france

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This page has been divided into 3 parts – events here  go backwards from the present up until the beginning of 2017.

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

And events from February 2016 till April 2013 are now here.

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

Links to other pages about France are at the end of this chronology. Although this lists a lot of actions disrupting & subverting aspects of the commodity economy, which from afar might seem to make the country appear to be on the verge of a revolution, in reality the attacks by the state are being met with very weak resistance. See, in particular: “The CGT – sheepdogs in wolves’ clothing”, “yet another boring leaflet…?” and “Paris, May 1st 2018: deadlock in action”

Chronology
libert egalit revolt

10/12/18:

France – high school student movement –  Beauvais: clashes with cops Creil: cars overturned & burnt.(video here)..Compiegne: street furniture trashedLoire-Atlantique: 8 schools involved, various clashes,  improvements to property, etc.Montpellier: bins burnt on tramlinesHauts-de-Seine: 6 high schools blockaded….up to 10% of high schools throughout country blockadeduniversities blockadedDisneyland blockaded by ‘yellow vests’  A little anecdote: apparently staff working at Disneyland used to call it Mauschwitz because of the miserable working conditions. Management threatened them with the sack if anybody continued referring to it like that (specifically online).  Within half an hour workers started calling it Duckhau…

8/12/18:

France, Paris: preventive arrest used in advance of any actual “crimes” to contain protests Arrest without the slightest evidence of a crime already shows how readily the diaphanous gown of legality tears when confronted by the necessity of keeping the boutique districts intact. However, despite the massive deployment, TV news has said that there was more damage than on December 1st, with looting (particularly of jewellers) etc. being carried out away from the thoroughly policed centre. On December 1st 3 ‘arrondissements’ (Parisian boroughs) were involved, but today there were 7 arrondissements involved). See this The sector concerned by the incidents was much larger. With fewer barricades, the protests were more dispersed so many more places were affected by the violence…There was much more damage yesterday than there was a week ago.Toulouse: looting, clashes, etcBordeaux: burning barricades in  pedestrianized street decorated for ChristmasSt.Etienne: cop car torched, looting…Clashes in: DijonLyonCaenAvignonToursBourg-en-BresseNantesMarseille: armoured trucks and teargas during clashes as 10,000 march for the climate  Hundreds of young people, mostly masked or hooded…were dispersed around 5pm by jets of tear gas launched by the police…In the surrounding streets, small groups of protesters confronted the police in the middle of thick fumes caused by tear gas and garbage fires.A blue armored vehicle of the gendarmerie intervened as reinforcement, followed by several mini-cars of the police force, while a helicopter flew over the area. The police prefecture said it had conducted eleven arrests in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone including 7 in Marseille, stating that the march of marchers for the climate that gathered 10,000 people on the Old Port early afternoon was dispersing. In the morning, 2,000 “yellow vests” had also marched peacefully in the center of Marseille. …video here

Marseille, 8/12/18

7/12/18:

France, Herault: disturbances outside high schools in 5 towns in this countyNimesLyonMulhouse: masked motorcyclist deliberately runs down cop at high school blockadeclashes at high school student demos in 35 townsarmoured cars to be deployed in Paris “A government official said 89,000 police and gendarmes would be mobilised across the country, 8,000 of them in the French capital, alongside a dozen VBRG armoured vehicles….Staff at the Bastille Opéra were reported to have locked the orchestra’s instruments somewhere safe fearing an assault on the building.”  There have been calls for people to arm themselves against the state, others are hoping to occupy the Elysée Palace tomorrow. But before you get all excited, the probability is that these calls are coming from the ultra-right…or maybe sections of the state trying to frighten people away from Paris for fear of people starting shooting all over the  place. A strange atmosphere, not easy to get to grips with either emotionally or intellectually, and not at all like the more lighthearted, and more clearly class-conscious, epoch of the anti-CPE movement of 2006.

6/12/18:

France, Beziers: clashes as 500 high school students take to the streets; 2 cars overturned, bins burnt, etcclashes in 29 townsvideo of cops humiliating youths at a banlieu school700 high school students arrested

St. Ouen: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Incendiary

5/12/18:

France: clashes between high school students and cops in 22 towns...blockade of 2 Paris universities This is a more balanced take on the situation than most  texts. In France, there are principally 2 tendencies amongst those who claim to want a revolution: those who tend to opportunistically over-emphasise the radical aspects of what’s happening and those, partly in reaction to this tendency, tend to exaggerate the bad aspects. We live in confusing times and trying to unravel this confusion is not helped by trying constantly to impose more classical proletarian ways of thinking and categories onto  a movement that involves lots people who have never confronted this society before. People are trying to break out of their isolated individualist responses to intensified misery by trying to come together but with a whole load of other baggage from the past and present of this society colonising their brains and habitual discourse.  These people have lived through a period of intensified ignorance of the contradictions and obstacles we have to confront and trying to help ourselves and them clarify the significant changes in both the composition and consciousness of ‘the working class’ will be part of overcoming such ignorance. Which involves neither opportunist cheer-leading demagogy involving intellectual contortionism of the most spurious kind nor impotent laments that the course of class struggle is not running smoothly according to notions developed through over a hundred years of previous movements. This epoch could lead to a kind of totalitarianism very far from classical fascism (though reflecting aspects of it) or to a genuinely subversive movement with the potential to create serious problems for all forms of capital, not just the current neoliberal form. Remaining content to merely  comment on these tendencies will inevitably ensure the victory of the former.

4/12/18:

France: unions announce unlimited lorry drivers strike from next SundayThere are also rumours of post office workers going on strike soonhigh school students clash with cops in 22 towns in protest against the reform of the ‘Bac’ and increased limits on university accessNice: 2,500 high school students block many roads throughout townabout 200 high schools blockaded or partly blockaded throughout country 

Bins and pallets burning in Blagnac, where the fire spread to the entrance of Saint-Exupéry high school and caused significant damage to the project of conditioning that goes under the absurd name of ‘education’. The high school closed for 48 hours for ‘security’. 24 schools in Toulouse were blockaded, amongst which a dozen were blockaded with burning bins and pallets. A young demonstrator was seriously wounded in the face by a flashball.

Below: outside a high school in Bordeaux

3/12/18:

France: over 100 high schools blockaded in protest against the reform of the BaccalaureatSeine-St.Denis: some looting etc. during high school protest   Protesters burned garbage cans, destroyed street furniture, and attacked businesses that were looted. Several vehicles were burned.On images broadcast on social networks, we see police fleeing from  dozens of “casseurs”.clashes between cops & high school students in 14 towns Though this was for the most part initiated by the high school union, obviously in many cases they went beyond the limited protest the union envisaged.Paris: ambulance workers clash with cops …ambulances… blocked a bridge leading to the National Assembly in Paris on Monday. Lines of riot police officers stood in the rain to prevent the ambulance workers from getting too close to the building. Ambulance drivers were also pictured facing off with officers during a demonstration at the Place de la Concorde.Cote d’Azur: increasing problems of getting petrol due to blockadesReport on how ‘yellow vest’ blockades are effecting work in UKLa Reunion (East Port): heavy clashes between ‘gilets jaunes’ and cops as state tries to unblock blockade of port  According to the prefecture, “nearly a thousand customs-cleared containers are awaiting delivery: fresh products, wheat for bakeries, raw materials for the manufacture of animal feed, medicines and medical equipment intended for hospitals and hospices for the elderly …other Yellow Vests  invaded the university campus of Moufia. Taking over the amphitheatres, they presented their demands to the students.”

Cops on La Réunion, backed by 2 armoured trucks, remove part of port blockade

2/12/18:

France, Narbonne: night of rioting as Vinci building-cum-police station, toll both etc are torched Last night dozens of “casseurs” burned  buildings around the southern toll booth of Narbonne on the A9 motorway. Buildings and cars on fire, barriers broken, panels torn off, toll booths attacked with pickaxes… Events took a violent turn in the night of Saturday to Sunday….Near the toll booth, all the buildings were evacuated, including the premises of the gendarmerie highway platoon. There were 8 gendarmes and 6 policemen inside… …A group of vandals went to the headquarters of the General Society in Croix Sud and attacked the windows with projectiles. At the toll booth, the extent of the damage is considerable…The few policemen and gendarmes present on the spot received Molotov cocktails launched by a horde of 200 people and saw their premises set on fire. …The operating premises destroyed during this arson attack included those of the district and the security police.

1/12/18:

France, Paris: far left and far right clash with cops in ‘yellow vest’ protestslots of luxury cars & cop car torched; also a restaurant More here “…masked protesters fought running battles with police, torched cars, set fires to banks and houses, and burned makeshift barricades on the edges of demonstrations against fuel tax. Near the Arc de Triomphe, one of Paris’s best-known monuments, masked men burned barricades, set fire to buildings, smashed fences and torched luxury cars on some of the most expensive streets in the city as riot police fired teargas and water cannon. Then, by early evening, rioters spread around Paris in a game of cat and mouse with police. Luxury department stores on Boulevard Haussmann were evacuated as cars were set alight and windows smashed. Near the Louvre, metal grilles were ripped down at the Tuileries Garden where fires were started. On the Place Vendôme, a hub of luxury jewellery shops and designer stores, rioters smashed windows and built barricades….Anti-Macron graffiti was scrawled over the Arc de Triomphe near the tomb of the unknown soldier and protesters burst into the monument smashing up its lower floors before climbing on to the roof. More than 250 people were arrested and at least 100 injured – including one protester who was in a serious condition on Saturday night…It was later revealed that the cops ran out of teargas.


So long, Marianne – it’s time that we began to laugh
and cry and cry and laugh about it all again:  a smashed  statue of  Marianne,  symbol of the French Republic, inside the Arc de Triomphe (some suggest that this may have been done by right-wing monarchists, but given that there were all different strands of the political spectrum, including anarchists & ultra-leftists, round the Arc de Triomphe, this is pure speculation). Protesters smashed other statues in the monument and destroyed the gift shop…On the other hand, some ‘yellow vests’ protected the tomb of the unknown soldier –  a symbol of militarism – from those who wanted to attack it.

Can all this seriously be simply reduced to just petit-bourgeois populism and nothing but? This is not to underestimate the growth of ultra-right populism, but it’s clear that there’s a lot more to what’s happening in France than just that. It’s a weird difficult-to categorise mix of people…Possible state of emergency to be declared. The government has asked all the other main political parties to have a meeting with them.  Marine Le Pen asked Macron if he wanted to be the first president of the 5th Republic that had ordered the shooting of protesters. But during  ’68 at least 2 people were shot dead by the cops towards the end of the movement (and several others either disappeared or turned up to have apparently died in car accidents). Moreover, in 1961, also under  de Gaulle, something like 200 Arabs were killed, most of them thrown into the Seine. And in ’86 an Arab was killed by the cops, though not shot. But for the daughter of the torturer of Algerians, these incidents are obviously irrelevant.

See this Crimethinc article for an account of the day.

This round-the-clock French TV station gives constant news (but also about different things)….I’m tempted to say “Watch this space” but, apart from the fact that you can probably get more information elsewhere at least until Monday, it also implies you should just “watch”….clashes in 17 other townsNantes: airport invadedPuy-en-Velay: prefecture burned downThe media presents this crowd as being callous & bloodthirsty, indifferent to the fact that this was full of workers as well as the prefect; hard to know if their being constantly subjected to teargas had made them blind to the situation or that it was the media, indifferent to most people’s real lives, typically doing their worstMarseille: looting as 3 demos converge (CGT, ‘yellow vests’ and those protesting 2000 people evacuated following collapse of buildings 4 weeks ago)Thirteen people were arrested in the evening… including for the looting of a phone shop and the burning of a police vehicle on the Canebière.

….An 80-year-old woman killed by a teargas grenade fired at her face (the official version is that she died because the hospital made some medical mistakes)

30/11/18:

France: 100 high schools blockaded in solidarity with the ‘yellow vests’; cops particularly brutal in Tours  Apparently quite a few of them were not independent initiatives, but were started by unions. In Nice a walkway near the airport was blockaded by high school students.

High school in La Seyne, Var

Rouen: clashes between ‘yellow vests’ and cops after cops dismantle camp on roundabout

29/11/18:

France, Le Mans: cops launch teargas grenades despite ‘yellow vests’ giving them flowers (though some threw heavy petanque balls at them)

28/11/18:

France, St.Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique): ‘yellow vests’ teargassed in clashes round the Town Hall 8 ‘delegates’ (delegated by 30 ‘gilets jaunes’ sections by a vote on the internet) were meant to have talks with Macron, but they received death threats, anbd only 2 turned up, one saying her couldn’t represent anybody. Previous meetings with ministers were secretly recorded against the will of the government and broadcast over the internet. This reminds me a bit of the negotiations with the state in Gdansk in Poland in 1980, when they were broadcast through loudspeakers throughout the shipyard. In terms of form, this is an advance on the standard union negotiation procedures of having secret talks with the government. Of course emphasising form without looking at the content is as much a distortion of what is needed as emphasising content without looking at the form.

27/11/18:

France, Beziers: ‘yellow vests’ chuck projectiles at cops as they try dislodge blockade of supermarket La Réunion (department in Indian Ocean): clashes with state on ‘yellow vest‘ picket as cops force removal of picket with teargas(La Possession)same in GillotSt AndreSt.Louis

26/11/18:

France, Calais: about 50 people use ‘yellow vest’ picket as pretext to attack riot cops Generally speaking, people tend to reduce the ‘yellow vests’ in Calais (and elsewhere) to a movement of the extreme right. Undoubtedly, some of them are (and it reminds me of  those in the Somme, who denounced migrants hiding in vans a few days ago), which has been part of Calais life for some time (with demos against migrants over the last 2 or 3 years). However,  this journalist’s report mentions  things such as the use of ACAB slogans (hardly something the right proclaim) and the fact that most of the people have never been on a demo in their life before.  Nevertheless, many, if not most, of the yellow vests here have said they don’t want the ‘casseurs’ around.

24/11/18:

France, Paris: state claims extreme right responsible for clashes  More here. “By nightfall, barricades were set on fire, luxury shop windows smashed and traffic lights uprooted.” Apparently anarchists and people from the Parisian banlieux also joined in this conflict (one banlieusard said he joined in for revenge against the brutality of cops in his area). I’ll try to write something about this ‘yellow vest’ movement over the next week or so, as I try to get my head around its contradictions and the contradictions amongst those who either support or oppose itBut for the moment, to counter the caricature that this is purely a right-wing movement – take a look at these bits of graffiti from Paris:

“The ultra-right will lose!”

“Down with the state, the cops and the fascists!”

“Macron – dismissal

Government – disband

System – abolition”

(Thanks to Crimethinc for these photos)

 

Marseille: clashes again at La Plaine See 16/11 below for last report.

La Plaine, Marseille

22/11/18:

France: a molotov and lots of projectiles thrown as high schools in 4 towns join ‘yellow vest’ movement (or, at least, use it as a pretext)

20/11/18:

France, Perpignan: high school students teargassed for blockading their schools (including Rosa Luxemburg High School) in solidarity with ‘yellow vests’Gironde: toll booth torched (video)Minister of Interior complains that as many cops have been injured (92, 17 of them seriously) in 3 days as over 3 months at Notre-Dames-des-LandesCôte d’Armor: “ultra-leftists” set fire to pallets, barricades and smash windowsSeine-Maritime: people in ‘yellow vests’ (denounced by others) loot 2 businesses “They stole all the alcohol from us and the freezer was emptied…. it must be said that it was not the Yellow Vests that did that. On the contrary, they secured the restaurant and escorted us to our cars when we left….The computer shop Nicolas et Fils, also close to the roundabout, was also robbed, suffering significant damage.No link for this, but several toll gates on motorways have been opened up so motorists can drive for free.

However, this ‘gilet-jaunes’ video  is horrendously nationalist and overtly political, calling for a referendum, a change to the constitution (something sections of the ruling class would love to be able to do), and negotiations (which up until now have not been part of this movement).  Many classic leftist themes, though it adds explicit nationalism, are there – such as the ideology of unity, the ideology of blocking the economy…Above all it insists that people “speak with one voice”.  But whether this represents a significant attempt to make this movement explicitly populist and hierarchically controlled, and rein in the best aspects of it – the excesses of those who use it as a pretext for their own anger – remains to be seen. In its favour, the constant noise of a siren in the background, and the fact that the whole thing  is spoken in a voice with an echo  in the form of a scary announcement on a station tannoy warning of imminent disaster, is not conducive to watching this crap: the idea of everyone speaking with this one voice, transforming France into a nation of robots, certainly terrifies me. Even if it’s an expression of a small minority wanting to represent a movement that so far has no clear representation, it’s a miserable development – and small minorities often succeed in drowning out the majority, particularly a majority that doesn’t explicitly express much more than opposition to an increase in the cost of survival.

