anti-semitism (“the socialism of fools” – August Bebel) in these demonstrations, but also some genuine hatred of zionism and Israel’sethnic cleansing not tainted by such stupidity. Zionism and anti-semitism have a symbiotic relationship – they mutually reinforce each other in their false opposition, and that’s why the whole history of zionism since the end of the 19th century is also the history of the acceptance of the “inevitability” of anti-semitism.

Video in English here

Paris 19 7 14 smokesmoke over Paris

16/7/14:

France, Calais: massive recylcing plant occupied by immigrants etc.

15/7/14:

France, Fécamp: bikers attack cops with projectiles after cops harrass them; cops use tear gas and “disencirclement” grenades (whatever those are – presumably something to stop them being surrounded)Argenteuil: another mini-riot 

14/7/14:

 

France, Nantes: cops pelted with projectiles, bins, cars, scooters and an excavator burnt, after cops arrest driver for minor offencesVal d’Oise: several people arrested in confrontations with cops as youths throw smoke bombs causing fires, blocking roads and chucking “bombs” (probably very loud fireworks) at copsLyon: youths chuck “mortars” (again, probably very explosive fireworks) at cops (remember, this is Bastille day in France)

9/7/14:

France, Corsica: government aims to stop ferry/ship blockade after strike violence This, though this is a fairly tentative assessment from afar, might be due to the fact that the small businessmen, farmers and others dependent particularly on the tourist season, have started to attack the company (SNCM) running the ferries of those on strike by wrecking their offices in Bastia and by attacking the prefecture there, in contrast to a few days ago when some of these were attacking the sailors on strikevideo here

7/7/14:

France, Nantes: opponents of new airport construction site occupy courthouse where demonstrator gets 4 month prison sentence, then expelled violently by cops (video)…Avignon festival: 100 of the fringe shows are on strike, and 30 of those which worked gave most of their wages to the strike fund. There are daily general assemblies of strikers and supporters (debate and voting is open to all). There was a 2 hour blockade and occupation of FNAC, a major book and media chainstore, with a discussion inside; also occupations of the offices of FO and the CFDT, the 2 unions that don’t support the strike. No link – information got frpm an email list. And at a pre-play (a play that didn’t take place because of the strike)  party, the Minister of Culture (who officially “sympathises”with the intermittents) was greeted with the words: “Us, Belgian cultural workers, haven’t got the heart to clink glasses with you this evening” and then remained totally silent, creating an awkardness between the minister and the officials gathered there (see here in French). Despite the fact that these Belgians aren’t directly affected by the change in status of the intermittents, they came out on strike in solidarity.

6/7/14:

France, Lyon: cops fire tear gas and flash balls in crowded square as people do their shopping; projectiles thrown at them (more here) 1st report is cop report; 2nd is an eyewitness report

5/7/14:

France, Mende: occupation of social security offices by intermittents and other precarious proletarians

4/7/14:

France, Avignon: 2 opening shows of festival cancelled as intermittents go on strike (link in French; English link here)

3/7/14:

France, Avignon: striking casualised cultural workers (“intermittents”) leave supermarket en masse without paying This is just before the start of the festival in Avignon, where the intermittents look like they could possibly stop the whole festival, the most prestigious of the summer festivals. A few weeks ago they hung a big banner from the famous bridge there saying “Intermittents on strike”, below which they gave a phone number, the number of the bosses’ organisation “Medef”, which is behind the new contract which greatly intensifies precarity/austerity. Their phone lines were blocked for the rest of the day. They have also occupied the Avignon Chamber of Commerce for 6 hours, as well as the offices of the organisers of part of the festival. And today, in Mende, Languedoc Roussillon, there was an occupation of the social security offices.

Unlike the movement in 2003, the intermittents this time around have gone beyond merely defending their own previous juridical status, and  are well aware of the fact that the attack on them is part of a wider attack on not just French proletarians, but also on those in the rest of Europe, and are making connections across Europe (so far, they don’t seem to have leapt to an understanding of how international this struggle is, but maybe this is for the concrete reason that it is the EU that is issuing the directives that concern people in this part of the world ). Meanwhile, the CGT is – surprise surprise – shitting on the independent actions by issuing a statement calling for unity but against  the cancellation of shows and festivals or blockades without a direct strike of those technicians etc. working on the shows etc.It seems that each local work situation votes whether to go on strike or not, despite most of them belonging to the CGT union nationally. So much for “unity”. Unity in submission. Unity in division. “Unity”= obey the CGT bureaucracy….Corsica, Porto Vecchio: professional cadres representing, amongst others,  the bosses’ organisation Medef, attack striking sailors with stones; sailors respond with water jets “The vessel sailed around 20:00 after a few hundred business professionals, who consider that the strike penalizes the  economic activity of Corsica, tried to board. According to police sources, the professionals set fire to the ropes and threw stones, while the sailors responded with water jets. The police had to intervene and use tear gas to separate the protagonists. Many professional organizations, including the chambers of commerce and industries of the two Corsican departments, the chambers of agriculture, several island bosses’ syndicates, including the  trade association of transporters of Corsica and the MEDEF, are protesting against the strike of the SNCM, which is  leading Corsica to a “dramatic economic situation.” These organizations believe that the strike …jeopardizes the economy of the island, limiting the arrival of tourists and the movement of goods. These organizations  called on Thursday, in a statement, for “the whole world economy, the agricultural sector and civil society to mobilize” and demonstrate in front of the prefectures of Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud on Friday at 15:00.”

2/7/14:

France, Calais: riot cops seal off their attack on refugees & supporters from eyes of the media (more here, here and here)…report on strike, now in its 5th week,  and  occupation at famous old psychiatric hospital near Paris; strikers sabotage computer against union wishes; strike is against speed-ups and “rationalisation”… Paris/ cops use  “dis-encirclement grenade” after being surrounded by nearly 200 stoning and gassing them

1/7/14:

France: several mini-riots against cops after Algeria lose to Germany (French right-wing Islamophobic site)  Saint-Denis, Drancy, Villepinte and Aulnay-sous-Bois: Groups of youths throw projectiles and  fireworks at cops. Fireworks thrown at the premises of the municipal police in Aulnay-sous-Bois and the town hall ofBondy. Bourgoin: 60 people pelt cops with stones, cops use tear gas. Lyon:   several young people throw projectiles at cops . Same in  Fennec (another area of Lyon), where the cops used water cannon and tear gas. In Vénissieux, Bron, Villeurbanne and Saint-Priest (areas of Lyon), similar clashes. Marseille: 200 Algerian supporters quickly surrounded by cops  (about 350 police and CRS); supporters dispersed without a fight, beyond a few cans thrown. Nantes: clashes with cops as numerous bins are set on fire, and three cars burned; bus shelters  destroyed, several trams stoned; stones thrown at firefighters and cops;  no arrests. None of this in the media; according to this site (with cop connections)  the media were given orders to say that everything went well after the match.

29/6/14:

France, Paris: casualised cultural workers force cancellation of another show Their demands now include a demand for a minimum universal salary for all of those in precarious work/unempoloyment, not just for themselves – a kind of “utopian” capitalist fantasy which, though it exists in a couple of countries, is hardly likely to be conceded in France, a far-greater crisis-ridden country than Finland, say.

intermittents Paris 29 6 14

They’ve got billions – we are millions: Paris, Théâtre de la Ville

26/6/14:

France, Roubaix: mini-riot after Algeria’s team in world cup qualifies for 8th finals “Roubaix, 1.30 a.m.  … a group of people managed to get inside the  Eurotéléport Transpole building [metro station]. “They climbed on roofs and through a dome, they were able to get inside. The damage is very significant,” explained a second police officer .. ...Police and CRS were … stoned at the corner of boulevard UN and rue Gambetta. It took tear gas and the provision of a helicopter  specialized in the fight against urban violence (with a high-powered projector) to repel small, highly mobile groups. …In total, …there are between 15 and 30 cars on fire… ..not counting trash fires…. Four shops in the High Street were vandalized and looted. The windows of the facade of Pôle Emploi [social security offices, notorious for fucking people over] were also attacked. … a cart was turned over in the middle of the road and then burned. It should be noted that the incidents were concentrated in the downtown area……In Lille and Maubeuge also…In the city, many cars were on fire in the night in Wazemmes and other areas of Lille…Other damage, including to bus shelters, was recorded. Worse, a tobacco shop was looted…Several individuals  forced the door and stole cigarettes and scratch games. … in the streets of Maubeuge….in Sous-le-Bois…at least five cars alight … “We saw people spraying vehicles with liquid before starting the fire,”.. This double fire caused large explosions. … Meanwhile, urban rodeos [a cop car chase, usually with stolen vehicles] increased in the streets. …people tried to set fire to a supermarket.”

France roubaix 26 6 14

social security offices, Roubaix

 …same in othe parts of the country: Paris, Champs Elysee: projectiles thrown at riot cops, tear gas thrown at riotersTremblay, Paris suburb (video) Lyon: cops use tear gas and water cannon to stop supporters going to the shopping district; Vaulx-en-Velin: 30 cars burnt , plus loads of garbage binsMarseille: two motorcycle cops  attacked and stoned by supporters as cops tear gas them….les Ulis, South West of Paris: 2 attacks on a police station within 20 minutes of each other causing extensive damage to the glass  facade and some cop vehiclesand 3 minor incidents in the Jura

25/6/14:

France, La Rochelle: mini-riot against cops Bins, pallet burnt; cop windscreens shattered;  windows of  office of  municipal police also shattered

24/6/14:

France, Pantin (93): Bouygues prison construction lorry set alight

23/6 /14:

France, Toulouse: casualised cultural workers occupy the regional council

22/6/14:

France, Pau: at 2a.m.,  after music festival organisers ignore cops’ demand to finish their party, cops attack violently with tear gas and rubber bullets; party-goers respond with bottles, chairs, pallets, barriers, hospitalise 2 cops and vandalise several cop carsNancy: after the end of the music festival, cops are pelted with bottles, stone and signposts; 6 cops injured…  Grenoble: after Algeria’s football victory against South Korea, clashes with cops lead to an empty bus and a dozen cars being burntLyon: several clashes with riot cops after Algeria’s win (and a shop looted)apparently 300 rubber bullets were fired in Lyon, though no mention of rubber bullets appeared in the media (see also, this banal example of standard  gratuitous cop fuckeheadery)similar scenes in Roubaix near Lille (20 cars burnt, shop windows smashed, bins burnt, supermarket on fire) …..Maubeuge and Feignies also…NONE OF THIS APPEARS IN THE NATIONAL MEDIA, ONLY LOCAL MEDIA AND INTERNET….Montpellier: first night of dance spectacle is stopped by about 100 intermittents seizing the stage Amongst the slogans were: a big banner right at the front (which is possibly why the photo in this link is taken from behind)  saying “The bosses and the State organise precarity…let’s organise ourselves!”,  “Grève ou crève”  (strike or die), and “La mélancolie ne sera passer pas!” (“Melancholy will not pass/happen!” – a play on words referring  to the law changing the intermittents’ status, which they don’t want to be passed). The organisers of the show went on stage to declare their sympathy for the intermittents as well as their sympathy for the (quote) “suffering” of the disappointed audience. Throughout the country the intermittents are threatening to close down the higly lucrative festival season, which begins with the biggest one – in Avignon at the beginning of July.

21/6/14:

France, Evry (near Paris): cop hospitalised as a  dozen or so youths attack the cops on an estate.,… Montpellier: during free music festival, “intermittents” (casualised cultural workers) are allowed on stage by top celebrity to put over a message on the telly, saying that their strike is not just about them but is part of an attack on all precarious workers and unemployed ; celebrity endorses some of what they say (videos) It should be made clear that there was a hint of a threat behind the intermittents’ discourse – the threat of pulling the plug on this TV show if they weren’t given the chance to speak.

FETE DE LA MUSIQUE 2014, EN DIRECT DE MONTPELLIER

 

20/6/14:

France, Nantes; casualised cultural workers occupy local offices of national bosses organisation “Medef” (equivalent of CBI  in UK) ...and the Paris suburb offices of the president of Medef (links in French) ” Over 150 of us came here after leaving a general meeting to arrest  the president of MEDEF. Already today in Brest, unemployed, precarious workers and casualised cultural workers tried  to engage in a necessary dialogue with him, but Pierre Gattaz fled, and no one knows where he is hiding. A rumor indicates that at present he’s in Baden Baden… The site of the Bouygues Paris Philharmonic was immobilized the day before yesterday. This was also the case for  public works  companies  in Quimper, where social security offices were closed or occupied. Our actions will not remain confined to the field of culture, or even tourism. We promise to affect the wallets of those responsible. The savings they want to achieve by impoverishing the unemployed and precarious is  going to cost them a lot. We call on the unemployed, precarious, casualised, temporary and all employees to join existing groups and coordinations and create new ones to oppose … austerity.” …..as they occupy other buildings throughout France

theatre occupation montpellier

Solidarity with the casualised cultural workers – theatre on strike

19/6/14:

France, Paris: arson attack on Gare de Lyon; over 600 square metres destroyed

18/6/14:

France: casualised cultural workers take action, occupy various buildings, in 14 areas of  the country 

17/6/14:

France, Paris: train drivers clash with riot cops as strike enters 8th dayLille: train drivers occupy town hall

15/6/14:

France: various concerts cancelled as casualised cultural workers strikes hit festivals etc. Not mentioned here is that these strikers are making links with the train workers’ strikes, which are now in their 6th day, and no sign of ending

14/6/14:

France, Toulon: 2 high-speed TGV trains brought to a slow stop by “malicious acts” (ie sabotage) as SNCF train strike hots up; 2,200 passengers have unexpected overnight stay in train

empty railway station.jpg&MaxW=558&imageVersion=defaultGare de Lyon, Paris

12/6/14:

France, Nice: molotov thrown at police station as youths gather in estate

11/6/14:

France, Paris: dozens of youths attack cops in Athis-Mons, a Paris suburb

10/6/14:

France, Brittany: ecotax “gate” deliberately set fire to, forced to be dismantled

7/6/14:

France, Toulouse: several molotovs thrown at detention centre for expulsion of illegals

4/6/14:

France, Montpellier: La Traviata cancelled as casualised cultural workers seize the stage (see also this, from 2004)…Brittany: ecotax “gate” set fire to

29/5/14:

France, Calais: resistance to filth-infested authorities continues

26/5/14:

France, Marseille: occupation of the roof of benefits office against its definitive closure and the harrassment of the poor (no link; see this in French: affiche version2)

22/5/14:

France, Lyon: graffiti and fire in solidarity with movement against high speed train between Turin and Lyon

20/5/14:

France, Paris: 3 electric car-sharing cars, part of billionaire’s business empire, sabotaged

19/5/14:

France, Paris: 453 tyres  belonging to JCDecaux bike and ad company that super-exploits prisoners punctured as part of ongoing campaign against them

18/5/14:

France, Paris: 2 vehicles belonging to companies involved in repressive social control torchedVerzege: cars ouside bullfight arena vandalised Not sure if this is the case here, but often what happens with the bulls is this: they’re kept in fields from birth, free to play with other bulls or fuck the cows, free to enjoy the sun and rain, and are then taken after 2 years and kept alone, for the first time in their lives, in a small enclosed space under the arena in total darkness, when – for the corrida – they are let out, after 2 weeks, into the arena with the loud cheering crowds and the literally blinding sun and, virtually incapable of seeing a thing, and are then provoked by the matadors, who have to wound them within 2 minutes before they get their eyesight back. Very courageous.