19/11/18:

France, La Réunion (French department in Indian Ocean): 70 cars torched at dealership,  shopping mall wrecked, etc. during ‘yellow vest’ movement, as refineries are blocked on the mainland and tollgates are made free More here In Saint-Denis, the Score supermarket in the Vauban district was vandalized. They then went to Vauban’s pharmacy. At the Cauldron, a fast-food restaurant was invaded by about thirty masked people. A major fire was ignited on the roundabout of this fast food place….Young people then gathered near the Simply Market store in La Providence. A crowd formed, garbage cans were burned to prevent traffic circulating. Then, the young people attacked the iron shutters of the Simply Market before entering inside and emptying the liquor section of the store….In Saint-André, there was a report of a fire being started at the annex of the town hall of Cambuston. In Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, two fires were set in Montroquefeuil and another in town towards the Score. In Saint-Paul, an SFR building and an Orange store were targeted. At the Port, the MacDonalds was burned and vandalized….and looted.  Cars were also burned, especially in Saint-Denis….In the Vauban district in Saint-Denis, but also in Mufia, clashes took place between young people and the police from the start of the evening….The road was cut off by protesters at the intersection “Chemin Neuf”. The police intervened with tear gas to dislodge them. The helicopter of the gendarmerie was mobilized for a good part of the evening to fly over Saint-Denis.” In all, 8 towns (Saline les Bains, La Providence, La Possession, Saint-Benoit, Saint-Denis, Saint-Paul, Le Port and Saint-André) experienced riots on the island. Some obvious bad aspects of this have been gangs playing the state by forcing car owners to pay a “toll” to travel along certain roads. A curfew has been imposed on 14 towns.

A wrecked MacDonalds, La Réunion, Saint-Denis

17/11/18:

France: about 300,000 block roads, do “operation snailspaces” (deliberate slowing of traffic), etc. throughout the country, in social-network-organised movement against high fuel prices (called the “yellow vests”)  A demonstrator is killed by an angry driver, and 409 throughout the country are injured (14 of them gravely injured), mainly by fucked up individualist drivers (many of whom the cops avoid arresting). And over 200 arrests. Though aspects of this have something rather nationalist about it (some demonstrators sung the Marseillaise and there are often affirmations of France, or regional flags) it also has something vaguely libertarian about it as well – e.g. they refused the support of Marine Le Pen and Melanchon; e.g. some toll boths were liberated so drivers could drive for free; e.g. various ideologues have lamented the lack of leaders with whom the state could negotiate, and the rejection of trade union involvement in the movement, which would give some semblance of acceptable organisation. And so far no person has come forward to represent the movement in the media (though obviously there are a lot of individuals who speak to journalists on the roadside). In Paris the Champs Elysée was blocked and many demonstrators went to the Elysée only to be blocked by the cops (surprise surprise). Barriers were thrown at them in the Champs Elysée and they responded with teargas. In Troyes about 200 people broke through the barriers of the prefecture and briefly occupied the courtyard, where the gate was vandalised, and the hall, where a window was broken and a cop was badly injured, and 3 cop cars damaged. There were heavy clashes at Quimper (Finistere)….Funny mix of videos, including footage of middle-of-the-road line-dancing/ hokey-kokey, here.  Some shopping precincts were blockaded and throughout the country lots of shops sold very little, many closing at midday. According to this, “shopping malls saw revenues fall by an estimated 35 per cent” (though this says 40% down for 17/11 and 20% down for the whole weekend). It looks like this will continue beyond this one day, including many who have prepared to stay the night. In Lorraine, toll gates were wrecked and intervening cops were beaten, and molotovs were thrown at them

In La Réunion (French department in the Indian Ocean) there were several interesting events: Scuffles occurred all night in several cities of Reunion after the demonstrations of the day. Several roundabouts were set on fire in Saint-Denis, clashes also took place between police and young people in Saint-Pierre. Garbage cans and other objects are on fire all along the South Boulevard in Saint-Denis and part of the Cauldron. The damage is also visible in Camellias with a service station partly ransacked. Traffic is also difficult in the area of Vauban where the police were still firing tear gas around 11 pm. Boulevard Sud to the East exit of Saint-Denis is dotted with garbage cans and cars on fire. A tree from the Moufia roundabout is even prey to the flames. Scuffles also occurred in Saint-Pierre in the area of Ravine des Cabris. More here “…in the early evening, more than 200 individuals gathered near the CGSS roundabout on the South boulevard between the Camellias and Vauban playing cat and mouse with the police, including the BAC… supported… by the helicopter which  circled around for a good part of the night. These riots continued until late at night, with tear gas bombs thrown on one side and stones and bottles thrown on the other.When the situation seemed to calm down in one place, it degenerated in another. In a large number of municipalities, the roundabouts and strategic crossroads were taken over by young people who lit several fires on the road. This was the case in Saint-Denis (Moufia roundabout, Chaudron, Candin roundabout, etc.), but also in Saint-Benoît (Plaines roundabout), at Rivière-des-Galets (roundabout – Sacred Heart point), in Salazie …  In Mufia, apart from the many garbage fires, thugs have repeatedly tried to get into the Express Score [supermarket], put to flight by the police. But they finally realised their goal late in the evening….Saint-Denis for its part, was able to find a relative calm after 1am, with the lifting of several blockades of roundabouts…still all littered with debris and  burnt objects. Vehicles were burned here and there…In the middle of the night, a vehicle was still burning in the middle of the road on the South boulevard, near the Region….at La Rivière: from the end of the day until midnight, garbage cans burned and dozens of young people occupied the roundabout High School. In the district of La Palissade, it was later that the situation began to stir, with the presence of hooded youths lighting fires near the Leclerc roundabout. In Sainte-Anne, young people opposed the gendarmes. The police, like the firefighters, were overwhelmed all night in several municipalities. A blockade persisted in Bourg Murat …and traffic jams lasted most of the night. At Saint-Paul, it was also up until late that the police had to deal with young vandals. From the waterfront to downtown, young people were present in the streets, sometimes hooded, not hesitating to throw stones. At La Possession, a school …windows were broken shortly after midnight….other blockades, already held by day by the “yellow vests”, continued to be occupied calmly all night or at least a good part of it. Protesters remained at the airport roundabout in Gillot, for example, or at the Azaleas roundabout in Tampon.

La Réunion: the ad says, “The same passion for a job well done”

Undoubtedly there are aspects of this that are inter-classist, but it’s uselessly unilluminating and lacking in nuance, to drag out the old ‘petit-bourgeois’ knee-jerk insult particularly in an epoch where increasing amounts of proletarians are forced into petit-bourgeois means of survival just as many petit-bourgeoises are increasingly proletarianised. See, for example, this about the UK fuel blockades of 2000. This is not to minimise crudely populist aspects of this movement, but to reduce it all to the “petit-bourgeois” put-down doesn’t clarify anything.

It should be pointed out that the figure of 300,000 is the highest official (media) estimate – those who blocked the roads have not issued any estimate whatsoever, as they have no way of knowing, since there is no central organisation. The Ministry of the Interior put it at between 244,000 and 282,000 (depending on the time of the day they gave out the information) but then they invariably underestimate.

16/11/18: France, Marseille (from an email):

Fifth week of construction work on La Plaine

Friday, November 9, very early, thirty people block access to the site. Some scuffles with the workers. They end up asserting their right to withdraw. The site comes to a stop. The locks of the two gates, as well as a construction machine, are sabotaged. In the evening, sope fencing hindering the passage outside the wall are transferred into the middle of the site.

Saturday and Sunday, all quiet.

Monday morning, once again with fifty people. The workers leave but end up coming back when the cops return.

Tuesday morning about fifteen people unsuccessfully attempt to block the site.

Wednesday morning another attempt to block the site is made. A security guard, locked inside the enclosure by the unofficial use of padlocks, gases some opponents. The cops clear the people and allow the workers to return. One of the gates is unhinged when they leave. That’s when the cops come back to clear out and gas people.
Also note this day the beginning of repairs to cameras sabotaged a few weeks ago.

In the evening, a demonstration was called following what is happening around the district of Noailles (but also in other neighborhoods). That is to say, currently five buildings have reduced to rubble, eight bodies were found in the rubble of the first three alone, and others could be found; all the adjoining block has been evacuated, other buildings have been evacuated also in this area, as well as in other neighborhoods – with about 850 people fucked around in hotels, gyms or who knows where; some of these buildings should be destroyed; a balcony fell next to the rue d’Aubagne during the demo / mourning on Saturday, a stairwell also next to the rue d’Aubagne fell during the demonstration on Wednesday (the whole district dates from the end 18th century and is therefore in the same state); two elected representatives of the regional council, owners of two apartments in the collapsed buildings, have, for the moment, been removed from their administrative functions … In short, a joyful atmosphere.

A procession descended from La Plaine with its own banner (“12 million to destroy La Plaine, not a euro to save Noailles”). It joined the demonstration at Noailles. About 10,000 people headed for the Town Hall. Once it arrived hundreds of people put pressure on the cops. Slogans, big firecrackers, paint, some projectiles and two or three barriers spurted towards them. A Christmas tree was burnt. Some blows, some teargas, and once again, some arrests.

A procession returned to La Plaine at the end of the demonstration, followed by cops. Arriving in the square, one of the gates of the site is unhinged, security guards keep an eye out and gas people; they are hit by stones. The cops very quickly start gassing and chasing people.
Small isolated groups are found on La Plaine, many people drunk (we are in a square full of chavs). Some slogans, some failed “actions”  and clashes with the BAC and the national cops who find themselves stuck in the enclosure. Some blows, some gassing and more arrests.

In all these latest attempts, there is often an idea hoping for the  workers themselves to leave. Indeed, the meager balance of power established before the installation of the wall  defeated  it,  and the neighborhood still not responding consistently, it is clear that this is a last assault led by very few people who will be hit by more and more repression. Unless the events of Noailles have repercussions on the site…
The square has been so wrecked by the building site that from now on the building work will prevail.

14/11/18:

France, Marseille: fireworks, beer cans, barriers and smoke bombs v. teargas and truncheons during demo against mayor after 8 people died on November 5th due to shoddy buildings collapsing 

12/11/18:

France, Paris: diplomatic corps car and Porsche torched by anarchists in centre of town

10/11/18:

France, Etampes: cops pelted with bricks & fireworks by about 20 youths during patrol

8/11/18:

France, Marseille (sent by email):

Fourth week of work on La Plaine (see entries for 1/11/18, 25/10 & 18/10) –

Thursday, November 1st, the evening of the demo, sabotage of the links between the blocks is carried out inside the wall.
Friday night, while flashmob concerts are held outside, at the foot of the wall, people are doing things inside it to prepare the action that will follow. Two parts of the wall are pulled by rope and eventually fall to the ground, opening a passage inwards (wall parts weighing more than 2.5 tons each). People spend a bit of the evening inside it.
After the arrival of the cops, a container of projectiles is made available to the neighborhood (a bottle bank is ripped open by flames).
Saturday morning, the two pieces of wall are put back in place by workers.
In the evening, a new team is active inside to prepare the action of the following evening.
Sunday night, a few hundred people attend, happy because of the collapse of five parts of the wall.
Later, small clashes with the cops followed.
On Monday, the blocks are replaced or put back and work resumes.
Tuesday, the access gate to the site is installed, facilitating entry and exit for the site, but also the installation of four guard dogs, especially at night, inside the enclosure, at the same time making the underground clandestine direct action more complicated.
Wednesday, a second gate is installed.
On Thursday, trees begin to be uprooted to be replanted in another neighborhood.
From now on, only a massive and offensive riposte by the whole area will be able to harm or to stop the building site. But it hasn’t happened.

And the drama that occurred at the beginning of the week at the rue d’Aubagne, in the neighborhood just next door – Noailles[videos here & here], focuses people’s eyes, energy and solidarity. As I write three buildings have collapsed, six bodies have been found, dozens of people have been evacuated for an indefinite time, but the balance sheet could be heavier.
I think this event is not going to please the citizenist mentality of many people. We hear everywhere statist views of this story. Parallels are blithely, and correctly, made with the building site of La Plaine. But  one constantly hears regrets that  Marseille’s state authorities did not have the right priorities (whereas from the point of view of capital and its protector, the state, they’re all the right ones – they cannot be any other) and it would be enough if they were reversed so that things got better.
To be continued…

5/11/18:

France, Paris: paramedics block ringroad in protest against  reform making medical transportation expenses having to be paid for by medical facilities rather than state

4/11/18:

France, Saône-et-Loire: curfew for minors imposed on town after several burnings of cars “On Saturday November 3 in the morning, a car dealer overwrought by the fire of 13 vehicles in his garage, which had occurred in the night, deposited one of the burnt-out carcasses in front of the town hall of Montceau …Confronted with repeated car fires, the mayor of Montceau-les-Mines, Saône-et-Loire, decided Sunday, November 4 to establish a curfew for minors…During the night of Saturday to Sunday, several other vehicles were burned voluntarily in a neighborhood of the city.

3/11/18:

France, Drome: intolerable but far too comprehensible gratuitous reaction to 3 people getting themselves a good education  After the damage and the fire of a computer room during the night of Friday to Saturday at the Lycées des Catalins in Montélimar,  reactions have been unanimous [sic] in strongly condemning these acts. Around 3:30 am, three individuals …managed to break into the compound of the establishment. On site, they smashed several windows and burned a room dedicated to the INS (Digital Information System). The firefighters were able to quickly control the fire before it spread to other rooms, but the damage will not allow the facility to reopen Monday. Regional councilor Mounir Aarab, also a member of the school’s board of directors, came to see the damage on Saturday afternoon,  firmly condemning it: “It is intolerable and incomprehensible. It’s gratuitous vandalism. I hope the police will quickly identify the perpetrators and justice [sic] will be done.

1/11/18:

France, Marseille (from an email): third week of resistance to construction on The Plain aimed at intensified gentrication (see reports for 25/10 & 18/10) –

After the relative calm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (arrests still occurred, but also sabotage and unauthorized “flashmob” construction), hostilities resumed on Monday afternoon with the establishment of concrete blocks weighing several tons connected between them (and with counterweights made of the first concrete blocks installed over the previous weeks) and forming a wall 2m50 [about 8 foot] high. The goal is to surround the square before the holiday arrives, with workers working with the support of CRS riot cops in the rain until 19:30.

Still arrests of opponents who participate every day, and since early morning, the slowdown of work; but good news: the person held in prison before trial has just left.

Small acts of sabotage are perpetrated in the night after the departure of the CRS.

Tuesday, the massive surrounding of the square continues. In the evening, sabotage by a few dozen people again.

On Wednesday, the enclosure of the square is finished. More arrests. At the end of the construction, a small fight breaks out with workers, teargas being used. In the evening an attempt to open up the wall is made without much success and with the cops (and security guards again) who roam around not far away.

In the night, several graffiti artists return to graffiti a good part of the outer enclosure.

Today, Thursday, November 1, a demo, smaller than the previous one, came to The Plain while graffiti artists continue the work of the previous day in broad daylight and in front of the cops.

This demonstration aims to symbolically bury the negotiations with the town hall….this will to negotiate their own gentrification with the state and capital. Finally, except for the people who live in this neighborhood, or spend their time in it, those who have not been sufficiently coordinated by the competent authorities (in the words of a lot of people), we really wonder why people who are challenging the SOLEAM project are particularly bothered by it – SOLEAM which, finally, wants to bring them the alternative gentrification that they want (and which has also already been in progress for years).

Unlike other parts of this very working class city, which  have a massive conflictual relationship vis-a-vis the state and wage labor, this inability in the district to have a class position against the employers and an anti-authoritarian one against the state comes from the very high amount of “leftists” in the area (it obviously needs an electorate to give Melenchon a mandate). These people being public service employees, associated with  co-management of social misery in the city, or in the small alternative scene, and the large one too; therefore, most of the time, in that class composition which is somehow with the state.

Even some of those with an autonomous perspective in the district (where almost all of those in the city are concentrated) don’t escape this attitude. Indeed, in recent years, we have seen, almost everywhere in France, a fringe of Autonomy take  up  a leftist stance  (to the point of sometimes becoming part of this left, like those ‘autonomes’ of  Marseille [including  some of those living , or passing through The Plain] who participated in, or contributed to the creation of, the union Sud), thus being stuffed with some of the themes and practices of the Left.

In my opinion it feels like the end of this struggle (since the only perspective seems to be dancing around at the end of the demonstration instead of direct action) but also the end of any clash between the various social strata of the neighborhood once the construction site has been well established and the cops have definitely left…

To be continued over the next few days.

–  CSH, an autonomous chav who wants to continue having a drink  in the midst of living corpses and the corpses of bottles of The Plain pending the advent of a social revolution (which may not come) that will abolish the state and capital.

Tarn: 2 imprisoned minors totally ransack prison kitchen and TV room

31/10/18:

France: Haloween anti-cop riots in various parts of country (Paris suburbs, Lyon, Etampes, Metz, Rennes….) as 15,000 cops are deployed nationally More hereincluding looting in Paris suburb “While they intervened to avoid the ransacking of a grocery store of the city by twenty masked young people who tried to steal objects and fireworks in the early evening, two bottles of acid were thrown at them while they pursued one of the “casseurs”. According to our information, one of the policemen was lightly burned on his hand. A 13-year-old girl was arrested for throwing one of the bottles. Another excess not far from Etampes where an Intersport store was looted by twenty hooded people. All the displays were ransacked and emptied. Security officers present at the scene who attempted to intervene were beaten. Some suspects were arrested after the arrival of the police but most thieves had already fled. Finally in Saint-Michel-sur-Orge, forty individuals armed with iron bars and axes have trashed the city.”

27/10/18:

France, Seine-St.Denis: 2 CCTV cameras torched on housing estate

25/10/18:

France, Marseille: Another report sent by email about the continued gentrification of part of the city called “la Plaine”. See entries for 18/10, 13/10 & 11/10 below.

Last Thursday the workers tested out new fencing to put on top of the concrete blocks. The system was not fully functioning, so they lifted it by themselves. They also welded in park gates, but  it’s not bad after all  (the park had looked like a prison). In the evening a block of concrete which had particularly disturbed the passage of people in the park was moved by a group of people and palisades still lying on the gro“Due to the ongoing illegal strike in the company, according to estimates, the company suffered losses of great value, I estimate the loss to be at least several million zlotys,” und were attacked. Friday the two newsstands, closed for years, were removed. One of them had been reopened a few months after a carnival; it served as an information point, infokiosk and meeting point for various meetings and assemblies. On Saturday, the demo brought together 1,500 to 2,000 people. It ended at La Plaine without any skirmishes. A structure coming from the ZAD (and yes, it was necessary that this fashionable ideology was invited) is brought back and mounted on the spot in the afternoon by a few hundred people. In the evening, while several hundred people remained in the square, concrete blocks were attacked… while four surveillance cameras out of six were taken out of service and the cops who were there on the spot  received huge firecrackers in their face.  Two people were arrested (while another is being held in preventive detention at  Baumettes Prison for a few days pending his trial in November). Sunday improvised freelance structures (gardens, sports field, toilet …) were built in the square to intrude on the construction machines. Monday morning workers tried to work. Not being equipped with helmets, and with a lot of opponents remaining on the spot, they had to go home without being able to work. In the evening, more concrete blocks were removed…Very early in the morning, the CRS arrive at 3:45 am and allow workers to break all the improvised structures, including that of the ZAD. In the middle of the morning, calm returns. In the evening there were unlicensed concerts and one of the four snack bars inside the square (two of which had been abandoned for years) was reopened. This will make up for the loss of the squatted newspaper kiosk….Today, Thursday, October 25, it still looks calm (apart from receiving the fascist supporters of Lazio) and we learn that in fact the president of the SOLEAM, which takes care of the building site for the city, was waiting for an answer from the Plaine Assembly about a joint meeting. The answer of the latter didn’t have to wait. It’s a yes ! certainly  under certain conditions, but still yes.

Moral: we  create a mess in La Plaine and the assembly, given the balance of forces, are then able to negotiate its alternative gentrification of the neighborhood.

21/10/18:

France, Val-de-Marne: facial recognition  surveillance mast cut down   Admittedly, this may well have been to protect street-level drug dealing, but considering how, at this level of the drug hierarchy, these people are completely proletarianised, this is simply a way of defending their illegal wage labour from the state. However, if this involved crack dealing (which is by no means certain), it’s hardly something that’s worth parading as independent oppositionGard: bullfight-lovers teargassed accidentally by cops confronting anti-bullfight protesters About 200 anti-bullfighting activists against 200 mobile policemen in Rodilhan. Seven years after the October 2011 incidents in which anti-corrida campaigners had been hit by aficionados [bullfight lovers] after chaining themselves at the village’s arena, tensions were still very high this year. Protesters ripped open fences and threw projectiles at mobile policemen protected by riot barriers. During a police charge, a protester fell on her head and injured her neck. She was taken out by the gendarmes on a stretcher.
Tear gas was used many times throughout the day to keep protesters shaking the fence to try to get through.
But the wind carried the gas into the arena. Inside, the aficionados protected their faces with scarves and handkerchiefs. “We wonder how it’s possible, that there really had to be such a large amount of gas, it’s something weird that we aficionados, we do not understand,” said a spectator on leaving the arena.
To return home and leave the village, the aficionados had to be escorted by law enforcement because the anti-bullfighting protesters were waiting for them at the exits.

20/10/18:

France, Territoire de Belfort: low rent housing agency  destroyed in carefully-realised arson attack  More here  Earlier, around 20:30, two cars were burned in rue des Commandos-d’Afrique in the same district of Arsot.

19/10/18:

France, Isere : annex of town hall torched

18/10/18:

France, Marseille: report sent by email on the current movement against the intensification of gentrification in “La Plaine”, a popular part of the city, where at night for years the more marginalised  have gathered to drink, smoke, chat, play music  and piss around etc., but which is also full of market stalls during the day; much of the area around it is partly gentrified with “alternative” shops and bars, etc. See 13/10 & 11/10 below.

News from Marseille and La Plaine

Last Thursday, after the last market of La Plaine which had taken place for loads of years, work began in this district of downtown Marseille.

This is the neighborhood in which I live and it will undergo a restructuring aimed at gentrification.
Resistance has appeared. Some of the market showbiz has quit after being paid off with  crumbs, and the reconstruction work has been met by an autonomous opposition.

History

Thursday the 11th, concrete blocks were installed around the huge main square of the neighborhood under police escort (CRS, BAC …) and some security guards (which are now permanently on site). A lot of teargassing and   arrests of some of the numerous opponents who’d  come there, including a person who has gone to Baumettes Prison pending his immediate appearance on Monday, and there are some trials to come.
In the evening the blocks were taken away by opponents of the project.

the same kind of blocks somehow removed by  opponents of the intensified gentrification project

The next day, the blocks are re-positioned and others are added. More arrests and gassing.

On Saturday, a cheerful demonstration walks round the city center; the local SOLEAM on the Canebière, which manages the building site for the city, has its window broken. The demonstration  again tries to put the brakes on  the construction machinery. Some clashes with the cops ​​at the end of the demonstration on La Plaine and more arrests. In the evening the construction machine is sabotaged.
On Sunday, small structures are again rebuilt …

On Monday fencing is fixed above the concrete blocks with a new machine, despite the presence of opponents. In the evening, a good part of them is smashed up.
On Tuesday, a large amount of trees are cut up while some of the rest of the palisades are attacked and people climb trees but are dislodged by the cops. Some serious injuries and arrests. In the evening, after the departure of the cops, a few hundred people attack the construction machine and the workers’ shack, smash the fencing that had been put back in place once again, and set up a magnificent bonfire  twenty meters high  with about fifty wooden sections of fencing.
On Wednesday, the cut trees are mashed up in the morning and the company removes its machines, its workers, its prefab shacks, its fences and go off with the CRS without finishing the work.
Today, Thursday, workers arrived this morning with mobile gendarmes ready to fire  things other than simple teargas grenades; the site will probably resume after this mini “truce” of half a day.

Saturday, a new demonstration is planned.

Assemblies are now almost every day. Personally, I do not go to them in view of its positions developed in recent years and in recent times even more so (before the work started, this assembly met every first Monday of the month).

– among others, those  in favor of the small business district, including the hundreds of fairgrounds which gravitated around the four weekly markets.

– but also its position aiming at alternative gentrification (a clean and green neighborhood, more public services …).

This political confusion is only a reflection of a part of this neighborhood whose MP is Mélenchon [SF note: lefty recuperative demagogic politician, head of Unsubmissive France, the 3rd largest political party,  who just this week said, echoing Louis XIV, “The Republic is me” whilst on his way to a trial over financial irregularities; looks like his career is pretty much on the decline as he just recently took the piss out of a journalist’s southern French accent in a very arrogant manner, forgetting somehow that most of the people who’d voted for him have that very same accent]. But also the reflection of a more general reformist atmosphere everywhere, including  outside Marseille…

16/10/18:

France, Nantes: prison construction company car torched

13/10/18:

France, Marseille: further clashes over intensified gentrification of popular meeting place Security forces were there to surround machinery intended to put the concrete blocks in their original place. In the night, opponents had managed to move the blocks laid there to …prepare for the roadworks.”  These were massive very  heavy concrete blocks – moved somehow by tying them to ropes.

12/10/18:

France, Besançon: various vehicles torched But the specificity of these nocturnal fires is that they are first and foremost of company vehicles that are harmful to our lives, the cogs that are essential to make this shitty world function, that went up in smoke: a vehicle from Engie in rue Pierre Leroy, two of Enedis (a utility vehicle and a truck) in Avenue Commander Marceau and a car from ‘l’Est Républicain ‘ in the rue de Tunnel. Engie is a well-known collaborator in the prison system. The energy company has been investing  in several prisons and detention centers for many years. It is a target of choice for anyone who wants to fight the imprisonment of individuals, with or without documents….Regarding Enedis, it is the showcase of the project for burying nuclear waste in Bure…It is responsible for policing people through the installation of Linky meters….As for ‘L’Est Républicain’, it is a crucial tool for maintaining social order … distorting or concealing facts, always with the aim of serving the cops and various projects of power.”

11/10/18:

France, Marseille: clashes as local state aims to suppress meeting place for the marginalised by extending gentrification of already semi-gentrified area

10/10/18:

France, New Caledonia (department of France in the South Pacific): arson attack on nickel mine conveyor belt destroys 200 metres of belt This new incendiary attack, which is the eleventh this year, comes as the mining company SLN no longer takes out any ore because of the multiple acts of sabotage and the protest movement raised by young local inhabitants (which in addition to sabotage, resulted in multiple blocking actions). Since mid-August, SLN has closed its mining center. Recall that from August 6, access to the mines Méa and Kiel were blocked in a protest about the exploitation of new deposits….Moreover, here is what ‘The New Caledonia’ says: “Since the closure of the center [mid-August], the conveyor belt has been burned three times. At this stage, the SLN redeployed the majority of its employees formerly assigned to Kouaoua to other centers. The others were put on leave, waiting for possible partial unemployment. This closure also affects the many subcontractors, but also the shops and services of the municipality. The conflict seriously undermines the production of the SLN. Without Kouaoua, the plant loses a fifth of its ore supply, which is a mineral with a particular content. For the time being, the shutdown of one of Doniambo’s ovens is not relevant, says the company. But the manufacturer says it is worried about the survival of the business. In the longer term, the repercussions could even weigh on the future gas power plant, whose design has been designed to meet the energy needs of the plant. We also remember that the chiefs of the Kanak community had made agreements with the mining company, which absolutely did not calm the young people of the region (quite the contrary!), who are seeing their forest disappear and their  environment poisoned. for the profits of the state. No negotiation with capital and all authority, wherever it comes from! The best way to struggle against an ecocidal and deathly project is attack

9/10/18:

France, Paris: clashes as unions demonstrate against Macron’s neoliberal reforms For some of the contradictions of this movement see this (from a year ago),and this and this from earlier this year.

29/9/18:

France, Mulhouse: youths ambush cops with iron bars & stones, burn pallets etc., in over 6 hours of clashes; no arrests despite helicopter with floodlights and camera

28/9/18:

France, Pas-de-Calais:a dozen cars burn, along with pallets and tyres, after gendarmes shoot dead traveler who was part of gang; travelers demand release of brother of victim to attend victim’s funeral

25/9/18:

France, Lyon: cop intervention in filming of rap song clip leads them to being stoned by about 100 youths

24/9/18:

France, Strasbourg: clashes as locals resist forest destruction to build ring road

23/9/18:

France: report in mainstream paper saying that on May 1st water cannons in Paris were designed to create a disgusting stench – they were filled with macerated rotten meat proteins, a mixture of blood and crushed bone  Apparently the IDF also use this kind of stuff against Palestinians.

22/9/18:

France, Maine-et-Loire: bank windows smashed, bank torched, cop cars stoned, lots of tags, etc. on anti-fascist demo-cum-festival It seems that Angers’  tumult  continued until late into the night since the local fash were the target of a fire. Two people were unfortunately arrested. During the demonstration, the cops had blocked the road of the procession trying to get to the Alvarium. Remember that in mid-July, this same fascist hideout had already been burned.Haute-Alpes: about 150 pro-migrant demonstrators on Italian border attack teargas-and-sound grenade-throwing cops with acid phials & slingshots; no arrests

thumbnail23

Above: “Why do they divide us with borders if we are all human?”

South American graffiti

Below: “He who steals from us is from here and rich, not an immigrant and poor”

thumbnail49

18/9/18:

France, Lyon: screw out of uniform cut several times with pointed object outside his home by man saying he was “not so clever without his uniform” 

17/9/18:

France, Calais: migrants stone riot cops, set up barricades of boxes and branches on ring road, after arrest of migrant for we-don’t-know-what

15/9/18:

France, Grenoble: mobile Chamber-of-Commerce “shop” trying to propagandise the profitable wonders of the latest technology burnt down by molotov cocktails on day after its inauguration

14/9/18:

France, Val-de-Marne: 3 cop cars parked behind police station completely burnt out in incendiary attack Probably in revenge for previous day’s arrests.

Val-de-Marne – the only good cop car is a dead cop car

13/9/18:

France, Val-de-Marne: a dozen youths stone cops in ambush

7/9/18:

France, Metz: 3 undocumented migrants escape detention centre, 2 re-captured, 3rd still free despite massive state resources put into trying to find him

4/9/18:

France, Yvelines: 30 youths jump on cops during control One of the officers took a punch to the jaw. A hooligan grabs the tear gas canister of another policeman, breaking the object in two. Reinforcements arrived quickly and three suspects, aged 16 to 20, were arrested. The first victim had his jaw dislocated. The eyes of the second were hit by tear gas.”

3/9/18

France, Val d’Oise: “union house” combining CGT, FSU, Snuipp, CFDT, CFTC completely smashed up and looted; tags saying “thanks for your money” & “Fuck work!”

23/8/18:

France, Cherbourg: National Front announces definitive closure of offices in September following over 3 years of attacks, vandalism  and sabotage on them

15/8/18:

France, Cannes: communique-cum-warning released in August, published here, re. sinking of boat in March

A communiqué from some anarchist sailors rescued from Kronstadt:
“March 2018, in the vicinity of Cannes, we sank, by making holes in the hull, the sailing boat of an engineer affiliated to the Bonatti SPA, a  gas pipeline manager, amongst others,  for TAP in Italy.  Against their energy that  nourishes this inhuman world, action! Mr. Simon, if you do not give up your position, you will lose tyour house in addition to the boat. You must agree with us that this is not to your advantage.”

9/8/18:

France, Toulouse: 2 incidents of a dozen or so youths attacking the cops This is in the same area as several nights of riots (following death of local man in prison) back in April this year.

2/8/18:

France, Oise: screw hospitalised by prisoner resisting cell search

1/8/18:

France, Val-deMarne: 3rd time in 3 months that prison guard’s cars are torchedBretagne: bank torched

30/7/18:

France, Nice: 2nd night of riots A good part of the night, the police force had to face traps set by rioters and suffered stoning. Two small barricades were put in place by individuals, using garbage cans and mattresses.Calais: cop hospitalised as migrants stone riot filth

29/7/18:

France, Nice: cops stoned  after “accident” following high-speed chase with scooter Cops in France are now responsible for the deaths of 11 people this year so far, as compared with 11 last year in total (sometimes this involved cop cars deliberately banging into the back wheels of stolen motorbikes in high-speed chases, that results in the bike crashing and death).

28/7/18:

France, Var: 20 cops attacked by 60

25/7/18:

France, Nevers: chief-of-police’s car torched

24/7/18:

France, Carcassonne: La Tear de France Cops teargas demo of small farmers blocking cyclists with bales of hay & sheep, teargassing the Tour de France cyclists at the same time.

Cops remonstrating with those who don’t want to be fleeced (note Peasant Confederation bureaucrat in the foreground on the right)

18/7/18:

France,Gard: state bureaucratic office for phoney ‘solidarity’ wrecked  The CCAS, which is an organism of the town hall, boasts of “assisting the poor”. In reality, its job is above all to police the poor, to break the solidarities that are formed, to work for social pacification in a world of exploitation and misery.

15/7/18:

France, Menton (Alpes-Maritimes): youths stone cops just minutes after more French millionaires put bags of wind in nets than Croatian millionaires…More here “…youths looted a store and clashed with police. …Dozens of youths shattered windows at a popular store on the Champs Elysees” Bouche-de-Rhone: about 80 masked youths attack cops with projectiles….TV transmitter for the small town of St Jean du Gard torched just hours before the match This claims 12 towns had clashes with the state. See this for a critique of the spectacle of football and of the 2014 World Cup in particular.