16/5/14:

France, Brittany: “greenwashing” eco-capitalist organisation sabotaged as part of anti-airport struggle “Some machines belonging to Chupin parks have been damaged and  their depot has been graffitied . This action is part of the campaign “Adopt a subcontractor” launched by the collective in  support of the opposition to the airport Notre-Dame -des- Landes. To achieve the airport project , Vinci needs a complicit army of companies like Chupin . Without their cooperation , it would not be possible to destroy 2,000 hectares of farmland or impose a project on a population that does not want it. Today is a first step in a campaign against Chupin aimed at its dissociation from the airport project ….Chupin received a subcontract as part of  ecological compensation measures proposed for the airport Notre -Dame- des-Landes , especially for moving timber that houses the great Capricorn . Chupin wants to  help Vinci   to create its ” High Environmental Quality” airport with areas of ecological compensation aimed at legitimizing this devastating project. This greenwashing also involves testing out  experimental techniques to legalize the destruction of animals and protected areas in the future , such as the transfer of habitats for recreating species ….resistance and sobotage!” (more here, in French)

13/5/14:

France, Chelles: school students riot against rules of procedure The atmosphere remains tense in front of the school Gaston Bachelard – Chelles . In the aftermath of clashes between youths and police outside the building , two hundred teenagers gathered this morning in front of the gate of the school. According to our information , most are students from Bachelard , about 15 aren’t. ..we have seen some with hoods carrying stones   or chains in their backpack . Police use covert surveillance of the street. At 10.30  Tuesday morning , no incidents had been reported . Monday morning , after a group had locked the gate of the school, clashes erupted between rioters , some hooded, and police outside. The police used flash-balls to overcome the protesters, some of whom were throwing smoke bombs . Seven young people were arrested and placed in custody . Two of them do not attend school….What was involved was the hardening of the rules of the institution decided by the Board of Directors. Now the doors of the school will close at 8.20 and not reopen until an hour later.“

21/4/14:

France, Calais: mini-riot in “ZUP” (high priority zone housing estate)

10/4/14:

France, Essonne: before a robbery, several masked men trap the gendarmes in their barracks by puncturing the tyres of all their vehicles (text in French)

9/4/14:

France, Grenoble: over 100 cars vandalised over the last week by someone protesting against pollution

8/4/14:

France: main evening news interrrupted as striking casualised cultural workers invade studio (video about 1m30seconds in: report in French) (see also this, from 10 years ago)

7/4/14:

France, Rouen: several windows of the town hall smashed, just over a week after they’d previously been smashed

3/4/14:

France, Calais: burning barricade during port strike

30/3/14:

France, Beziers:  election (on just under 50% of the vote) of   fascist mayor met with anger in poor district of town (report in French)“… clashes occurred in the popular area of Devèze, ranked as a Priority Security Zone (ZSP) where young people threw stones at the CRS. 2 cars and a transformer were burned in the neighborhood Iranget . In another popular area of Iranget , two cars , containers and a transformer were also burned , leaving the entire neighborhood lit up.”

20/3/14:

France, Paris: seasonal cultural workers occupy the Opera (see alsothis, from 2004)

18/3/14:

France, Paris: scandalous graffiti outrage horror shock!

16/3/14:

France: Chanteloup-les-Vignes – 60 people attack cops trying to nick someone,  car in police station grounds burnt out – 4th attack on cops in 3 days (other places: Ales, Nancy,Grigny)

22/2/14:

France, Nantes: new clashes over airport construction (more here) (photos here) (more here) “Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters who lobbed projectiles and threw paint onto Nantes’ city hall, set fire to construction vehicles and vandalised the offices of Vinci, the project’s contractor.”

12/2/14:

France, Villneuve-sur-Lot: window of right-wing party becomes the object of a dreadful anti-democratic act!

13/1/14:

France: taxi drivers fighting neoliberal “VTC [voiture de tourisme avec chauffeur] multinationals, financed by Google and Goldman Sachs” trash cars, set up roadblocks, create traffic jams etc. in 4 cities

8/1/14:

France, Amiens: Goodyear factory occupied after plant managers held capitive are released by cops

goodyear amiens occupation

2014 – a good year for untyring struggle…?

30/11/13:

France: roads blocked across country in truckers’ anti-tax hike protests

21/11/13:

France, Paris: farmers and farm workers block roads outside capital; stones and iron bars thrown at cops….Lyon: occupiers of University violently arrested by cops

16/11/13:

France: over 2000 truckers block 9 motorways in protest against ecotax…….barricades near ecotax portals in the South East

15/11/13:

France, Montpellier: another (temporary) blockade of the Paul Valery section of the university (Montpellier lll)  This section deals with the liberal arts and stuff like that – media studies, sociology, literature, etc. – and is the section most effected by the cutbacks (a cut of €4m).  A minister recently stated that literature, media studies, and so on weren’t profitable and so they had to reduce the state subsidies. This is a continuation by the Socialist Party government into the realm of state education of Chirac’s attacks on cultural workers 10 years ago (see “Culture in danger – if only!”, in particular the section “the end of subsidies”). There are small mobilisations at various universities throughout France, but Paul Valery is the only one that has been blockaded. Sadly, a massive General Assembly – over 1500 in a large lecture hall designed for about half that number – on Tuesday (12th Nov.) voted to end the permanent blockade, but to have blockades on days when there’s a General Assembly (the next one will be Tuesday 19th, though all the signs are that it’ll be the last this term).

The mass meeting was depressing. Endless amounts of students saying they were against the cuts and even against the capitalist system, but that a blockade wasn’t the way to do it.  A kind of NIMBYism of struggle. Though there was endless chat during all the students’ speeches, there was a hushed silence when they allowed the President to speak, as if they were suddenly in church listening to a sermon. Respect for alienation hasn’t  been so servile for over 50 years. Respect for the dead. Naturally she claimed she was on their side but a blockade was “useless”. When one person out of the 1500 gathered there responded by shouting “The President is useless!”, he was told to shush.  A nice proposition for “free transport”, “free food” and the “requisitioning of commodities” was voted for by a narrow majority (about 54% to 46%, excluding abstentions) but what it means in practice when most students are so afraid for their own studies that they can’t do anything practical in the area where they can most effect things, is almost certainly zilch. All squawking the squawk whilst just gawking the gawk. Many of these students are in their last year, so they won’t be effected by these cuts. One student union rep claimed the blockade should end because it was dividing the students.   United we fall. Submission is strength. All for one misery, one for all miseries. The logic of “1984″ .

Great alternative propositions to a blockade were made and a majority voted for them  – such as having a totally silent demonstration, an admission that they had nothing to say. Or a petition to the prefecture demanding that the €4million be restored. Self-contempt hiding in “citizenship” clothing. Impotence dressed up as demanding your rights.