A translation of this:

Some thoughts for the 15th of July [written before the match]:

Following the victory of the French team in the semi-finals of the World Cup, a certain fervor took over the streets in the different cities of “French territory”. From the final whistle, hundreds or even thousands of people gathered in the squares of the city centers. You could hear screaming, singing, laughing, seeing strangers kissing and dancing, people jumping on cars, smelling smoke. Something unusual was floating in the air. A fever that had a taste of what could look like a moment of revolutionary effervescence, of breaking with normality.

But in this world of bosses, cops and politicians, football (just like alcohol, drugs, religion, games, etc.) serves social pacification. Because it takes us out of the gloom of everyday life and misery (material and emotional) for a moment (without any change in our lives), football helps us accept shit daily. Just as rap, football (or more broadly music, art and sport) offers individual opportunities to get out of wage slavery. But how many footballers and millionaire rappers to how many precarious, unemployed, galley slaves or prisoners are there? Capitalism sells dreams of better days. It teaches us wisely to wait for a hypothetical day of glory. But all this hope is only illusion. We are – once France qualified in the finals of the World Cup – still nothing other than the role that has been assigned to us by the capital.

And if politicians of all stripes hailed the victory of the French team, it is not a coincidence. Because behind the political quarrels and the appearances of ideological pluralities, from Mélenchon to Le Pen, they support capital and the nation. Whether capital is run by liberals or Keynesians is not the issue. That the nation be the banner of freedom or equality isn’t either. Because the problem is precisely the existence of nations, of capitalists and all that they understand of exploitation, being ground down, borders, wars and deaths. And while we are singing, like 20 years ago, the tremendous existence of  “France’s black white arab team” seen as a symbol of the republican  model of integration  into the national community, we were soon faced with real social conflicts. This self-same French team whose players were called “immature leaders” by the Minister of Sports Roselyne Bachelot in 2010. Because when the “blues” [name for French national team] are bad, the media and politicians immediately reduce them to their original condition: that of proletarians coming  from immigration, of “scum”.

And while French flags are being waved around the streets, it seems important to remember that the nation is nothing more than an idea (a  shit idea), a myth designed to create a a common sense of belonging to justify the existence of  the State, an authority whose interests will always be contrary to those of individuals. And while some middle-class people rave about  FRRAAANCCEEE’s victory alongside the poor, perhaps we should ask ourselves how it is possible to accept such hypocrisy. Because it is the same people who support the killings by the state through its police who turn Umtiti into a national hero. But how could it be otherwise? The police have never had any other function than to maintain the current social order, that is to say to protect  private property (the base on which rests capitalism and thus the wealth of these same bourgeois nationalists) and state institutions.

In a world that leaves the only alternative to work as prison, the spectacle of football helps to be dazzled by dreams of money, luxury cars, women-as-objects. As  world champion or not, the French team will always be composed of millionaires after you go back to work for a boss or to exploit yourself (start up,  Nation Oblige).

So if there is anything to be done  with this eventual victory (or otherwise, defeat) of the French team in the World Cup, it is to take advantage of our massive presence in the streets to share and spread a little of the joy and rage we have through the destruction of everything that daily oppresses us. Because for joy to continue, for possibilities to open, for the feast to continue, the institutions and the men who make our lives a deathly plague must be attacked and burned to ashes. Instead of brandishing French flags, let’s burn them with pride – not to replace them with others – but so that we never have to conform to identities, to be locked in cages and categories of power. Never again to follow any banner extolling the merits of the nation or of whatever bit of  bullshit.

To live free here and now.
Death to the state, death to patriarchy.
That the prisons burn, that the bosses die.
Fuck France and all nations.

14/7/18:

France, Essonne: looting &/or attacks on cops in 5 areas of department on Bastille Day  “They broke through the entrance, entered the store and set fire to  fireworks,” says an employee. For now, the damage is not yet known, but they stole about ten bottles of alcohol, sweets and ice cream.“…A few kilometers away, Crosne’s city center also experienced an eventful night. “We found this situation in several municipalities of the department, said Jean-Francois Papineau, departmental director of public security of Essonne. Small groups attacked the police with pebbles, fireworks and sometimes even cobblestones. No policeman was injured”134 vehicles torched, 5 cops injured in whole of Paris areaBesancon: motolovs v. riot cops

11/7/18:

France, Cannes: youths from working class part of town attack cops with stones, bottles etc. in filthy rich area after World Cup semi-final winFrejus (Var): cops use flashballs and teargas as restaurants & shops are smashed

10/7/18:

France, Nantes: 13 cars torched; no arrests on 7th night of riots

9/7/18:

France, Creuse: cops teargas 150 protesters having put up roadblocks in front of gendarmerie to try to prevent expulsion of young Sudanese from country Nordeen E. fled his country at war, and through chance and  fate, he found refuge in Faux-La-Montagne, commonly known for its spirit of mutual aid and hospitality. The young man has been there for eight months, but his papers are not in order. France is asking him to return to Italy, the country through which he arrived in Europe to investigate his asylum application. The young Sudanese never hid, and he  himself went to the Felletin Gendarmerie following a summons. The inhabitants are disgusted. The gendarmes faced their anger and their disgust: “I was playing football with him, and sending him back to Italy is directing him to Sudan, and you are condemning him to the slaughterhouse,” said a young man. “It’s  not a question of legality but of humanity”

8/7/18:

France, Essonne: 20 youths throw cobblestones & heavy-duty fireworks at police station and cop car; no arrests

7/7/18:

France, Nantes: only 18 cars & construction site machine burnt on 5th night of riots …CCTV camera brought down, smashed & burned (below)

6/7/18:

France, Nantes: prefect bans buying & selling of fuel and fireworks for 6 days on 4th night of riots as cop is charged with manslaughternearly 50 cars torched

Nantes: rioters create fuel shortage, 5th July…state creates fuel shortage 6th July

5/7/18:

France, Nantes: 3rd night of riotingpartial burning of high school & gas station as 50 cars are torched The police also said that, like on the day before, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a police van in the courtyard of the police station in Saint-Herblain, in the suburbs of Nantes.” More here The Leonardo da Vinci vocational school, in the district of La Bottière, north-east of Nantes, was the object of the beginning of a fire. The facade of the school is partially blackened, it is the reception building which was the prey to the flames.Near the high school, a kindergarten class at Urbain-le-Verrier school was also destroyed. The Bar-PMU at the Doulon-Bottière shopping center was totally destroyed by the flames as well as a computer store. In Bellevue, the annex of the town hall and the Citizen’s House were targeted.

4/7/18:

France, Nantes: cops occupy streets following riot in response to their murder of young driver “The locals, however, are apparently not pleased to see the massive police presence. The officers have been repeatedly pelted with various projectiles by the locals right from the windows of the nearby buildings, as well as by groups of angry locals in the streets. Police responded with tear gas as tensions seemed to be growing once again.”despite cop occupation riots continue Notre Dame de Landes: barricades burnt in solidarity with rioters of Nantes

3/7/18:

France, Nantes: massive riot after cop shoots young man dead during police check Clashes between police and young people armed with Molotov cocktails… cars were burned and a shopping center was partly ravaged by the flames…The situation seemed to calm down shortly before 3am [4th July] in the Breil district, but other violence also broke out in two other sensitive areas of Nantes, the Dervallières and Malakoff, neighborhood where vehicles were burned…More hereThe driver tried to flee, backing onto a police officer….slightly injuring his leg. One of his colleagues then opened fire”…A witness from the scene gave a journalist from Ouest-France a filmed testimony that raises many questions about the proportionality of the colleague’s response: “He tried to make a reversal, the car crashed against the wall . He was already motionless, he could not do anything else. The policeman arrived, he fired at him point-blank, he put a bullet in his neck, directly. This resident says that he himself tried to resuscitate the victim. “There was no wounded riot cop,” he says, interrupted by another resident who shouted: “They’re Robocops! “… eight buildings were hit by fires, including a shopping center, as well as many vehicles, while law enforcement officers were sprayed with projectiles and Molotov cocktails….an annex of the Town and the law court, located in the same building, were affected by fire”

Nantes

Below: annex of the town hall housing also the law courts in flames

1/7/18:

France, Bretigny: bureaucratic archives destroyed in arson attack on Town Hall

27/6/18:

France, Essonne: 2 separate incidents of cops being stoned and/or petrol bombed by about 20 youths in banlieu; no arrests

21/6/18:

France, Paris: 2 management meetings of multinational company competing for privatised railway companies invaded by union-organised striking train company workers This action probably has very little independent about it, and is probably a desperate attempt to reinforce the unions’ (in this case, Sud-Rail) militant image, a sop to those  behind-the-scenes- strikers who complain about the union but do nothing to develop independent actions. Which is not to say that the union isn’t under pressure from its base, but that unless workers begin to explicitly critique the union hierarchy, and begin to critique the social function of unions, they’ll invariably be “sold out”. See the appendix on Sud here

16/6/18:

France, Bure: construction company windows smashed, stones thrown at cops, etc. during demo against construction of nuclear waste sitelots of graffiti here

15/6/18:

France, Essonne: individual sets fire to cop car

13/6/18:

France, Lorraine: sabotage of railway tracks by SNCF strikers causes traffic jam between Metz & Luxembourg

14/6/18:

France, Bouches-du-Rhône: blockade and occupation of university costs state €400,000 The list of damage is long: audio-visual material stolen, classes and amphitheaters tagged, detritus in the courts or broken locks.

13/6/18:

France, Neuilly-sur-Seine (near Paris): clashes with riot cops as train-drivers try to storm TV station after transmission of bullshit propaganda “…a group of striking railway workers tried to force their way through the entrance of the headquarters of the M6 ​​channel to protest against a report on the show Capital they thought was lying. The CRS posted there in anticipation of clashes firmly pushed them back. Protesters responded with projectiles and smoke. The railway workers present expressed their anger at the broadcast of an issue of the show devoted to the privatization of transport in various European countries, broadcast by M6 on the evening of June 10 and described it as “propaganda” …They denounced as manipulations and lies  the edition about working time, the age of retirement, their status and accuse it of presenting the reform in a particularly positive light….The unions will meet on the 13th to prepare for a round table organized on June 15th by Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Transport, where they will meet employers and government.

11/6/18:

France, New Caledonia: 800 meters of conveyor belt at mine destroyed by arson attack, the 3rd this year

9/6/18:

France, Gard: war memorial tagged

Above: The inscription below, which read “Glory to our eternal France, glory to those who died for her” has been changed to “…glory to those who died for nothing”

Below: other side of monument – “The police kill”

6/6/18:

France, Calais: clashes between riot cops and migrants – cop knocked out “The police and the riot cops are stoned almost every night”

5/6/18:

France, Valence: 2 screws’ cars torched outside prison More here“Photos of the private life of a guard were left behind and an inscription was tagged on a wall saying “first warning “.”

1/6/18:

France, St.Etienne: fires & anti-cop graffiti follow near-death at motorbike cops’ hands (same thing on 2nd June) In press releases, the cops “justified” their deliberate driving into the side of the 4-wheeler bike (the favourite method of the French filth, often causing death) because the guy had no helmet and the bike had no registration plates. Result: multiple fractures and severe head injuries. Witnesses said that the cops also tampered with the scene. On the Friday, there were 18 fires, on Saturday something similar. On Sunday a gathering of 200 people took place at the location of the “accident”, demanding justice.Drôme: 2 industrial wind turbines torched

31/5/18:

France, Givors: cops beaten up by 15 youths during control on estate; no arrests

26/5/18:

France, Paris : cops injured a bit trying to stop bank being smashed up a bit

25/5/18:

France, Albi : cops stoned, Chamber of Commerce smashed, 6 cars burnt in banlieu riotGrenoble: previously occupied language centre at University evacuated by students following threats of cop eviction found wrecked and tagged causing at least 1€m worth of damage

24/5/18:

France,Centre-Val-de-Loire: lots of cars burnt in different areas at same time as Mayor’s dining room window is shot at

23/5/18:

France, Yvelines: about 60 youths on estate ambush cops and attack them with projectiles, use burning barricades to escape and/or re-groupLyon: stones v. teargas, disencirclement grenades & flashballs as 50 youths attack cops in poor area

22/5/18:

France, Loire-Atlantique: further clashes at ZAD Paris: clashes with cops as 2 shops are attacked on public services demohigh school briefly occupied before violent eviction

Supply teachers give lesson on the function of “education”

17/5/18:

France, Loire-Atlantique: further clashes at Notre-Dame-Des-Landes

16/5/18:

France, Nice: president of uni is filmed threatening to kill student participating in occupation of his office

14/5/18:

France, Poitiers: arson attack on prison construction company machine (valued at 150,000€) in solidarity with ZAD

13/5/18:

France, Loire-Atlantique: 3rd day of renewed teargas-enveloped clashes at Notre-Dame-des-Landes “… since Friday evening sporadic clashes have pitted the mobile gendarmes against the “irreducible” zadistes opposed to any negotiation with the State, unlike the “moderates” who have submitted nominated projects. The gendarmes are trying to prevent the irreducible Zadists from concentrating en masse before the resumption of eviction operations that could take place in the coming days. On Saturday at noon, the zadists had planned … significant fortification works and construction of huts around the farm (squatted) … This time again, it seems that the gendarmes did not want to let them play kapla, and came onto the zone from 3pm on Friday, following the establishment of a fiery barricade on the crossroads of Saulce …clashes continued into the evening, until after 10pm. The Zadists  found two wounded in their ranks, following the firing of disencirclement grenades  and the start of a fire in the forest of RohanneA local resident: “Every night there are quarrels and barricades on fire on the roads”…“Every day, there is a parade of cops in full dress but no visible number, armored trucks parked with tht engine turned on. They advance, retreat, film, photograph, make lines, filing up in one direction, then in the other and leave. Then they come back … intimidation, a war of nerves that has lasted for weeks. …” On Saturday, clashes erupt again, first in the morning and then at 4 pm at the crossroads of the Saulce, since the zadistes continue to block again the RD81 and other roads with tires and palettes in flames. The reaction of the gendarmes is always the same: …tear gas to clear the area – teargas giving an orange fog, with pepper – then they remove the barricades with the help of the armored trucks – equipped with a blade to repel debris – whilst having   various projectiles and bottles thrown at them….New clashes are still taking place with gendarmes this Sunday, and arrests have taken place. A zadist launched a call for help this Saturday evening: “the situation is very catastrophic on the ZAD […] In the space of 24 hours we got gassed I do not know how many times – so much teargas. Since last night at 10 pm they make tours every 2 hours and gas us without any reason and without warning … the situation is really very critical …

Although this was put up on this anti-Zad site probably in order to belittle the Zadists, it in fact implies the desire for something youthfully innocent as against the truly miserable cynical senility of those who despise people who revolt because it reminds them of a desire for life that they’ve long repressed

12/5/18:

France, Val-de-Marne: about 30 people molotov police station  after arrest of 3 men the previous weekend “…about half past midnight the attack began. Thirty people arrived with a caddy filled with heavy-duty fireworks, Molotov cocktails and … projectiles that were then launched towards the building. A few minutes later, fifteen other young people arrived armed with iron bars and other ammunition…The police responded with tear gas and reinforcements arrived. The group of young people fled by destroying and burning street furniture, requiring the intervention of firefighters, who had to be protected in turn by the police. Three people were arrested…. this violence occurred because of the arrest of three men last weekend. A “demonstration of support” for people in custody had already degenerated last Sunday.

11/5/18:

France, Paris: exams at Nanterre canceled after clashes between blockading students (accompanied by train drivers, post office workers, truck drivers & temp workers) and teargas-spraying riot copsnear Nanterre university, blockaded for 3 weeks, the station is the target of an attack About 15 hooded people tagged the station with things like “ZADs everywhere”, sabotaging  2 ticket machines, 5 display panels and 14 electronic control gates; plus a CCTV camera was covered in paint.

10/5/18:

France, Paris: undercover cop working for state equivalent of  Special Branch or CIA unmasked and expelled from General Assembly of university occupation, his recording equipment confiscated Thursday, May 10, 2018  the General Assembly of the occupation of the student movement of  Paris 8 Vincennes, Saint-Denis was held . During the GA, some of us spotted an odd-looking individual: an isolated man no one knew and with the look of an RG [Renseignement Generale – cop “intelligence” service]. After watching for a long time his suspicious behavior (he moved several times in the amphitheater), two comrades asked to speak to him outside. He immediately introduced himself as Damien Rigaud, winemaker in the South of France, currently studying oenology in Bercy and living in Aulnay-sous-Bois. Then came an absurd conversation of several minutes in which he said he had already come to the occupation for refugees to bring food (even going so far as to describe a comrade precisely), and that he’d wanted to give a hand . He presented himself as a great defender of refugees, which could have caused him problems with the local gendarmerie. He went as far as to say that he felt that there were cops in front of him when we asked him if he could prove his identity. Since he had no papers on him, we explicitly asked him if he was a cop. He tells us no, but a comrade insists on asking if he is RG: he answers that he does not know what it is, and when the comrade repeats his question several times he  never answers that it is not the case. The situation then changes very quickly: we notice a thread protruding from his bag, connected to a button on the strap and which turns out to be a camera. We alert our comrades that a cop is present and he’s recording what’s happening and told the GA. While the unmasked RG sought to flee the faculty, we reacted en masse to prevent it. We blocked the exits and insisted collectively that he give us his recordings. He tried to save them right up to the end with a wreckless stubbornness, given the balance of power totally in his disfavor, but we managed to recover all the equipment: recording box with SD card, camera, microphone, bag and pack of notes. We finally inspected the photos on his phone despite his opposition, to make sure he did not take any evidence with him. Following this, we let him go accompanied by some slogans. After his departure, the inspection of the recovered equipment led us to notice a tiny camera incorporated into the button. We watched the video recordings of the GA: despite its size the camera gives a wide angle image with  very good sound quality. We  scare the state so much that such means are deployed against us to observe us.