Afterwards, on the way to a friend, I bumped into a local demo of farmers and farm workers, which at least blocked the movement of traffic for an hour. They were demanding the withdrawal of the new VAT being applied to the agricultural sector, rising from 7% to 20%, and were wearing the now famous “red bonnets” being used in Britanny. I suppose that’s some kind of progress, even if only on a symbolic level: what a week ago symbolised a mainly nationalistic Breton uprising is now being taken up as a symbol of any peasant uprising. But most of  the radicals I met on the Paul Valery campus were  dismissive of what was going on in Britanny, because it seemed like a cross-class and largely right-wing movement. Whilst it’s partly that, it’s a helluva lot more complicated than such a simplistic rejection….

12/11/13:

France: Paris – riot at high school (lycee Paul Eluard) after  blockade in support of sans-papiers (undocumented); barricades set alight, stones and bottles chucked at  school & firemenAlso at Nantes, lycee Michelet  blockaded, bins set alight, stones chucked at forces of “order”. 4 other lycees also blockaded. (link in French). For more information on the last week of this movement see this link in French.paul-eluard-12nov13-3-300x300

What else could we do, for the doors were guarded,

What else could we do, for they had imprisoned us,

What else could we do, for the streets were forbidden us,

What else could we do, for the town was asleep?

What else could we do, for she hungered and thirsted,

What else could we do, for we were defenceless,

What else could we do, for night had descended,

What else could we do, for we were in love? –

– “Curfew” by Paul Eluard, published 1942, the year he joined the Communist Party, and obviously expelled from the surrealist group; he  later wrote poems eulogising Stalin. Still, some of the things he wrote before he Stalinised himself were pretty good, despite being trapped in a mostly archaic form.

9/11/13:

France: 3 ecotax porticos attacked, 2 destroyed by fire; motorways blocked by lorry driverssecurity camera torched, cops pelted.video here ….Ironically , the red bonnets (a symbol of those worn during a mainly peasant  uprising in Britanny in the late 17th century) – supposedly made in Britanny and expressive of a local Breton nationalism and for some expressive of a local protectionism against foregin imports – are counterfeit wooly hats made in Scotland – see here (in French).

8/11/13:

France: over a billion euros to be given to Britanny economy by state to pacify movement

6/11/13:

France, Montpellier: blockade of Paul Valery University against cuts; 1000+ at General Assembly (link in French)

4/11/13:

France, Brittany: workers use tractor to break down gate of prefecture, then occupy it

brittanny 4 11 13

 

3/11/13:

France, Britanny: another ecotax “portico” (a kind of toll gate) burnt and destroyed in Lanrédec (Côtes d’ Armor) (link in French)

portique-ecotaxe- 3-novembre-2013

ecotax portico/toll gate

300 demonstrators in another town in Britanny (St. Allouestre, Morbihan) stormed the ecotax toll gate on Saturday (2/11/13 – see the report for this date below) and destroyed it with fire. In one region, all the ecotax “porticos” have been destroyed (see the report for 26/10/13 below). All this seems to have got both the right and the left in a bit of a panic. The Prime Minister, Ayrault, has demanded a get-together of all the various parties, including the unions. A previous  meeting at Matignon had originally been boycotted by the right-wing. But subsequent to their “cross-class alliance” developing into  a bit more than simply a “citizen” mentality in Quimper and elsewhere, they feel the need to recuperate what could have a more general knock-on effect. This has to be defined as  purely a problem for Britanny. And to bring in a carrot and stick policy for  both sides in this mish-mash of a movement. So they’re trying to get Germany and the EU to agree to a minimum wage in the agricultural sector (the carrot for the workers),  which in exchange wants an easing of regulations (the stick – probably meaning making it more profitable by reducing such terrible inconveniences as health and safety, the price proletarians pay for not contesting cross-class alliances). Plus they’re aiming to have an injection of money – half-financed by the state – possibly the same as Lorraine, which got 300 million euros.

It should be pointed out that there have been some depressing manifestations of the success of divide and rule amongst workers in Britanny. A couple of weeks ago or so, some workers from an abattoir which was going to be closed down, went on strike and then went off  to another abattoir to get solidarity from the workers there; but the workers refused to go on strike, citing their financial problems at the same time as their indifference to those of the strikers. The strikers and those not yet threatened with redundancies had a pitched battle, but the strikers managed to block the entrances of the abattoir, so the anti-strikers (one couldn’t exactly call them scabs, as there hadn’t been a vote to strike at their abattoir) went off to block a motorway – not in support of the strikers, but as a protest against them.

2/11/13:

France, Quimper: riot cops use tear gas and water cannon against workers fighting redundancies and demanding abolition of ecotax….  (video in French or in English) More hereThis “ecotax” is a tax that was suspended by the Socialist Party government just a few days ago after riots in Brittany (see this). The demo is demanding its abolition, not just its suspension. Though this tax was brought in by Sarkozy, it was originally meant to come into effect in January 2014. Various wordsmiths have called these demonstrations “right-wing”, but they’re no more right-wing than any other fuel protest, whether  under a Leftist or Right-wing government. See this article, which I co-wrote, about the  UK fuel protests of 2000: “Looks like we got ourselves a convoy”.  

say it with flowers:

flower power in Quimper

A protester holds a potted chrysanthemum near French riot police, already bombarded with potted plants,  as they barricade themselves against a demonstration to maintain jobs and for the abolition of the ecotax in Quimper.

“The only way I like to see cops given flowers is in a flower pot from a
high window.” – Burroughs

26/10/13:

France, Brittany: protests against “ecotax” on large vehicles ” Protesters set fire to hay bales and stacks of tires next to the ecotax toll gate at Pont-de-Buis, the only one still functioning in the region after the other two were put out of commission by acts of sabotage in recent months.Others spilled truckloads of cauliflower onto the road, while more than 250 vehicles including trucks, tractors and trailers were also used to block the route.As riot police arrived to quell the protests, demonstrators hurled eggs and flares at the security forces, who responded with volleys of teargas and shots from Flash-Ball weapons…”

23/10/13:

France: blockade of pork processing plant by workers demanding improved redundancy payments

18/10/13:

France, Paris: cops use tear gas against high school students protesting immigrant deportations (more here and here)…videohere50 schools involved

10/10/13:

France: wildcat strike by air traffic controllers

4/10/13:

France, Calais: 60 Syrian refugees occupy ferry terminal

20/8/13:

France: attempted prison takeover by prisoners in Chateaudun 

9/8/13:

France, Brittany: you can’t make an  omelette without breaking eggs

1/8/13:

France: short heated prison riot

19/7/13:

France: Paris suburb riot outside police station after fining of Muslim woman for wearing burka in public

12/6/13:

France, Argenteuil: 60 confront the cops after cop control of Muslim woman wearing headscarf

11/6/13:

France: Virgin shop in the Champs-Elysées and other places occupied in struggle against the dolestrikers let tourists visit Mont St Michel for free

24/5/13:

France, New-Caledonia: airplane company strikers block airports and petrol depots

13/5/13:

France, Paris: si j’existe, si j’existe, c’est d’être émeutier, c’est d‘être émeutierFrance Soccer PSG Celebrations

(encore plus des photos ici) ( fenêtres  des restaurants et  boutiques  bourgeois dans les Champs Elysées brisées)