9/5/18:

France, Toulouse: after cops evict university occupation at 3.30a.m., student badly injured by disencirclement grenade (apparently “accidentally”) Around 6 o’clock in the morning, fifty young people travelled towards Matabiau station by subway with the idea of ​​blockading it. During this trip, a student belonging to the group allegedly damaged a subway camera. Police officers formally identified him at the exit of the station “Arche Marengo” before proceeding to his arrest. According to a police source, the protester then resisted, forcing two policemen to control him, one of them having  a disencirclement grenade in his pocket. During the arrest, this grenade accidentally unpinned. One policeman was burned, the other injured by shrapnel. The young man, himself, suffered the effect of the blast at the time of the detonation, effecting the thorax.”

7/5/18:

France, Paris: clashes at Montparnasse station (video)Grenoble: exams postponed as students blocking exam rooms are teargassed

4/5/18:

France, Calais: about 50 migrants surround and stone riot copsToulouse: prisoner escapes

1/5/18:

France, Paris: various clashes as black blockers from round Europe come for mayday demo “Along the route of the march they looted and set fire to a McDonald’s restaurant and also torched a car, a mechanical digger and a scooter.” Worth mentioning that McDonalds was trashed in London in 2000. Not much progress in 18 years – these things have become kind of ritualised…Rennes: clashes with cops (no details) See this in French for a critique of this day in Paris

Renault car showroom burns, Paris

30/4/18:

France, Besançon: business school covered in graffiti “YOUR WORLD IS A ZONE TO DESTROY”, “OUR PAVING STONES ARE NOT LISTED ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE”, “SCHOOL OF SHEEP” , “RATHER AGITATORS THAN SALESMEN”, “ON 1 MAY, WE FEAST ON BOURGEOIS”

28/4/18:

France: Tolbiac damage to walls etc. estimated to cost over  £600,000 Typical shallow flippant BBC journalismLyon: 2nd day of clashes with cops in popular area More here “In response to projectiles thrown from the street or windows of buildings, the national police fought back with tear gas and a few flashballs”.

26/4/18:

France, Loire-Atlantique: English-language reports on ZAD occupation This site is largely from an insufficiently critical perspective that ignores most of the contradictions that developed which showed the weaknesses of the ZAD in dealing with the  divisions that were complicitous with the state’s divide-and-ruleAriege: administrative buildings & engineering laboratory of tungsten mine, aimed at supplying arms industry, sabotaged & torched “…the arsonists first smashed a wall with a sledgehammer at the back of the workshop, before bringing in several tires that lay outside and set them on fire. A tank containing 18,197 liters of fuel oil exploded in the fire and a generator was destroyed, as was the roof of the workshop, whose metal frame was partly melted. In the offices, a second fire started damaging the PVC floor.This mine had recently been re-opened after 30 years of closure. Everyone in the area apart, maybe, from the prefecture and the company, are likely to have celebrated this sabotage, as they invariably have opposed it on the grounds of health & safety. Tungsten is one of the strategic metals for civil and military use. For example, it is amalgamated with depleted uranium, or replaces it, for perforating “shock cones” and, given its relative rarity, its current price reaches that of “rare metals”, the group of metals without which it would be impossible to build any processor. In this region the extraction and refining of tungsten has very harmful effects on health: anorexia, amnesia, and so on, sometimes including lung cancer. Combined with asbestos used for decades in the mine…not hard to imagine the rest. The miners were often immigrant workers from North Africa who, now retired, have developed chronic diseases, never recognized, of course, as occupational diseases. For several months, the protests intensified against the reopening of the mine.

23/4/18:

France, Hauts-de-Seine (near Paris): over 150 workers occupy SNCF (state-run railway) building during another 24-hour strike; most trains cancelled This was mainly workers with CGT or SUD flags. Hard to know if this was yet another merely symbolic action, if the occupation lasted beyond a couple of hours…Another report here. See this site’s critique of these unions hereLoire-Atlantique: renewal of clashes at Notre-Dame-des-Landes (video)80-year-old Zadiste arrested A text on some of the divisions in the movement, talked about below (especially entry for 9/4/18),  here.

20/4/18:

France, Paris: Tolbiac occupation evicted, blockade lifted by copsat least 4 hospitalised as media claims eviction happened without incidentman hit by BAC (Brigade Anti-Criminiel – psychotic cops in “plain clothes”) in a coma – immediate demonstrations in various parts of the countrycops deny this, calls it a “rumour” No confirmation either way, though this report in French, gives 3 witness accounts confirming that this event happened, though whether the guy, despite having been unconscious, fell into a coma or not is not clear. The implication is a possible state cover-up with media complicity. A small group of occupants – including the witnesses, homeless people who had been actively involved in the occupation for about ten days – tried to flee the police by escaping from the back of the building, via the terraces, by a ladder connected to an adjacent street, rue Baudricourt. Police officers of the Anti-Crime Brigade (BAC) give chase. All occupants manage to get down to the street, except one. As he was about to get down, a BAC officer grabbed his leg. The occupant loses his balance, his head tilts forward and he crashes at least three meters below. Two witnesses saw the policeman’s action and the fall of the fugitive. A third witness confirms to Reporterre their description of the body, which he saw on the ground. The injured person, who fell on his face, had blood coming out of his mouth, nose and ears. The witnesses try to revive him, in vain. The man is in a state of unconsciousness. One of the witnesses immediately calls the firefighters, who arrive at the scene thirty minutes later and take away the young man. Shortly afterwards, police blocked access to rue Baudricourt, the site of the fall. At seven o’clock, municipal cleaners entered the street. One of the two direct witnesses sees them erase traces of blood on the ground. The report continues giving accounts from various people which neither clearly confirm nor genuinely deny this incident, partly because no-one knows which hospital this guy was taken to.  In 1986 the death of an Arab at the hands of the cops was the main factor forcing the government to withdraw its education reforms. But the fact that the state has an obvious interest in making out that this is fake news does not in itself mean that it is true. We shall see, hopefully…

19/4/18:

France, Paris: teargas v stones etc.  during demo & strike; windows of businesses smashed

Hotel Marriott, Paris: “Legal or not, our fury in your gob”

Nanterre university blockaded & occupied See english translation of a leaflet I co-wrote for a demo on 14 april 2018 for a critique of some of the significant contradictions of this movement. When I find time, footnotes will be added to explain more concretely some of its general reflections. From afar this movement might seem like something BIG, when, for the moment at least, it is far more dominated by dreadful ideologies than, for instance, the movement of 2006. Of course, all this could change. Or not. The leaflet was received well by at least some young people, which is a change from the illusions of 2 years ago, but let’s not be over-optimistic. Both optimism and pessimism compete in people’s heads to stop those who want a development of self-organised struggles from trying to become clearer and from drawing practical consequences from striving to assess the pros and cons of events.  

A student from the Immobilisation Committee of Montpellier’s occupied faculty talks to the media

This is a reference to the fact that, despite the media having clearly lied about the clashes on 14th April, in  particular the regional rag Midi-Libre, students from the Mobilisation Committee gave interviews to these scum and  allowed them  to film a largish conference of the occupied section of the university, knowing full well that being filmed would prevent anybody with a less traditional, more radical, point of view from speaking their minds. In the movement of 2010 the media were prevented from coming onto the campus, but nowadays being famous for 15 minutes is considered a worthier pursuit than striving to attack the journalist thought-police along with all other cops. They somehow think that the media can help, by potentially filming cop brutality, to restrain the cops from such violence, even though they’d done their usual filthy work of deliberately distorting events last Saturday (April 14th) when the cops had been especially violent. More details later…

18/4/18:

France, Nantes: pallets set on fire at all 4 roads of major roundabout in solidarity with nearby ZAD struggle

17/4/18:

France, Lyon: about 30 youths clash with cops whilst they try to stop an unofficial motorbike race in streetToulouse: 3rd night of riots

12 cars burn at Citroen car dealership, Toulouse

16/4/18:

France, Toulouse: 2nd night of riots extends to 3rd area

15/4/18:

France, Toulouse: police station attacked with molotov, 11 vehicles burn, cops stoned, burning barricades as youths from 2 popular areas express their fury at prison death of local man…though this in English says it was because a woman was arrested & charged with “rebellion” for refusing to remove veilLoire-Atlantique: further clashes at ZAD

Notre -Dame-des-Landes, 15/4/18

14/4/18:

France, Nantes: clashes between Zadists and cops after cops prevent several 1000s on ZAD demo meeting up with train drivers & student demo – shop & bank windows smashedMontpellier: cops teargas demo within a few minutes of it starting; subsequently shop & bank windows smashed, burning bin barricades etc. 

The usual route of demos here is from outside a park at the top of a hill downwards past some shops towards the station. This was the first time ever the route was blocked by a line of cops, who immediately started firing a considerable amount of teargas grenades after 1 stone was ineffectually thrown towards the lines of cops. A TV report  threw in footage of  a minor incident of a guy throwing a barrier towards the cops, which happened in another part of town at a later time, as if it was part of the reason for the cops launching teargas immediately. However the cop spokesman was more honest than the media, saying simply, without claiming that the teargas launched was against any “violence”, that it was to prevent shop windows being smashed up. In fact, the reason for this unprecedented blocking of the normal route was the fact that the march was lead by the black block, a tactic that had been announced several days in advance at a fairly public planning meeting on part of the university campus, abandoning the basic minimal strategy of surprising your enemy. 

Despite this, the cop strategy didn’t really work as the march turned round and went along a route that included even more shops and businesses, some of which had their windows smashed or tagged. However, the flag-waving leaders of the march, which by this time seemed to be a student organisation, turned off just 10 metres before the main square of the city (where just 4 vans of unarmoured non-riot cops were placed, though at the far end of the square – about 150 metres away – the heavily armoured CRS were ready) along a small road leading to the other end of the road that the cops had previously blocked off. On this Saturday, the main square is full of tourists and others eating and drinking in cafes and restaurants or waiting for their tram, and it would have been a lot harder, causing them  a great deal of bad publicity, for the cops to have fired teargas grenades there than they later did when they seemed to have broken up the march and attacked part of it from both ends. More windows and businesses are tagged and smashed (mainly estate agents, banks, temp agencies, luxury shops, jewelers…), as the riot cops massively teargas one end of the demo and attack with troops the other end. Not all cops have gas-masks, and some are seen crying from their own gas. A woman in a wheelchair very slowly drove in front of a tram for 5 minutes to slow it down until the tram company sent a car along to ask her in repressed angry tones to please get off the track.

Apparently the regional deputy Muriel Ressiguier, from the Leftist Melenchon racket “La France Insoumise” (literally translated as “Unsubmissive France”), shouted out some demagogic crap inciting the youths to attack the cops (as if they hadn’t already wanted to do so) and that as soon as they got into power they’d do everything necessary to reverse the neoliberal policies.  Later on, after at least 40 shops & businesses had had their windows “smashed” (well, cracked really because nowadays business windows are, as most people know, pretty much stone-resistant, never really leaving the goods on open display ready to be liberated) a spokesman for the business “community”, along with the city’s mayor from the Socialist Party, called on her to be prosecuted for such incitement. Shit-scared, she made a rapid U-turn and called on people to  grass on the “casseurs” (window-breakers) and that they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law: “Unsubmissive France” indeed.

“Capital – murderer”, Montpellier

A wildcat march – now numbering about 250, including a small group of youths who spontaneously joined because it seemed like more fun than strolling around gawping at pricey goods – meandered through the back streets setting up innumerable “barricades” of burning bins to stop traffic. Some local residents shouted out against them from their windows, telling them to leave “their” neighbourhood; others complained that they were endangering their street-level drug-dealing. Some car drivers were confronted when they tried to drive through them because their journey was delayed for 5 minutes. Eventually, after over 2 hours of going round the back streets on their way to the university campus, the BAC and the CRS suddenly caught them unawares (they’d requisitioned a few of the town’s tram company vans, from which they unexpectedly emerged) and, despite two sets of burning bin “barricades, which would have allowed far more people to escape through side streets, some 40 or more went into a supermarket to escape, but the back way was blocked and they were trapped and very badly beaten, a couple being hospitalised. 55 were kept in custody and the next day about 200 or so people amassed outside the town’s main police station (in French it’s called the Hotel de Police, which sounds like a hotel – sadly the only mini-bars are on the cell windows), cheering as one by one most of them were released.

See, in French, 2 texts on some of the contradictions of the current movement, including one distributed in Montpellier on this day.

13/4/18:

France, Paris: Sorbonne occupation evicted; train strikes resume The strikes are pretty much ritualised union gestures to allow the bureaucrats to retain their power round the negotiating table.  See France Goes Off The Rails, about the 1986 – 87 strike, a successful wildcat  organised independently of the unions. Quote: “At the beginning of November ’86, a non-union driver on the Paris Gare du Nord network put into circulation a petition demanding the amelioration of the drivers’ work conditions and the suppression of a project for a gauge of salaries based on promotion by merit (the petition also threatened the unions with “suffering the consequences” if they didn’t support the strike). The petition rapidly received over 200 signatures. Only the CFDT, whose presence amongst this category of employee is virtually insignificant, agreed to announce a strike for the 18th December. Very quickly, several depots in Paris & the provinces walked out on strike illegally, without previous announcement….” Tolbiac university occupation threatened with eviction as president of university justifies this with calumnies that the place was being used for prostitutionLyon: clashes between students and riot cops at university blockadeNotre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique): clashes continue as virtually all squats destroyed The gendarmerie said it had made about ten arrests. There are wounded on both sides. According to the figures of the police, 45 gendarmes were wounded. According to the local medical teams, some sixty Zadists were affected, 130 according to the activists of the communication cell.

Pile of teargas canisters – “Madame Prefect: next delivery – to the Prefecture”

12/4/18:

France, Notre-Dame-des-Landes (Loire-Atlantique): barricades destroyed by the gendarmes the day before are rebuilt “I had confidence in the prefect’s speech, in his overtures towards us. Negotiations were under way, and from the first day, we excluded people whose project was rigid…I feel betrayed, my sense of  citizenship has been affected a littleat least 6 cops injured in ambush 80 Zadists had been injured the day before, but today, despite (or maybe because of) 29 squats being destroyed, there seems to have been quite a counter-attack: apart from the ambush, 10 cops were injured, five of whom were burned by acid on their legs, and one wounded by several little explosions from an “improvised explosive device”. Five gendarmes were evacuated to hospital

armoured vehicles clearing away barricades, Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Paris: Sorbonne occupied From afar this may seem like something big, because of its symbolic connection to May ’68 (see, for example, this, which speaks, amongst other things,  of the occupation of the Sorbonne in ’68) …but unrealistic hope born out of an underlying despair desperately tries to convince itself that a lot more is happening  than most of the evidence suggests. It ignores the enormous absence, so far, of critical vigilance (e.g. towards the unions) and of independent activity, of ideas-in-action – unlike May ’68, which is not to nostalgically  minimise the problems of that epoch. No predictions of course – optimistic or pessimistic, but we live in an epoch where the unexpected rarely happens and, unlike 50 years ago, the large communities of working class rebellion hardly exist. But maybe from the little communities of discussion striving for practice beyond discussion combining with the little communities of rebellion within work places…well, you never knowEssonne: meeting of Minister of Labour plunges into darkness after locals sabotage transformer

11/4/18:France, Loire-Atlantique: 3rd day of clashes and burning barricades at Notre-Dame-des-Landes as about 150 Zadists continue their resistance to the divide-and-rule ‘compromise’ that leaves them landless & homeless (see entry 9/4/18 below)

  Notre-Dame-des-Landes meets Wimbeldon

By destroying the settlements around the D281, the gendarmes destroyed collective agricultural projects. Hence the anger of the ACIPA, the main association of opponents of the ex-airport project, and a feeling of betrayal expressed on Tuesday by zadists who believe they played by the rules of the game with the prefecture and have been cheated. The significance of the operation led opponents to call for mobilization. “If tonight the prefecture does not withdraw its troops, there’ll be general mobilization,” said Julien Durand, spokesman for Acipa, on Tuesday….On Tuesday, the clashes were more violent than the day before, with twenty-eight injured gendarmes…According to Wednesday morning’s assessment of the medical team of zadists, about twenty opponents were injured, including one who was hospitalized after thirty being injured on Tuesday, including two hospitalized.Montpellier: about 30 masked students sabotage administration’s internet site (including smashing up machines) during blockade  and part-time occupation of campus; site no longer functions This action  was in response to the admin’s decision to organise exams via the internet, and was followed by about 200 personnel & professors demonstrating against this sabotage, though amongst radical students it was popular, obviously. The site was back up within 36 hours, and the admin said that no data was lost, but several students suspected that this was them trying to put up a good front, that it was not true.