« Les secousses politiques qui depuis 60 ans ne cessent d’ébranler la France, lui ont donné  profondément à réfléchir sur l’influence que Paris a exercée jusqu’ici sur ses destinées. Elle paraît désormais bien décidée à ne plus courber son front devant les tribuns ambitieux et la petite armée d’émeutiers qui ont placé le centre de leur propagande au sein de la capitale,afin d’exploiter à leur profit l’influence morale et légitime qu’elle exerce sur tout le reste du pays. Cependant, se maintenir en possession de la capitale sera toujours le but le plus im- portant du gouvernement. Si la politique ne le lui demandait pas, l’honneur et l’humanité luien feraient une loi impérieuse, il ne pourrait pas abandonner sans crime la grande cité àl’affreuse tyrannie de l’émeute. Il faut donc se mettre en mesure par tous les moyens que peut suggérer l’art et la prévoyance, de rester maître de Paris.» –

Ce texte, écrit en 1849 par le général Bugeaud, était tellement explicite que l’État français empêcha la publication jusqu’en 1997, lorsque la classe dirigeante française espère que Paris a maintenant définitivement jeté ses détracteurs prolétariennes à l’extérieur de son peripherique … mais aujourd’hui encore, ils restent parfois un peu peur que leur jolie ville être bouleversé – ils ont donc maintenant arrêté les trains dans les domaines allant du Beaubourg artistiquement prévoyante, où les jeunes pauvres sont souvent allés à vendre de la drogue …

15/4/13:

France: cops attacked with molotovs in anti-airport demo 

Par email:
Des casseurs sont arrivés à Notre Dame des Landes. Voici une liste provisoire des dégâts occasionnés par ces gens masqués et casqués visiblement armés pour la bagarre* et qui ont attaqué les gens qui y vivaient paisiblement. Précisément dans la zone où le jour précédent on semait des pois et autres légumes et où l’on festoyait gaiement.  La semaine qui précédait des membres de collectifs anti gaz de schistes étaient venus des 4 coins du pays faire le point de toutes ces luttes en cours.
d’après les descriptions il s’agirait de bandes très organisées ayant des ramifications partout dans le pays.  Elles seraient bien équipées, financées grassement par l’argent dit “public” (dont on nous dit qu’il manque cruellement en ce moment) et bénéficieraient de protecteurs très  haut placés dans la hiérarchie des gouvernants. On dit même qu’ils seraient tous impliqués dans cette sombre affaire… Ces gangs malfaisants (aux ordres de leurs sombres commanditaires) ont déjà commis des exactions à Notre Dame des Landes par le passé et dans de multiples autres lieux où elles veulent imposer par la force ce que les habitants refusent. 
Et un communiqué de l’’équipe médicale 15.04.2013lundi 15 avril 2013:Dans la presse vous entendrez beaucoup parler des trois gendarmes blessés mais, peu des personnes subissant les violences physiques et psychologiques de cette opération militaire.En tant qu’équipe medic on voulait transmettre ce que l’on a vu aujourd’hui. Alors qu’hier on célébrait la libération du carrefour de la Saulce deux jours plus tôt par un pique-nique festif sans autres blessures que des coups de soleil, ce matin les gendarmes sont revenus en nombre reprendre le carrefour, réinstaurer leur occupation militaire. Dans ce cadre là, on a vu de nombreux tirs tendus de flashball et grenades assourdissantes a courte distance, qui ont infligé de nombreuses blessures dont certaines pris en charge par l’équipe médic :- impacts par flashball :œdèmes et hématomes :
– trois personnes dans les jambes
– une personne dans le bras
– une personne dans les épaules
– trois personnes dans le thorax
– une personne dans le dos
un impact dans la tête entrainant une plaie ouverte du crâne nécessitant cinq points de suture
un impact dans le visage provocant un arrachement important de l’arcade et un enfoncement des sinus accompagné par une hémorragie importante nécessitant une prise en charge par les pompiers- impacts par des grenades assourdissantes :plaies, brulures et corps étrangers faits par les éclats de grenade :
– trois personnes dans les jambes
– une personne dans une fesse
blaste :
– multiples personnes choquées (désorientations, acouphènes)
– une personne plus gravement atteinte malgré la présence d’une palette la protégeant des impacts des éclats- des nombreuses intoxications liées à l’emploi massif de gaz lacrymogène et poivréLes pompiers ayant évacué la personne ont été bloqué par les gendarmes qui leur ont refusé l’accès et ne les ont laissé passer qu’après l’insistance d’occupants présents. Ils ont de nouveau empêché leur départ afin de contrôler la personne blessée, retardant en tout plus de vingt minutes la pris en charge des secours.Une occupation militaire ne s’installe jamais sans violence. Cette liste non-exhaustive ne voudrait pas oublier toute la violence psychologique d’un tel déploiement policier ainsi que celles subies au quotidien dues à leur présence permanente et leurs agissements.

                                                                                                                                                       

Original notes and introduction

The following used to be at the top of this page but has been put here to give the chronological events greater prominence:

This is simply “France: a reader” with a new title & a note about the current movement; as always the chronology is the latest news about events in France

france: a reader (updated regularly)

french stereotype 2

There are 4 sections to this page: a constantly updated chronology of events taken from the News of Opposition page, a list of texts about France on this site, some quotes about France from texts on this site which otherwise are not directly concerned with France, and a list of interesting historical texts about France not on this site. This is very far from being  a definitive list (not that there ever could be such a thing) – things will be added constantly.

french stereotype 2

Paris 1968:

Love 68 copy

romantic nostalgic yearning for bliss was it that day…

It seems worthwhile putting all the entries about France from the  News of Opposition page here in one place, entries going back to March 2013. Here you’ll find, alongside the confrontations with the cops over the new Labour Law and innumerable clashes in the banlieux, strikes, official and unofficial, farmers struggles, ecological struggles, struggles of cultural workers, etc. etc.

libert egalit revolt

Note added 20/4/16: the current movement (which started in March) is certainly not as extensive as what happened exactly 10 years ago in the movement against the CPE in 2006 – it doesn’t involve as many people, the strikes are hardly followed, etc. It would be rather typical to be over-optimistic about it so far, to exaggerate its extent and its general influence. The most interesting aspects are the high school student movement, which are almost invariably organised independently, though there’s a high school student union that also seems to be part of it, predictably  usually amongst the most pacifist elements, always trying to “calm” things down. Since the 16th April, half of the high schools and universities in France are on holiday, and given that there’s very little happening outside of these institutions, it’s likely that significant events will not start up until May (hopefully: even significant revolts nowadays often seem to simmer out rather than flare up). However, the casualised workers in the culture business (  “intermittents”) are carrying out various occupations and have an interesting history over the last 13 years (see “Culture in danger – if only”), despite their incredible naivety towards unions; and the “Nuits Debouts” (assemblies taking place at night in squares in the country), despite their citizenship ideologies, their bureaucratic mentality and tendency to drop wet blankets on anything other than talk, will now and then have people who suggest going off on a wildcat demo during the night, and these things can develop into something else. The problem, as always, is the fact that the current workforce are largely passive, indifferent or scared, despite the horrible future them and  their children face.

Texts about France on this site

2015: French letters: the Paris massacre and Islamophobia

2015: we are not charlie

A translation of 2 leaflets written in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations. ” In this society “freedom of speech” does not exist: speak out against your boss, or a cop, or your teacher if you’re a kid, and you’ll discover how far this “freedom” gets you. … in France there’s a law against “outrage”, which means that you can be prosecuted for insulting anybody who’s a paid civil servant…. despite the fact that the international media focus almost exclusively on the journalists killed, in a society divided into the scene and the unseen, the male cleaner and proof reader who were killed have been – with a few exceptions – photochopped out of the picture”

2011: suicide or revolution 

“Tuesday, 26th April 2011, saw yet another suicide of a man working for France Telecom, this time by self-immolation in the parking lot of the France Telecom offices in Mérignac near Bordeaux. The picture above shows the exact place Rémi L. set fire to himself – beneath what was architecturally designed to look like a cross. The glories of sacifice. Ironically part of the guy’s most recent job requirement was to assess stress levels within the company and their remedy. Some remedy!…Management have been rehearsing and performing their show of concern for several years now, but behind this facade, they are clearly caught up in the logic of reification which they are structurally incapable of opposing. All they can do is put in place the psychologists and social workers and stress assessors and all the other professional reformists of daily life who are also structurally incapable of getting to the root of the matter – unless they subvert their prescribed roles of course. In this case, one of them has fallen victim to what he was trying to cure. Under suicide capitalism, the increasingly intensified logic of commodification of everybody and everything not only drives those at the bottom into mass depression and the world further into the abyss of environmental disaster, but also effects the individualist careerists who try to rise above the whirlpool – the cadres.”

2011: The Paris Commune Reflections 140 years after

2011: occupations of secondary, primary and infant schools

2010: class struggle in autumn, september – november

“The strike… at Jean-Baptiste Dumas High School in Alès …started on Monday 27th, with the building of barricades 3 metres high around the doors of the school. The pupils then marched to other schools, including private ones, and several hundred ‘kids’ (15 and up) came out at different ones, amassing into at least 4000 demonstrating in the centre of the town in front of the prefecture and elsewhere. A cop on a motorcycle, surrounded by angry teenagers, accelerated quickly out, narrowly missing many of the demonstrators. At one private school, about 4 kilometers outside of Ales, over 200 kids came out on strike before the headmaster locked the others inside. The CRS were called and threatened the demonstrators outside with tear gas, who were trying to break down the doors, forcing them to disperse. Monday to Tuesday night, some of the students slept in tents in front of the schools (though a hot autumn during the day, it’s pretty cold at night). These demonstrations continued into Tuesday, including another one in front of the prefecture where stones were thrown and a school student arrested. At 7.45 p.m. four truckloads of gendarmes and 8 truckloads of CRS cops came along to the Jean-Baptiste Dumas school and dismantled the barricades, whilst just 6 teenagers “occupied” the roundabout in their tents in front of the High School, forcing fairly long drawn-out negotiations between Alès’s ‘sous-préfet’ (vice-president of the prefecture) in person, along with the commander of the cops, a leading councillor and CGT union reps….The demands are not yet a critique of miseducation, or of the futureless world this miseducation is preparing kids for, but totally within the boundaries of normality: withdrawal of the project of abolishing the national plan for lycées, against over-sized classes and withdrawal of the plan to extend retirement age to 62. But, being self-organised and a practical break with normality they point to a different perspective.”

2010: roma expulsions 

“Nomad life is no longer compatible with modern life in Europe” – Francois Fillon, 30/8/10. There is no “specifically Roma problem” and the attacks on them are not “specific attacks”, as the specialists in manipulation (UMP, etc.) and the false opposition (the left, the liberal humanists, etc.) would have us believe they are, but a means of dividing so as to better rule. Those who, actively or passively, follow and accept the discourse of either side in this pseudo-debate, are ultimately as complicitous in their own misery as those most in the forefront of this “debate”.

2010: facebook festivals

“Social contestation will increasingly become possible and the more the European crisis continues with its domino effect the more the State will want any gatherings of young people repressed before such gatherings become a good pretext for attacking this stupid society. In Montpellier, the whole area was immediately surrounded by the police observing the intoxicating mix of marijuana and alcohol, and the mayor, drunk on the most destructive drug in the world – hierarchical power, proudly claimed that she watched it all in great detail through CCTV.”

2010: howlings in favour of ourselves: a practical critique of situationism

“Friday, 5th March at Théatre Grammont near Zenith just outside Montpellier, France, a few people preferring to entertain themselves rather than be entertained, decided to take the piss out of the ridiculous spectacle of the critique of the spectacle “Scanners” with its pretentious subtitle “Howlings in favour of Guy Debord”.

2006:  all quiet on the french front

“France has been bubbling up on and off since 2003 (see “French movement 2003”, “Culture in danger – if only”, “Lycée movement 2005”, and a leaflet on the riots of November 2005 ). The pretext for the latest movement is, in itself, fairly unimportant: a change in the labour laws which makes it possible for bosses to sack under-26-year-olds in the first 2 years of employment without giving any reason (the name of this contract is CPE; Contrat Première Embauche[1]). Even the French equivalent of the CBI admits that it doesn’t change much, except for small or average-sized private companies (on March 22nd, the employers’ movement Ethic “deplored” the “catastrophic consequences” of the CPE on the image of employers). But anyone who knows anything knows that if they get away with this, it’ll be extended to all workers, as has happened in Germany”

2005:  brief notes on the movement of secondary school students

“In mid-April 2005, a Parisian annexe of the Ministry of Education was invaded by between 150 and 200 lycéens (secondary school students from the age of 16 upwards), and the offices were wrecked, with virtually every computer smashed, two being chucked out of the window. When the CRS (riot cops) arrived, the students quickly rushed up the stairs to the roof, quickly covering the stairs behind them with oil and liquid soap that they’d found there. As the cops slipped and fell, a fire extinguisher was chucked at them”

2004:  culture in danger? – if only…

“This little army threatened to burn all the theatres if they did not close immediately, saying that the French people had no right to enjoy themselves in the midst of public misfortunes and that they no longer had any reason to amuse themselves. All theatres were duly closed; moreover no actor would have the courage to appear on the stage in the midst of the general alarm inspired by the certain prospect of tragic events.”–          Professor Bellfroy, Paris, July 12th 1789….Last June and July (2003) the ‘intermittents’ launched the best practical critique of modern culture for a long time – by shutting down festivals that have been going on since shortly after the Second World War. As insurrectionaries discovered over 200 years ago, truly enjoying and amusing ourselves involves also attacking the official market-enforced and State-protected forms of enjoyment and amusement, the representations (but not the reality) of life. These representations are the essence of culture so it’s ironic that the ‘intermittents’ should dress themselves up in the same language as the State and the market – accusing the State of putting ‘culture in danger’, pre-empting the inevitable accusation the government launched against them.”

2004:  the poverty of french rock ‘n’ roll

“Are the French less capable than European-Americans or Britons of recreating music of African-American origins? Does the peculiarity of French culture impede the reproduction of a music founded in the alienation of first a racial minority and then a rootless, alienated American population? The explanation frequently offered by French musicians and fans of rock and roll is that there is indeed a cultural limitation in France: the language. In their opinion, the phonetic structure and monotone stress patterns of the French language make the articulation of the emotions, the feeling at the heart of African-American music, virtually impossible. But this explanation is inherently contradictory. Artists possessing will and talent can overcome problems of technical execution. Most importantly, feeling is not subordinate to technical ability; and, as it happened, rock and roll was successfully performed in France even before it found a large market.”