9/4/18:

France,  Loire-Atlantique: clashes as about 2,500 riot cops etc. attack the 250 squatters resisting eviction of Notre-Dame-Des-Landes ZAD; burning barricades and stones v. teargas and sound grenades (videos)  More here and  here, in English. However, it’s not just the official state cops that have been attacking those who don’t want to negotiate with the state. On March 20th, 5 masked people, armed with baseball bats and teargas sprays, raided a squat on the ZAD. This squat opposed the divide-and-rule compromise with the state, which involved legalising some people’s land and houses, but not others. These scum beat up people at the squat and then kidnapped the most outspoken opponent of the compromise, tied up his hands and legs, blindfolded him  and gagged him with duct tape. They put him in the boot of their car  and drove off. Later, they beat him again, broke one of his  legs and arms, finally abandoning him in the night  next to a psychiatric hospital. The most vociferous defenders of the compromise in the assemblies there have been the Invisible Committee, the “Appelistes”. They’ve done this kind of thing before, though less brutal (gagged and bound a guy who’d burnt out a tractor, bundled him into a carboot and left him in the middle of the woods). So most people are 99.99% sure that it was the “invisible committee” who’d done this red-fascist shit.  They’ve always sat on the fence, playing revolutionary anarchists to the revolutionary anarchists, reformists to the reformists, leninists to the leninists. In this instance they were playing the filth to the filth. And not the kind of “playing” that’s fun. See here in French.

the far-too-visible leader of the Invisible Committee, Julian Coupat

6/4/18:

France, Paris: another fascist attack on an occupation of the university According to “the Free Commune of Tolbiac”, the president of Paris-I, Georges Haddad,  said he feared to see a ZAD settle in the heart of the university,  condemning the attack and promised students strikers that the forces of order would not intervene on the site. “The presidency strongly condemns acts of violence committed by people outside the university and regrets the current situation…which goes beyond the framework of a classical student mobilization. The Presidency wants a return to normalcy as quickly as possible”… the Tolbiac site, whose students voted for the unlimited blockade, is the scene of rampant tension between far-left groups and extreme right-wing groups on the sidelines of the controversial reform of the university.One of the main problems is that these fascist attacks (Montpellier had the worst – see entry for 22/3/18, but Strasbourg also had one) are in some way already a kind of victory for the state insofar as they excessively focus a lot of energy on these fascists and on legal questions, whilst ignoring activities and discussions on how to proceed against other aspects of this society and on how these aspects effect ourselves.

4/4/18:

France, Strasbourg: teargas-spraying riot cops evict 100 students occupying part of university

3/4/18:

France, Paris: 230 mile traffic jam round Paris area as train drivers go on strike againshop windows smashed “Police charged the crowd after the windows of a bank and nearby shops were shattered in the melee.”Val-de-Marne: striking dustmen barricade themselves inside depot to avoid eviction by riot cops…See this for a critique of the main union involved

CRS riot cops walk past a burning garbage can during a demonstration by state-owned railway company SNCF workers and students in Paris as part of the nationwide strike

28/3/18:

France, Bordeaux: cops intervene against high school blockade; blockade of university continues; clashes with cops on small student demo against cop/fascist  attacks on students; journalist truncheoned, after cops steal journalist’s & students’ mobiles Lille: clashes between students and cops on small demo

23/3/18:

France, La Réunion: bins etc. burnt, as over 200 youths party-riot through the night

22/3/18:

France, Montpellier: occupation at the Law Faculty attacked very violently by masked fascists led by the Dean Apparently, the Dean asked the cops to go in, but they said they’d only go in with the agreement of the Prefecture, which  refused to order them in. So the Dean sent in 20 masked and hooded fascist students, including  professors (one being a professor of health law, no less), to beat the shit out of the occupying students, using batons, tasers, etc. The Dean then locked himself up with these hooded scum inside the faculty, protecting them from the police who had just arrived.  3 students were hospitalised. Undoubtedly the best lesson in law studies that the students could ever have, including “health law”: “justice” is determined not by “rights” but by the balance of force(s), and the same goes for health (though very differently).  Added 26/3/18: The Dean has now been forced to resign; apparently 4 professors were involved in the fascist violence; and no-one was kept in hospital for longer than 24 hours. The university authorities have temporarily closed down the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Science. The main student resistance is at Paul Valery (Faculty de Lettres – basically, all the “liberal” subjects such as sociology, art, etc.) The fascists are likely to continue their defence of “education” however, despite the fact that, because of the massive media focus on this unprecedented attack (unprecedented in post-WWll bourgeois demockracies, at least) some of their number have so shitted themselves that they’ve decided it best to grass up their fellow fascistsclashes on demos in Nantes, Rennes & Paris during one-day so-called “general strike”Video of cops using water cannon etc in NantesVideo of Parisnew president of Socialist Party forced, by boos & projectiles, to leave demoLots of high schools and universities blockadedToulouse: university occupation threated with intervention of riot copsSome details in French here Paris: Railway and public sector workers gathered this Thursday afternoon in Paris [while the demonstration called at Nation at 11am split after a few hundred meters into two wild and angry demonstrations that re-grouped at the Gare de l’Est…] But also in nearly 180 towns in France. According to the Ministry of the Interior some 320,000 people were mobilized 400,000 according to the CGT. This mobilization was followed in the SNCF [France’s railways]  but also in schools and air transport. Students and high school students also initiated a mobilization on March 22, the fiftieth anniversary of the student uprising that launched the events of May 1968…a bank branch was “ransacked”…Disruptive elements clash with the police…Police respond with water cannon and tear gas…An insurance agency on Beaumarchais Boulevard is targeted by hooded “casseurs”, breaking the window and entering the premises…projectiles fired at the police … They responded  using teargas grenades…a vehicle was set on fire…hooded groups attacked two bank branches and billboards and threw projectiles at the CRS. Shortly before noon, the police charged the protesters and used tear gas.” Should be pointed out that there were lots of public sector workers who did not go on strike – in some sections, a majority. Nantes: “…clashes occur between a few hundred protesters and police…projectiles and paint were thrown onto the facade of the police station…at the prefecture,  the demonstrators were greeted by water hoses. “We’ll keep going, we’re not afraid of getting wet,” the crowd chanted. The police repeatedly used tear gas, causing panic… Numerous firecrackers, smoke bombs and projectiles…degradations and tags…”

https://attaque.noblogs.org/files/2018/03/nantes-22-3-2018-morts-pour-rien.jpg“Dead for nothing…” – tag on war memorial, Nantes

This strike was called above all by the CGT union, a critique of which is now largely taboo in the so-called anti-authoritarian milieu in France. For a critical history of the CGT up until the end of the 2016 movement against the labour law, which I wrote a few months ago, see this.

Grenoble: cops beat up protesters against Frontex  150 people gathered in front of IMAG building of the University of Grenoble, in which was held a university symposium of those enacting the militarization of the borders (Frontex, Euromed police, Europol, etc) which was titled “From Frontex to Frontex , towards the emergence of a new European body of coast guards “. In particular, the President of Euromed Police and the Director of Legal Affairs of Frontex were present. Slogans, a press table and leafleting were on the agenda that afternoon.  The organizers of the conference chose to keep it under police surveillance, the entrances being infiltrated by members of the BAC. Around 4 pm, the group of more than thirty people went to the conference room to disrupt the intervention of the head of Euromed police, and to appeal to the members of the conference. Participants then opened the doors to the protesters who came in, chanting slogans for about ten minutes and leaving time for a tag in the room saying “FRONTEX kills”. Police in riot gear intervened, hitting protesters without warning to get them out. Blocked against a wall, dozens of people had to face the police without being able to avoid blows. Many people were injured and some of them had to be hospitalized. It seems that there were no arrests.

15/3/18:

France: several universities blockaded – BordeauxMontpellierToulouseRennesNantes…probably others. In Montpellier, students cut off electricity to the admin block. These blockades and occupations are against a new law intensifying selection for university places. Included in the criteria for selection will now be such things as showing how much voluntary work you’ve done – i.e your being prepared to be a total arse-licking slave.

13/3/18:

France, Mayotte (French overseas department): immigrants riot, burn cars, as local population embark on reactionary general strike against immigration

6/3/18:

France, Bordeaux: riot cops called by uni  admin to violently evict students during General Assembly and amphitheatre occupationMarseille: 40 youths surround and throw stones at cops during arrest

3/3/18:

France, Bure: clashes renewed at this nuclear waste site following expulsion Seems that there’s an element of fixated activism on the part of these militants – the land is barren and besides, many of the people in the area have been bought off, and without that support, the struggle against this nuclear waste site seems like banging your head against a brick wall just to show how radical you are.

22/2/18:

France, Toulouse: windows of nuclear power-related company smashed, facade splattered with paint (communiqué)Avignon: governing party office smashed up by anti-nuke protestersboth in solidarity with this eviction, happening this morning

13/2/18:

France, Montpellier: clashes with riot cops, large bins burnt, tramline connections halted at Peasant’s Carnival, declared illegal by the local state More here “…rioters confronted the cops with broken  bottles and cobblestones. Garbage cans were burned and ad signs destroyed in the middle of smoke bombs and firework rockets against the cops. According to the prosecutor’s office, four policemen were wounded, one of whom was reportedly seriously injured in the face: “A hooded individual assaulted a police officer using a bottle of ice water”, writes a cop union. Five people were arrested at the end of the evening, particularly for violence against police officers.

9/2/18:

France, Essonne: youths stone cop patrol car

6/2/18:

France, Paris: some luxury shop windows smashed on small demo against reform of the baccalaureat “…in Paris, the brave few who made the trip walked under a heavy snowfall…young people dressed in black stood out from the crowd to throw stones at windows, including that of a luxury clothing store. “We can not do anything, it’s up to the police to manage them,” said Patrick Désiré, CGT Educ’s general secretary….One of the reforms protested by the protesters is the establishment of continuous control that  calls into question the anonymity of the exam. Julie Le Mazier, Union Sud Education 95, believes that such a methodology “creates inequalities between the institutions, puts them in competition with each other, and undermines the anonymity of the…national framing of the tests”. Toulouse: barricades at university in opposition to similar reformAlpes-de-Haute-Provence: bins burnt, cars attacked, stones thrown at technical High school over these reforms

4/2/18:

France, Oise: cop van torched

1/2/18:

France, Essonne: high school students clash with cops after blockading school in opposition to intensified selection Garbage cans and gates were installed in front of the main entrance to prevent students from going in. Shortly after nine o’clock, tension mounted rapidly with the police officers who had just arrived to clear the entrance. Helmeted and shielded, they scattered the blockaders. An 18-year-old student was arrested in front of many comrades…“We were gathered there, peacefully, without any provocation on our part, we even calmed those who were a bit too angry, and we were violently charged, and gassed too…The police were pelted with projectiles …”

 
31/1/18:

France, Paris: students occupy part of university in support of migrants

30/1/18:

France, Hauts-de-Seine: rioting continues for 3rd night – report from a notoriously deceitful ultra-right-wing site (see entry for 28/1/18 below for more on the reasons for this spate of rioting)

29/1/18:

France, Rennes: excavator machines burnt with molotovs at phoney ecological site constructing  houses for the rich (communiqué)

28/1/18:

France, Hauts-de-Seine: bins burnt, cops stoned after showing of video of cop firing several live rounds, seriously wounding driver, at car that didn’t stop for arbitrary police control

27/1/18:

France, Isere: LIDL supermarket torched For a  critique of a supermarket project in London, see this.

25/1/18:

France: report giving details about prison revolts since screws started striking Thursday, January 18 in Fleury-Merogis, more than a hundred prisoners refused to return to their cells after their walk was cut  short, and then began to bang on the doors and insult the staff. Then in building B2 more than a hundred prisoners refused to go back to their cells after the walk …the protest…lasted more than an hour. In Longuenesse (Pas-de-Calais), near Saint-Omer, an inmate assaulted two screws early Sunday evening (January 21, 2018), using a table leg (an 80cm iron bar long, 5 cm by 5 cm). The two suffered from bruises on the arm and spent a few hours in hospital. The Force Ouvriere trade unionist Mr. Julien Martin, did not hesitate to describe this attack as an “ambush” and “attempted assassination”. Tuesday, January 23, 28 inmates of the prison of Nantes refused to go back to the cell after the walk around 5pm, for fear of having their free association being  completely suppressed. In Uzerche (Corrèze), there was a beginning of a rebellion in the morning after all the prisoners were denied access to the canteen. In the afternoon, a minor in the Pau prison, angered by the screws’ moody tempers, kicked the door of his cell when a female supervisor came to open it. The door smashed right into her face. Stunned, she was immediately taken to the infirmary by the cops who were there to replace the screws on strike. On the morning of Wednesday, January 24 in Epinal (Vosges), inmates responded with fire to the screws’ blockade: some of them have started fires in one of the narrow corridors of the jail. Moreover, this beginning of revolt forced the “striking” screws to return to work, supported by firemen, cops and prison riot squads  to restore order.

utterly nutty shop counter-revolutionary riots

 

22/1/18:

France: attacks on screws rise to 4000 a year as 2 sets of filth battle it outreport about 26  escapes from new Parisian prison unit since it opened at beginning of December

20/1/18:

France, Hauts-de-France: prison riot 24 inmates  gathered in the hallway of wing A2. They  broke windows, piled up bins and spilled soap and water to disrupt any intervention. In addition, about 70 inmates were reported to have been outside their cells in three other prison wings. “They blocked the locks, so we can not close them,” said Christophe Muzzolin, secretary of the union FO….The next afternoon, protests continued  where about 40 prisoners refused to return to their cells.

19/1/18:

France, Besançon: estate agents and temp work agency windows’ smashed

9/1/18:

France, Grenoble: cops pelted with stones, 5 areas with burning bins,  burning barricades erected over major road

8/1/18:

France, Essonne: youths stone cops; paving stone breaks cop’s ankle

2/1/18:

France, Val d’Oise: supermarket destroyed in arson attack

 

1/1/18:

France, Toulouse: about 50 cars burnt out as youths clash with cops The forces of order, stoned by “extremely determined”  young people, made use of lots of teargas grenades. About fifty cars and a caravan were burned. Police vehicles were damaged”

Nothing Toulouse

…1031 cars burnt throughout France…More here in English

31/12/17:

France: traditional New Years Eve burning of cars in 22 towns and cities...Paris (Champigny-sur-Marne): policewoman, and another cop,  beaten up during mini-riot

28/12/17:

France, Amiens: clashes with riot cops outside high school after gates are blocked with burning bins etc.Paris: diplomatic corps vehicle torched in solidarity with anarchist prisoners

22/12/17:

France, Grenoble: tags painted, construction site crane sabotaged, on pseudo-ecological project for the rich (communiqué)

15/12/17:

France, St.Etienne: foootball fans pelt cops with stones, vandalise property

11/12/17:

France, Yvelines: security cameras sabotaged before they’ve even started to function

6/12/17:

France, Herault: local councilor’s car smashed up in centre of village; no witnesses come forward

5/12/17:

France, Paris: failed escape in migrant detention centre turns into riot; whole prison wing destroyed A failed escape, a mutiny, a dozen deliberate fires and a seriously injured [SF note: by smoke inhalation] prisoner who was barely saved by the police. The night from Monday to Tuesday was very hot at the detention center located in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. The material damage is heavy. Unit 3, which is home to 57 illegal aliens, has been devastated. It will take nearly two months of work to restore it.”

4/12/17:

France, Savoie: a critique of Buddhism…? Report in French of arson attack on Buddhist institute. For an interesting account of state Buddhism in Thailand, see “thailand, buddha, the king & I”.