2003:  notes on the movements in France, June 2003

” On one demo I asked someone, a CNT anarcho-syndicalist, what was going on in the way of occupations and assemblies and he looked at me as if I was from the moon – “It’s impossible to know what’s going on in France” he said. So, as everywhere else, if you don’t have friends and contacts in specific areas where something is going on, you’re effectively reliant on the dominant media. Superficially, at least, the media do seem to publicise more things than they would in the UK, but maybe it’s because there’s a great deal more going on here. The CNT has 5000 members, though admittedly concentrated in limited areas, but they still don’t know what’s going on.   For example, 18 days after it had begun, the telly mentioned for the first time (and I’d not seen it amongst any of the ‘alternative’ media), a total dustman’s strike causing massive rubbish pile-ups in Brest”

1996:  france 1995-6: the strike and after

“For the leadership of the trade unions, who are always hostile to individual and collective initiatives which escape their control, the decision to call a strike was the result of exhausting negotiations conducted with all the pedantry and ceremony proper to democracy with the objective of gaining credibility from people concerned. But individuals not lacking in decision already know from experience that the formal unanimity thus achieved doesn’t signify anything in itself. Without waiting for the approval of all their still hesitant comrades, they not only went on strike but also began to seize the signal control centres. Such initiatives were denounced by the SNCF management as irresponsible acts “which put the security of the rail network and equipment at risk” whereas it is them who have been responsible for numerous railway catastrophes on the lines which don’t pay – by letting them fall into disrepair. In reality, such acts reveal the vulnerability of the transport network which is more and more centralized and computerized. The generalization of the latest technology is at once the source of the power and the general weakness of the system. It is a weapon of capital aiming to domesticate humans and to render their presence more and more obsolete. At the same time, all that was necessary was for a handful of individuals to occupy the control centres and signal boxes, carry out some basic acts of sabotage, like erasing the computer’s memory, for the network to be paralysed in its entirety.” 

1987: france goes off the rails

NOVEMBER 1986, PARIS: The State’s anti-terrorist strategy means that almost every time you go out in the evening you’re virtually sure that you’ll get searched by the cops…Over the previous months, two drivers have been killed by the cops for going the wrong way down a one-way street…Even jumping the Metro ticket barriers have the cops pulling out the shooters…Paranoia…suspicion…”Two years minimum before anything could come to life” ….Hell. DECEMBER 1986, PARIS: …..and people are beginning to talk excitedly with one another once again. Of course, nothing’s that easy, and explosions after years of repression tend to be full of confusion, which is why we’ve produced this: to set the record straight about what we know of these events this last winter, to help clear up this foggy mess.” This text contains leaflets made by vocational “students” training to work in electronics factories, written with a lot of help from their situationist-influence “superviser”. They called themselves “the Lascars of LEP” (Lascars meaning “rascals”, though we translated it as “likely lads”). film made with the Lascars of Lep is here, A note about this film here.

1985-6: os cangaceiros: freedom is the crime that contains all crimes, and other stuff…plus a critical introduction (2013)

“There’s a lot of mythology surrounding this group, and some of it deliberately promoted by them themselves. But some of the myth also comes from those who merely want to be known for simply associating with them, to pump their own history up with some “by your notorious friends shalll ye be known”. Undoubtedly they did some excellent exemplary stuff – like this text I’m putting out here, supporting the prisoners in revolt in France in ’85, forcibly stopping trains and distributing this text in the trains in order to get maximum publicity for this solidarity action. Or their theft of architects’ plans for prisons. They also provided rebels, mainly those in the French squatting scene, with some good ideas on how to expropriate the expropriators”

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Other pertinent quotes from texts which otherwise are not directly concerned with France

“At the moment of writing (29th September 05) in Marseille, and in Corsica, there’s a mini-insurrection over privatisation and redundancies. A few sporadic mini-barricades are going up over Marseille and at Bastia in Corsica, some small burning obstacles here and there on and off all over the place over the last 48 hours, trucks chucked in the harbour, some riot cops pelted with stones, a blockade of the two ports, solidarity strikes with dockers and petrol refineries coming out in support of the ferrrymen sailors theatened with privatisation – 40 of whom hijacked (unarmed) a massive ferry ship, a virtual mutiny, and took it to Corsica where it was intercepted by three French navy ships, helicopters and armed masked French soldiers, arresting them all but holding only 4 of them after demonstrations of solidarity with them in Marseille and Corsica.” – from here

“It’s useful to consider the examples of others, not as an ideal to be aimed for, but as something worth adapting to different circumstances. A critical knowledge of other people’s struggles helps to convince us that the danger is not overwhelming; that there will always be more security in organising some innovative subversive activity than in repeating past mistakes. For instance it’s worth looking at some of the struggles in France. Like, for instance, the French railway workers’ strike of ’86 – ’87. There, over a month before the strike, a 31 year old class-conscious train driver put out a petition calling for a pledge from other drivers to an indefinite strike, listing the various demands. It was asked that this petition/pledge be reproduced and passed round by those in agreement. It received an overwhelming response, so later a leaflet was produced by other train drivers, 2 and a half weeks before the strike, also to be reproduced and passed around: it clearly set out the strikers’ demands, stating exactly when the strike would begin, asking the unions involved to support the strike, threatening them if they didn’t. The strike began without a single command from the unions and developed partly by means of daily assemblies of strikers held in each station, in which no particular striker held any greater power than any other. Where delegation seemed necessary, it was subject to immediate recall by the assemblies. Of course, many exemplary actions – such as sahotage – were carried out without discussion in the assemblies, and sometimes against the wishes of the majority. But, without wanting to make out that assemblies and co-ordinations are some insurance for active commitment, they did provide an environment of direct communication which made manipulation difficult and provided the strike with some continuity, although it must he said that there was often a lot of suspicion towards ‘outsiders’ and a lot of division amongst strikers along the lines of their different work roles and later developments of co-ordinations in France sometimes had a reactionary content – e.g. railway workers striking in support of a ticket collector who’d shot and killed a guy who’d aggressively refused to pay his fare. So they’re no fixed model – just worth adapting.” – from here

Politics of French Rap

 French culture combines a highly rationalistic mode of discourse with great value placed upon verbal articulation. In an important way, every educated French person is expected to ‘rap’ …Those who possess African, North African, Caribbean or other third-world cultures in addition to being French, combine the rhetorical training peculiar to the educational system with more “traditional” oral cultures…” – L. Portis, “French Frenzies”.

Rap in France has recently been given a boost in its rebellious image. A leading government party politician, backed by 200 senators and deputies, has recently started the prosecution of 7 rappers, including the most famous – a rapper called ‘Mr.R.’ (Richard Makela) for insulting France, for saying that “France is a bitch, don’t forget to fuck her till she’s exhausted/You have to treat her like a slut, man…I piss on Napoleon and on General de Gaulle”. This combination of genuine hate and a crass traditional masculine way of expressing it has been the classic content of rap for years. Undoubtedly these words are an insult – to ‘sluts’ and to women for liking sex – the usual hypocritical mysoginist crap rap. France and Napoleon and de Gaulle are obviously unquantifiably worse than ‘sluts’, as are all countries and all their leaders. The compulsion to shock sometimes hits the right target a bit – particularly when it’s attacking France, the cops or the media. But it undermines anything valid by expressing itself so shoddily. By being often arbitrarily provocative for its own sake, it illuminates little because its aim is always to sell, to turn anger into a commodity, to popularly represent anger in a traditional masculine way. Sadly, it also reflects some of the stupidities of many men (their deformed attitude towards their own sexuality, as well as women’s) , not only in these ‘ethnic’ groups, but amongst many French men generally.

The prosecution got the go-ahead post-riots(i.e. the riots of November 2005).

Is this a bizarre self-delusion on the part of the State? Do they think that attacking rap is necessary because it genuinely incites riots? Surely it is riots that feed rap, which then, through the inverted logic of the need for this society to find hierarchical scapegoats/Leaders, is seen as the instigator. At the same time, French rap seems to be more genuinely on the edge of merely teasing with an image of violence and a heart-felt hatred of the system than, say, in the USA, probably because France is often more overtly racist, and up to now hasn’t been forced to adopt much of a margin of integration like the States was after the far more threatening riots of the 60s (in the US the State made a conscious attempt to create a black middle class, a social buffer zone; a strata of black representation and a social position to aspire to). For instance, the ‘political’ rappers are almost invariably banned from radio and TV (so far). And yet, at the same time, some municipalities have been providing financial subsidies to selected rappers for some ten years now, so in many ways it’s a French version of the very usual stick and carrot, sometimes 20 years behind everywhere else, sometimes very modern. This is partly because of the vast across-the-board rebellion in many different aspects of society and of life there. And the need to use race as a basic divide and rule makes for some very intense contradictions: French society has to brutally repress and falsify the non-whites (e.g. by caricaturing the explosions as simply ‘preying on their own kind’ or ‘shitting on their own doorstep’) at the same time as enticingly integrate a few of them, providing ‘hope’.

Some American Leftists complain about the lack of affirmative action there, ironic since it is the obnoxious right-wing Presidential hopeful Sarkozy who is now pushing for positive discrimination as a way of providing “hope” (“hope is the leash of submission” as a 60s revolutionary once said). Mr.R. has as guest co-star on his last album – “Politically Incorrect” – the head of the Trot organisation, the LCR (which, faced with the non-existent, and manipulated, fantasy prospect of the National Front coming to power, urged its audience to ‘Vote for Chirac’, as did quite a few ‘anarchists’ – about as ‘politically incorrect’ as you can get). Are there those in the State who think it’s worth boosting this professional image of opposition? Isn’t French rap simply an unthreatening image, like the LCR – essentially representing the poor, and almost always in terms of some amelioration of conditions, rather than in the radical destruction of these conditions (French rap, when it tries to be positive, calls for work and respect, as if the two are compatable)? Mr. R. himself appealed to this unthreatening image when he said, “There are plenty of songs that are part of this country’s artistic heritage and every bit as virulently anti-France, and nobody complains.” – but then when possibly facing 3 years inside, you use such democratic arguments. Repressed, rap appeals to such democracy within a limited narrow perspective of a moan about cultural censorship – when most people have to shut their mouths all the time when they work and can never appeal to the privilege of a specialised cultural bubble -“Hey – I’m an artist!”. At the same time it reflects something more general – an increasingly common individualist consciousness which thinks only of one’s own misery: everybody wanders why they are the ‘exception’, why the State and the system is picking on them even as it ‘picks on’ millions. This is essentially because unless there is common class struggle, all these miseries become just little you on your own, or in your little unit, trying to fight your way through the jungle. And rap artists too have to defend their corner. But there’s a difference in a rap artist and other workers. Workers who rebel for the most part only identify with the money they get from the work, not with the alienation they produce. Rappers pretend to rebel but identify very strongly with the commodity they produce: it’s them themselves.

Sarkozy has already, some two years ago, tried to prosecute some rappers, for, amongst other things, “anti-semitism” (in fact, for supporting Palestinians against Israel) but without success (though a few years back, in Toulon, the National Front mayor and judge did manage to successfully prosecute some rappers, who got 3 months inside, and were banned from playing for 6 months which shows how insanely racist France is). Maybe the State thinks it’s worth experimenting with trying to terrify everybody into silence? Regardless of the intention, the effect is the same – providing rap with a post-riot image of genuine rebellion and and a post-riot role model for getting out of the hell-hole estates. Mr.R. himself no longer lives on the estates – despite his continuing need to claim to represent these estates; after all, it’s the estates that provide him with his income, and the announcement of Mr.R.’s intended prosecution has already boosted sales, surprise surprise.

This was written at the end of 2005. In July 2006 the prosecution of Mr.R was dropped.” – From here

“The recent popular French film Les Choristes depicts a pion from an earlier period – early 50s. The film takes place in a vicious boarding school for ‘difficult’ kids, often in trouble, orphaned or just a burden to their parents, where the ‘pion’ is a middle-aged classic sympathetic authority role. The clichéd, oft repeated, nice authority role in a nasty dictatorial sadistic environment, enforcing a milder form of discipline whilst reluctantly going along with many of the heavier aspects but also ‘revolting’ against it, is the main character. This revolt takes the form of secretly (against the tyrannical headmaster’s wishes) conducting and helping the boys sing as a choir, which of course gives most of these previously ignored and often brutally suppressed kids a way of ‘expressing themselves’, at least two of whom later become world famous musicians themselves. And they ‘express themselves’ so beautifully too: the record of the film is a top seller. The (unpaid) teenage choir is followed by fans singing the classical-style tunes. The real choirmaster who teaches this choir to perform in the film and now in concert halls is not at all sympathetic – but a typical rude humiliating bossy choirmaster openly displaying his nasty manner to the documentary cameras. But the kids seem to like producing a beautiful product despite the heavy social relations, which aren’t even based on wage slavery – just slavery straight. Perhaps part of this is their parents’ pressure, but undoubtedly the biggest seduction for enduring this is the fact of becoming celebrities, the compensation for miserable social relations. The tautological nature of this society is thus well affirmed by this well-made film: culture, the production of ‘beauty’, appears as the way out, though the hierarchical relations involved in producing culture are just as ugly and bad as the misery for which culture appears to be the way out. This film comes 80 years after another, far more innovative and – for its time – subversive, film which also portrays a sympathetic pion – Zero de Conduite (“Zero for Conduct”) by the French anarchist Jean Vigo, a silent movie from the 20s which influenced the recuperative movie “If” in the late 60s; Vigo is now accepted within the mainstream of French culture, with media libraries named after him – but that’s down to the enormously recuperative power of French capitalism, in particular its culture (mind you, what, worldwide, isn’t co-opted into the system in some way or another over half a century, and often a lot less, afterwards?) ” – here

“At about the same time that Moore was sitting down in the streets of Cannes to show his CGT-sponsored ‘support’ for the ‘intermittents’* the increasingly precarious intermittents themselves were expressing an interestingly innovative critique of the cinema – occupying one of them, only to be evicted, beaten up and arrested by the cops.” – here

“The French equivalent [of Big Brother] was greeted with denunciations of its totalitarianism, its disrespect for human dignity, its public humiliation, its voyeurism. Though some of this sounds like classical French bourgeois philosophy, this perspective does carry within it the germ of a genuinely revolutionary desire which is still there. Which is one reason why some protestors dumped rubbish bins in front of the offices of the commercial channel that broadcast it, protesting at “trash television”, whilst riot police launched tear gas against 70 protestors who tried to storm the loft area it was being broadcast from.” – here.

During the movement against pension reform in France the cops applied certain methods which were qualitatively very different from those which had been used in the past. No more police lines encircling everyone. No more threatening legions of cops. No more tear gas bombs emptying public squares. Instead we saw a few plainclothes cops discreetly moving among the demonstrators, arrests which were as singled out as possible, small cans of tear gas which the cops used to spray the eyes of the rare undisciplined proletarians in such a way that it wouldn’t hurt those standing near him. In this way the demonstration took place, expressing its democratic right with no outbursts whatsoever. Ten minutes after the end of the demonstration had been called ( stipulated in the negotiations with the prefect) the public square was clean and empty. It’s certainly efficient.”  here

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Other useful historical texts in English

This is very very far from complete but will be added to over the next weeks (written 19/12/15)

The Great French Revolution by Kropotkin

History of the Paris Commune of 1871 by Prosper Olivier Lissagaray

Enragés and Situationists in the Occupations Movement by René Viénet

The Beginning of an Era by Guy Debord

Various documents from May 1968

Nous sommes tous des casseurs (1994)

 

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