3/12/17:

France, Beziers: yet another ambush of firefighters on estate

2/12/17:

France, Hauts-de-Seine: 2nd night of clashes following injury of youth in “accident” with cops in carThis Saturday evening, a dozen garbage cans were burned, more diffuse than Friday night, in this district of Asnieres. A large police detachment had been deployed in the neighborhood in the late afternoon. In the end, the evening was less hectic than the police could have feared. There were no riots. And nobody was arrested during the events that lasted from 7:30 pm to 11 pm. These incidents occurred after a youth was knocked down, in rue des Freycinet, by a vehicle of the municipal police, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday. Two opposing versions of the circumstances of the accident: that of police officers who say that the youth had deliberately put himself in their path. An official version strongly contested by the neighborhood residents who say that the young man had “never tried to prevent the advance of the car”. He had only gone on a few errands and had been chatting “for over an hour” with a friend at the accident site before the crashVideo of riot of 1/12/17 here

1/12/17:

France, Lyon: cops stoned by a few high school studentsParis: Apple store occupied Unfortunately this was merely a protest over tax evasion/avoidance – as if state accumulation of taxes isn’t used to reinforce social control, invest in arms, its own image of power, etc. In fact, whilst liberal/social democrat reformists constantly publicise tax evasion/avoidance by the rich, as if the money would normally help the poor, when/if the state clamps down on tax evasion it may publicise a few of the rich who are targeted but it’s usually those far lower in the hierarchy who are the most attacked by such possible state campaigns.

24/11/17:

France, Paris: crappy “dialogue” over prison reform disrupted with insults, stink bombs, leaflets, etc. Pdf of leaflet in French here

23/11/17:

France, Val-de-Marne: clashes as high school students demonstrate against Libyan slave markets

22/11/17:

France, Paris: clashes over new education reforms Typically mad Daily Express headline: “Paris CARNAGE: Riots on the streets as students clash with police”, and then goes on to describe something quite tame. See also this French anarchist site about these reforms.

21/11/17:

France, Isere: bins burnt, cops & firefighters attacked with stones, bottles etc. after youth being chased by cops is killed by trainEssonne: off-duty cop ambushed and thumped, his car immobilisedGrenoble: centre for scientific & technological propaganda torched in city increasingly devoted to nauseating scientific research

Casemate, Grenoble

19/11/17:

France, La Reunion: shops and street furniture smashed as youths riot against closure of road to prevent improvised motorbike races More here The McDonald’s fast food restaurant at the Port saw its windows broken, crates were stolen. The interior of the establishment has been turned upside down.The police were hit by stones and responded with tear gas grenades. A vehicle was burned as well as garbage cans. Several businesses have been vandalized….During the clashes between police and youth, a tear gas canister landed in a house in the Port. The occupant was able to get out of his home after being heavily inconvenienced by the cloud of burning smoke for the eyes. The man was in shock.

McDonalds, Le Port, La Reunion

18/11/17:

France, Yvelines: 3rd night of clashes with cops Saturday night, the district of Val-Fourré, Mantes-la-Jolie was once again the scene of clashes between sixty individuals and law enforcement. Numerous projectiles, as well as Molotov cocktails, were thrown at police officers and firefighters, who were on site to extinguish burning cars. In total, a dozen vehicles were burned. According to a police source, these successive acts of violence are “probably reprisals” for the case that has involved the police station of Mantes-la-Jolie since last week. “Violence against the police is quite common in the neighborhood, but it is sure that it is the arrest that set the powder on fire. Many young people are tired of the behavior of some police officers,” confirms a resident of Val Fourré. Police are suspected of insulting, beating and burning  the hands of a 27-year-old neighborhood resident during his arrest on 7 November.Paris: windows of banks, luxury shops & Saudi Arabia Embassy smashed on anti-Macron demoYvelines: 3rd night of clashes with copsNew Caledonia: 10 escape from prison; 2 still free next day (19th November)

16/11/17:

France, Nantes: clashes with cops during demo against new labour code modifications (video). See also this text by me about aspects of this movementHauts-de-Seine: 3 cop cars burnt in front of police stationYvelines: youths attack cops following brutal arrest

14/11/17:

France, Yvelines: cops stoned twice in same area in just a few hoursGrenoble: projectiles thrown at cops after arrest of man dealing hash

13/11/17:

France, Yvelines: several attacks and ambushes of cops in different areas of this Parisian banlieu; office completely destroyed by fire, several cop cars damaged by projectiles See also entry for 18/11/17 for the context of this and other clashes in the area.

12/11/17:

France, Montreuil (Parisian banlieu): report on demo against toxic factory (from an email; no link): “…demonstration yesterday, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Montreuil to demand the closure of the SNEM trash factory, outsourcing of Airbus and Safran, located at the heart of housing, schools, colleges, care centers for the disabled, etc.
As I’ve already said
[see entry for 27/9/17 and this in French ] the SNEM stirs up more and more concern, outrage and even anger in the area of ​​Bas Montreuil. Even though chromium 6, which is necessary for the surfacing of aircraft parts, has been blacklisted by the European Commission since the summer, as a “carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic” product, SNEM continues to use it because it benefits from the derogation, without precise time limit, granted by the prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis: trash no doubt, but strategic trash!
Despite the illusions that many people share, to varying degrees, in the possibility of pressure on the mayor to negotiate with the prefecture, etc., it is nonetheless true that small groups of intransigents do not place any trust in the local authorities, any more than in the trade union leaders who, including those in SUD, beyond shedding a few crocodile tears, go as far as to practice a code of silence about very dangerous phenomena.
Thus, the day before the event, hydrocarbons were mixed with chromic acid and then placed very dangerously in plastic drums, which are always stored in the factory. The mixture is very toxic in the presence of oxygen and even unstable enough to become explosive. Anyway, there were several hundred people at the height of the event, demanding the immediate closure of SNEM, the reclassification of employees and the decontamination of the area. The anger was all the stronger because, apart from some trade unionists from SUD-SOLIDAIRES who had come individually to the demonstration, trade unionists have since September
de facto boycotted the slightest demonstrations of resistance, and so  call for a demonstration in Montreuil for the defense of employment, of course. The local CGT  union, as always the most advanced when it comes to ignominies, is hostile to the closure and declares that it is just necessary “to invest so that the SNEM is rendered more secure”. From the first blockade of September, Richard Delumbee, secretary of the CGT local union of Montreuil, dared to declare: “For the moment, nothing has been proved and yet today, the employees cannot work because of this collective psychosis . They are very worried and have begun to be afraid of the aggressiveness of some local residents” – crude trade union shitheads! The CGT does not even call for support for the two isolated “residents”, arrested by cops in plain clothes in the streets of Montreuil, then put in custody a few hours after one of the blockades, released but charged  with “aggression and rebellion against the depositories of the public force” by the prosecutor of Bobigny. They have go to trial within two months. Apparently not one ultra-leftist, including those who live very close by, went along to this demo. One even dismissed it as a demo of bourgeois bohemian ecologists, as if the majority of those demonstrating weren’t just “ordinary” proletarians concerned about their and their children’s health. Clearly a discussion on Bordiga’s collected texts from 1951 to 1955  is far more relevant.

11/11/17:

France, Hauts-de-France: bins & scooter burnt, firefighters stoned This article refers to the firefighters as “soldiers of fire”, because they’re part of the military in France, subject to military law.

3/11/17:

France, Yvelines: cops get pissed during 6 hours of clashes Around 3:30 am, several patrols were hit by stones and bottles of urine, thrown from the roof of a nine-storey building on Paul Brard Avenue, near the police station. While they want to question the perpetrators, the police realize they have blocked access to the roof with several breezeblocks. A surveillance device is then put in place and the security forces block access to the roof to prevent them from escaping. A game of patience is then played out. “We thought they would eventually leave,” says a source close to the case. It is finally at 9 am when the police go onto the roof and stop the six Conflanais at the origin of these projectiles. Aged 18-24, these young people of Conflan were placed in police custodyChambery: screws cars torched In recent days, the jailers of the Chambery prison have been receiving a few paybacks for the violence they carry out daily on prisoners. On three occasions, they’ve found their personal vehicle in ashes parked just in front of the jail. On the night of Wednesday 2nd to Friday 3rd November, the car of a screw goes up in smoke. This same agent had already seen his first car destroyed by  flames a few months ago. A few nights ago, between Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th October, it was the car of one of his fellow tormentors which was burned. The cops say that on the night of one of these attacks, surveillance cameras near the prison filmed two people on motorbikes wearing scream masks.”

2/11/17:

France, Isere: report saying attack on gendarme’s vehicles (see entry for 26/10/17) has been claimed by feminist women close to libertarian circles This group of women explains they acted out of a “desire for revenge”, asserting that they want to fight against sexism … “We do not want to remain in the position of victims in which society would like to place us by seeing us as girls” …The fire broke out around 3.30am, on the night of 25 to 26 October, in front of the houses of police officers. The evacuation of the inhabitants was done quickly, but several cars had been burnt out before the firemen could extinguish the flames. In their message, the arsonists say they had padlocked the access door to the police station car park “as a way of making  a joke to firefighters” and had used 10 liters of gasoline to ensure the strength of the flames. “We targeted the private cars of the cops…because we wanted to attack [their] personal belongings“. [translation by me, though you can now see the whole communiqué in English , not translated by myself].

1/11/17:

France, Toulouse: Halloween car and bin burning continues till 4a.m. 25 incidents of urban violence (car, container or garbage fires) have been reported to firefighters. About fifteen cars were destroyed…Beyond Toulouse, other fires were reported in the department of Haute-Garonne, including Muret, Eaunes and Labastidette. “It’s a night where there have been more car fires than usual,” says one of the firefighters. The police speak of a “national phenomenon” with incidents of the same type in several other cities in France. [See also entry for 31/10/17]Correze: several bins etc., car burnt, cops stoned  by teenagersSavoie: 25 skips & bins burntLyon: cars and bins burnt in 70 different parts of Greater LyonAube: 4 hours of cat & mouse games between youths and cops Clashes took place in La Chapelle-Saint-Luc on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday between the police and many youths. Around 8 pm, firefighters were called to a trash fire … the firefighters faced loads of projectiles. Arriving shortly  afterwards, the police suffered the same fate. The authors then fled. For four hours, the police – municipal police, national police, the BAC and the canine brigade – played cat and mouse in the commune with the younths.
A minivan was burned, two windows of a local association and  barriers broken, a bus shelter and many bins destroyed
“…
And lots more Halloween night fires and even more in the Paris banlieus

31/10/17:

France, Haute-Garonne: cars and bins burnt, cops stoned, in 4 different towns in this departmentHalloween night: a lot of  car and garbage fires were reported to Toulouse firefighters during the night of 31 October. No less than fifteen vehicles were burned…An altercation between a man and the police force is at the origin of these excesses…. an arrest went wrong and gave rise to a riot. Several policemen were stoned. As a security measure, the Empalot metro station was closed at 8pm. A car fire broke out there. A bus was attacked too. Other communes of the Haute-Garonne, Muret, Eaunes and Labastidette in particular, required the intervention of firefighters for similar facts. La Réunion: rioters smash shop windows & burn loads of bins in 5 different parts of island

 

29/10/17:

France, Eure: heavy duty fireworks thrown at cops; no arrestsIsere: chief cop’s car torched

27/10/17:

France, Ain: fires started in brief prison riot “…several incidents have occurred in recent weeks in the establishment. The detainees complain in particular about the judge’s decisions to enforce sentences they consider too harsh and the lack of washing machines on their landing.

26/10/17:

France, Isere: several cop vehicles in gendarmerie destroyed in arson attack Shortly before 4 am… several vehicles were destroyed by a fire, probably deliberate, inside the gendarmerie of Meylan, in Isère… the flames also damaged the facade of several buildings where gendarmes and their families live. They were quickly evacuated and no injuries were reported. This malicious act occurs a little more than a month after the arson of a garage of the gendarmerie of Grenoble, in Isère, on September 21st. An act claimed the same day by activists of the anticapitalist and libertarian movement.More here in EnglishParis: a dozen or so  storm police station to free 2 arrested, then pushed back by copsGuyana (Cayenne): confrontations with cops during Macron visit More here “Demonstrators hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas. Five protesters were arrested and two police officers were hurt in several hours of clashes on Thursday night.”

25/10/17:

France, Carpentras: fireman attacked in ambush on estateAlbi: cop car window smashed by projectiles thrown at them during traffic control on estate; 2 cops injured Oise: riot cops hit by projectiles as cars & bins burn for 2nd night Toulouse: cops trying to remove stolen car attacked by travellers on their site

24/10/17:

France, ClermontFerrand: 3 cop cars torched (communiqué)Limoges: 20 electricity company vehicles torched in anger against installation of carcenogenic meters

23/10/17:

France, Calais: migrants attack riot cops with stones (video) Montpellier: molotov attack on cop station on estate

North Montpellier

22/10/17:

France, Marseille: football fans clash with cops

19/10/17:

France, Seine-et-Marne: 4 gendarmes thumped and insulted on estate

18/10/17:

France, Eure-et-Loir: 21 cars torched in space of 90 minutes; no arrests

13/10/17:

France, Nimes: firemen and cops pelted with projectiles as they try to put out torched carNantes: 2 4X4 cars torched

12/10/17:

France, Paris: Minister of Labour forced to cancel Direction of Human Resources event-of-the-year as “far left” demonstrators burn 3 cars outside congress building “There is something especially detestable in every Human Resources department, and it begins with pretending to worry about humans when its only concern is actually about their submission and their performance” Video here. See also “The CGT – sheepdogs in wolves’ clothing”.

human resources, bois-de-boulogne, 12th October

11/10/17:

France, Paris: about 40 migrants turn on cops after brawling amongst themselves

10/10/17:

France, Paris: clashes, bank windows smashed, at end of march against Macron’s labour code reforms (video). More here.“Among the protesters marching in Paris was Beatrice Vieval, a 49-year-old nurse, who said her Paris public hospital had seen three recent suicides among staff, and she feared that Mr Macron’s plans “will make the situation worse”.’ See this for an analysis of the CGT union (and SUD) and its collaboration with French capital. And this, about suicide.

8/10/17:

France, Yvelines: 60 bins & 6 vehicles burnt, cop patrol attacked by 15 youths with molotovs This report speculates the reason for these events as being the recent closure of a mosque for its apologistic attitude towards terrorism, but rioting is not usually the kind of thing fundamentalists get involved in.

7/10/17:

France, Pas-de-Calais: National Front deputy (equivalent of MP in UK) beaten up by antifas

4/10/17:

France, Correze: sacked workers gassed & truncheoned whilst trying to meet Macron

1/10/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: several cars burnt as family and friends of dead man contest cop version of events See also entry for 25/9/17

Aulnay-sous-Bois: Justice for Yacine

27/9/17:

France, Montreuil (just outside Paris): parents and local residents blocking access to toxic factory close to schools get teargassed, along with kids in nearby playground; 2 protesters arrested, 2 hospitalisedEssonne: cop truck ambushed – receives a hail of rocks

25/9/17:

France, Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris banlieu): school and 6 cars torched during riot “…the motive for these acts remains unknown, although several Internet users refer to a link with the Yacine case, a young man found dead in the middle of September in a cellar in the neighborhood. Several rumors have started to circulate, implying the police staged the whole thing to cover up for a blunder.“…though this suggests it had more to do with the death of a guy who “fell”, earlier in the day in a neighbouring banlieu, from the 7th floor after the BAC smashed into his flat looking for cannabis

24/9/17:

France, Essonne: clashes continue over youth who lost his eye because of cop flashball “..clashes erupted in the early evening, involving individuals rallying against “police violence”. projectiles were thrown at the police, who had come in large numbers, and damage was committed, in particular, on street furniture. Tear gas was used by the police, according to a local journalist. The police also reportedly used flash-balls.See entry for 20/9/17 for more information.

23/9/17:

France, Paris: various groups of people attempt subversion of Mélencon’s circus It might well be that this attempt is confined to anti-fascists; certainly the tactics of some of them, such as pepper-spraying those submissive to Mélenchon, seem counter-productive and pointless at best. However, Mélenchon deserves to be attacked for what he is:  an ex-Minister full of demagogic rhetoric, typically playing both sides in all aspects of the social question (eg last autumn he supported the police demonstrations when they complained about how unhappy their lot was). And his supporters should be attacked, though not necessarily physically, for what they are: submissive.

“Mélenchon is submissive”: a reference to Mélenchon’s slogan “France Insoumis” – “Unsubmissive France”, or less literally -“Insubordinate France”

Le Mans: bottles and stones v. cop teargas during concertCalais: clashes & arrests during protest against lousy conditions for refugees2 “anti-authoritarian” Indymedia sites (Nantes & Grenoble) withdraw communiqué for cop vehicle garage burning of  21/9/17 in submission to cop threat of closing the sites down

21/9/17:

France, Grenoble: arson attack on garages of gendarmerie More here Around 50 cars were destroyed by the extremists in the police car park in Grenoble as president Macron is due to adopt the reforms by executive order tomorrow. One police officer is in hospital after he inhaled smoke from the arson.”destruction valued at 2 million euros

remains of gendarme’s garage, Grenoble

…And here’s the communiqué (in English) that explained the action Video here  We entered the Vigny-Musset gendarmerie barracks. We burned 6 intervention vans and two logistics trucks. More than 1500 square meters of the garage and the warehouse were destroyed. This action is part of a wave of attacks in solidarity with people who are going on trial at the moment.”Paris: minor clashes with cops during demo against new Labour Codewhilst 2000 riot cops phone in sick as protest about their unhappy lot

20/9/17:

France, Essonne: 3rd night of riots over man losing eye after cops fire flashball  “Since Monday evening, garbage cans and cars have been set on fire in this sensitive area. And groups of young people throw Molotov cocktails and stones at the police officers responsible for calling for the intervention of the firemen. new riots occurred in the early evening, starting at 9 pm, causing damage to one of the police cars.” See entry for 17/9/17.

19/9/17:

France, Limoges: 5 cop cars torched  Hauts-de-France: riot cops forced out of hotel by migrants that they’d just previously forced out of their camp “On their return from their mission, the CRS 16 did not expect to see the migrants from the evacuated camp as neighbors…To top it off, it is the policemen who have had to pack up their bags”

18/9/17:

France, Limoges: gendarme’s cars torched by….gendarmes apparently!!! Almost certainly this communiqué is a joke: In the night of 18th September 2017 we, ex-gendarmes of the mobile gendarmerie unit 41/2, collectively decided to set fire to three Mobile Gendarmerie vans, parked in the Jourdan Barracks complex in Limoges.With this act we are leaving the gendarmerie for good.We also want to send all our solidarity to those accused in the case of the burnt car in quai valmy, whose trial begins today, 19th September in Paris. We are leaving the gendarmerie because we no longer want to kill, maim, repress, control, obey. After the murder of Rémi Fraisse we met to discuss the meaning of our job as Mobile Gendarmes.Adama Traoré’s death confirmed our doubts on the meaning of our tasks.We no longer want to beat up demonstrators during demonstrations.We no longer want to terrorize the inhabitants of New Caledonia and Guiana.We no longer want to be guards in courtrooms.We no longer want to serve in the occupation army in banlieues and ex-colonies.We no longer want to obey politicians or act as the armed hand of Capital.We no longer want any chiefs at all.Our barracks is a prison, this mutiny is a first step towards the conquest of our freedom.We call on all our colleagues, who could contemplate the fire of last night from their lodgings above, to join us.Spread the R.A.G.E! Anarchist Revolt of Exiled Gendarmes”

17/9/17:

France, Rheims: undocumented refugees occupying and camping on campus forces closure of education factoryEssonne: guy could lose an eye after cops fire flashball following getting stoned during chase

12/8/17:

France, Paris: minor clashes as 24,000 demonstrate against new Labour LawLyon: clashes as cops teargas anarchists and high school students because they want to be at the head of demo; CGT collaborate with cops classifying these anarchists etc. as “potential window-breakers”Nantes & Caen: various clashes “…in Nantes, clashes erupted after the demonstration against the reform between anti-capitalist demonstrators and police forces. As the protest ended at the call of the CGT-FO-FSU-Solidaires-Unef, around 4:30 pm, at least 1,000 demonstrators, acc[ording to the police, most of them with their faces hidden, continued to parade. In particular, they walked behind a banner proclaiming: “Youth return to give you a bad turn”. Targeted by various types of projectiles, the forces of order responded with masses amounts of tear gas….According to Ouest-France, the headquarters of Medef Calvados [local HQ of national bosses’ organisation] in Caen was vandalized at mid-day around 12:30.”  A helluva lot of bullshit about this law, thrown from all directions, including the “anarchist” milieu. One neoliberal deputy on TV complained,  “Macron pretends to crack down hard and the CGT pretends to oppose him”. Which is just about right. This law is a clever divide and rule – for those working for big companies it’s a massive improvement should they be laid off (big increases in redundancy payments); it hits those working in small companies most, but Macron’s not attacking the public sector so far (though it looks like he’s going to attack their pension rights, or at the pensions of some of them). A friend writes: There are plenty of small indications in the texts of the local unions of the CGT or in the reports of the protests in the press, concerning the classic strategy of the CGT to control the mobilization, and even to establish the general framework. The CGT has already called for a new day of mobilizations… whilst having negotiated with the government alongside the other unions since the beginning. We find fun things, like this remark in Nice, where the trams or buses were completely blocked, to make a little show, but not for too long of course: “It’s very unusual for us, as a matter of principle we hardly ever strike because we are a powerful union and we negotiate well with (Mayor LR, Christian) Estrosi,” said Tuesday’s     mobilization legal officer for the CGT, Daniel Descotes, at Lignes d’Azur. Christian Estrosi claims to have asked, in vain, to avoid resorting to a strike. “It is not our status as  tram drivers that we defend but we think that everyone in the workplace is being attacked like never before since the war,” adds Daniel Descotes.”

Lazy slackers of the world unite!

Pas-de-Calais (and other places): operation snailspace blocks motorways This was partly related to the new Labour Law, but is primarily aimed at preserving the monopoly of those who currently run the various fun fairs in France, concerning which Hollande, when he was president, passed a law making access to the areas of local councils put aside for these fairs subject to competitive tendering. The leader of this racket is a Marine Le Pen-voting fascist anti-black, anti-Arab racist rich guy (Marcel Campion),    a recipient of the Légion d’Honneur who really does not deserve any support whatsoever. They claim that 10,000 trucks blocked roads across the country,  500 being in Paris.

8/9/17:

France, St.Martin: more looting in aftermath of hurricane This report doesn’t describe what places  were looted; it’s obvious that I support looting of shops, other businesses and state property – looting of individuals or their houses is another matter. It serves the dominant world to confuse the two, to make them equivalent.

7/9/17:

France, St.Martin (Caribbean island part-owned by French state): looting of TVs etc. in wake of Hurricanes Irma and Jose More here, here and here “Hundreds of extra police are being sent to the Caribbean island of St Martin after reports of people breaking into shops…”The situation is serious,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday when asked about reports of looting on the island…an AFP photographer saw a crowd of around a dozen people breaking into a mini-supermarket”

4/9/17:

France, Centre-Val de Loire: 4 CCTV cameras destroyed by a dozen masked individualsIsère: railway line to nuclear power station sabotagedMontpellier: metal shutters damaged, anarchist tag on newly opened local HQ of leftist deputy belonging to “France Insoumise”

“unruly generation”

 

2/9/17:

France, Calais: migrants clash with cops

27/8/17:

France, Hautes-Alpes: report and communiqué of the destruction of about 50 motors & engines used for construction site of high-voltage electricity lines since February Just in case no-one knows, high-tension electricity pylons and cables (whether overground or underground) cause leukemia, kill wildlife and cause bad sleep amongst other miseries.

23/8/17:

France, Rennes: 4 cars and a van burnt, probably in retaliation for cop murder of young man (see entries for 18/8, 7/8 & 1/8)

22/8/17:

France, Puy-de-Dôme: arson attack on major cable network/phone mast for phone companies & radio stations sabotaged (communiqué)

20/8/17:

France, Paris: truck belonging to prison construction company torched

18/8/17:

France, Rennes: 15 cars torched as part of fury about 26-year-old killed by copsDijon: man arrested for having wrecked 10 CCTV cameras over 10 months

17/8/17:

France, Val d’Oise: cops attacked by youths as they arrest people trying to break into supermarket in middle of nightSeine-St.Denis: firearm and taser stolen from cops as they get surrounded by about 20 youths whilst trying to pursue suspected drug dealer

15/8/17:

France, Meuse: riots against nuclear waste dump; cops use water cannon, percussion grenades, tear gas; 6 demonstrators seriously injured; 2 cops injured as molotovs & rocks are thrown See also this

signs of the times

13/8/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: riot, shop looted, as cops crack down on motorbike “rodeo”

7/8/17:

France, Rennes: 2 vehicles torched, probably in continuing protest against killer cops (see entry for 1/8/17); similar burnings took place on 4/8/17

6/8/17:

France, Toulouse: lorry belonging to construction company for prisons torched (communiqué)

4/8/17:

France, St.Denis: 4 cop cars torched The mayor (PCF – French Communist Party) Laurent Russier, who “strongly condemns these degradations”, decided to file a complaint this Friday afternoon. “I support the municipal police officers. The local public security and prevention service they carry out and which they embody is essential for the city of Saint-Denis

1/8/17:

France, Rennes: fires started in retaliation for cops shooting  guy dead Between 10.30pm [Monday]and 3.00 am, several groups of individuals wandered round a large area of ​​the Blosne district, on the far southern part of Rennes. Individuals attacked vehicles and garbage cans using molotov cocktails, baseball bats and petrol cans. In total, six vehicles were completely destroyed by fire, and six others were degraded by flame spread. Several garbage containers were also burned. Police in Rennes said that “the father of the victim had threatened the police with reprisals”.

31/7/17:

France, Nimes: 10 refugees manage to escape detention centre

29/7/17:

France, Marseille: office of fascist organisation bombed

27/7/17:

France, Guadeloupe (French department in the Caribbean): burning barricades block major road as residents resist evictions made under the pretext of “unsafe” habitations

24/7/17:

France, Marseille: arson attack on 2 cars belonging to screws

problem with the chokey, Baumettes Prison, Marseille

22/7/17:

France, Val d’Oise: clashes between youths and cops on 1st anniversary of cop murder of Adama Traoré; 3 cops slightly hurt by heavy-duty fireworks

17/7/17:

France, Val d’Oise: 15 people corner cops & threaten them with iron bar and tear gasArdeche: enemy communication systems up in smokeParis: attack on German embassy in solidarity with those arrested in Hamburg’s anti-G20 ruling   racketeers

15/7/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: cops attacked with stones, after being ambushed following inspection of burning bins; later, 2 motorbike cops are attacked by youths with iron bars….Paris: clashes on margin of concert of Congolese musician close to Republic’s President (video)

14/7/17:

France, Essonne: Champagne Anti-Socialists liberate 600 euros of the stuff on Bastille Day as mini-riots break out throughout department In Vigneux-sur-Seine, a dozen young people have robbed the Franprix. They left with candy and 600 euros of champagne. On the arrival of the police clashes erupted. Police  were taken to task and targeted by heavy-duty fireworks. Two officers were slightly injured. In Saint-Michel-sur-Orge, clashes erupted between police and young people causing a lot of material damage. From Igny to Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon passing through Paray-Vieille-Poste, many garbage cans were also set on fire that night. The same fate was reserved for twelve cars throughout the department.”Val-d’Oise: lots of small incidents in 13 different parts of this department just outside Paris (burning bins, cops stoned, etc.) More herereport on other Bastille Day incidents The July 14th celebrations in Ile-de-France [area around Paris] were again accompanied by night-time urban violence 25 cars were burned and 18 people were arrested in the Val-de-Marne on the night of 13-14 July. In the commune of Boissy-Saint-Léger, about fifty people erected barricades and threw projectiles at the police and firefighters that evening. Similar incidents occurred in Orly and Vitry-sur-Seine. A police station was also attacked in Champigny, where officers replied with disencirclement grenades…. in Sevran, a police officer was said to have opened fire, when he was taken to task by a group of individuals…A young man was wounded by a shot, without his life being in danger. Witnesses also spoke of garbage fires, as well as groups of individuals armed with iron bars.”

12/7/17:

France, Lyon (Vaulx-en-Velin): molotovs thrown at cops, cars and bins burnt on 2nd night of clashes in this banlieu…Yvelines: about 40 hooded people attack cops and firfighters with heavy-duty fireworks and molotovs; cops use 50 dispersion grenades

6/7/17:

France, Italian border: migrants in mass fare evasion

3/7/17:

France, Seine-sur-Marne: 30 youths attack cops during 6th attempt to build wall, 5 times destroyed previously, across passage used for low-level dealing on estate

28/6/17:France: report about 3 lorries belonging to company involved in prison construction being torched

26/6/17:

France, Calais: migrants block motorway again, with burning branches and tree trunksArras: CCTV camera smashed with hammer

23/6/17:

France, Val-d’Oise: 50 youths surround and attack cops during arrest of youths for syphoning off petrol from building site engine

22/6/17:

France, Asnières-sur-Seine (Paris banlieu): cops use tear gas & flash balls as 50 youths stone them whilst they close fire hydrant opened to cope with unbearably hot weather

21/6/17:

France, Essonne: 60 youths stone cops closing fire hydrant opened during exceptionally hot weatherTours: similar situation here as wellBure: 3-star hotel-restaurant designed to host nuclear waste technocrats smashed up A  barricade of tyres was set alight. Then realizing that the door was wide open, several people soon found themselves inside and broke the windows, the bar with its precious bottles of alcohol. While the alarm sounded eloquently and chaos reigned in this aseptic space, other joyful bandits demolished the usual barriers around this famous hotel which regularly welcomes all the shithead nucleocrats.

20/6/17:

France, Paris banlieus: report about more & more fire hydrants being opened to cool down during  climate change provoked by global commodification

18/6/17:

France, Val-de-Marne: cops on patrol attacked with stones

17/6/17:

France, St.Etienne (Loire): riot cops stoned after theatre is set alight and youths expropriate firefighters’ hosePau: CCTV cameras sabotaged, cops stoned by 25 youths

15/6/17:

France, Essonne: “undercover” cop car on impoverished estate surrounded and smashed in ambush on the BAC (plain clothes psycho-cops)

14/6/17:

France, Dreux (Eure-et-Loire): cops attacked outside hospital where joyrider died in cop car chase

13/6/17:

France, Calais: more burning barricades as migrants try to hide in lorries bound for UKSeine-St:Denis: mayor deliberately knocked  over by “hooligan” playing around in car Haute-Vienne: man attacks bailiff sent to evict him  with beehive full of bees

11/6/17:

France, Grenoble: youths stone fire brigade after having set their Middle School on fire, burning most of it

9/6/17:

France, Drôme: anarchist arson attack on France’s main electricity distribution management company Communiqué hereMontreuil (Paris): windows of company collaborating in prison construction smashed

8/6/17:

France, Creil (Oise): cops hurt as youths attack their arrest of joyriderCalais: migrants put up barricade across motorway during the night

7/6/17:

France, Tarascon: 3 cops hurt, bullet proof vest & tear gas grenade stolen by 30 youths as cops carry out car control

6/6/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: police station attacked with heavy-duty fireworks for 2nd evening in a row. See this report on the situation in this banlieu

5/6/17:

France, Rouen: at least 70 youths clash with cops at middle schoolValence: at least 6 cars burnt, bins burnt, cops stoned in yet another clash

2/6/17:

France, Pau: 60 travellers in angry demo after court forbids imprisoned brother of unarmed traveller killed by cops in a car chase from attending his funeral “…four… cars burnt … two buses were burned …completely destroyed. Severe damage to the Peugeot garage, with cut-out fences and more than 40  tires stolen and burnt. Thefts also of Auchan, right next door, with 82 shopping trollies that have disappeared. The real estate agency Cofim also paid the cost of these clashes….On the highway also the damage is significant. Palm trees, a bus shelter, a bicycle park and cars were damaged. In some places the asphalt is completely burnt….

Pau

1/6/17:

France, Vitry: 2nd molotov chucked at police station courtyard after cop violence following youths playing with hydrants in hot weather. See 31/5/17

France, Vitry: clashes after cops fire flashballs and disencirclement grenades at passers-by after youths open up hydrants in hot weather

30/5/17:

France, Charente: 3rd day of clashes between youths and copsGrenoble: 11 electricity company cars destroyed by anti-capitalist libertarians For fuller explanation in English see this

Grenoble

29/5/17:

France, Yvelines: cops attacked by groups of youths 4 times within space of a few hours in different parts of region

Besancon election slogan: “neither left nor right – nitroglycerine” (sounds better in French, with the repetition of “ni”)

28/5/17:

France, Grenoble: cops attacked as they turn off hydrant opened up to cool people down during hot weather

26/5/17:

France, Essonne: 10 masked youths attack army patrol with stonesSeine-et-Marne: 20 youths attack security guards with iron bars after being refused entry to leisure centre when they tried to get in for free

25/5/17:

France, Melun: 4 cop cars damaged as 20 youths chuck stones at cop in ambush

22/5/17:

France, Yvelines: 50 or so youths chuck projectiles at cops, set fire to bins, as cops try to stop filming of rap videoEssonne: cop car smashed as stones rain on cops

21/5/17:

France, Aulnay-sous-Bois: unofficial rap video ends with attack on cops by about 150 youths
20/5/17:

France, Seine-et-Marne: cars burnt, cop car damaged after arrests following attempt to cut down pole supporting CCTV camera

15/5/17:

France: letter from anarchist imprisoned for burning cop car

13/5/17:

France, Mayotte (French department in Indian Ocean): lieutenant-colonel hospitalised by rock thrown at his car

9/5/17:

France, Besancon: high school blockaded against the electoral circusEssonne: riots continue, cars burn, for  3rd night  following death of youth in cop car chase

8/5/17:

France: demonstrations in several cities against Macron on day or day after he’s elected More here and here and here

7/5/17:

France, Paris: post election clashesEssonne: riots continue following death of teenager in cop car chaseNantes: arrests following anti-election attacks on Town Hall etc.Strasbourg: heavy clashes between ultra-left/anarchists and extreme right

6/5/17:

France, Essonne: riots after teenager dies being chased by cops

1/5/17:

France, Paris: cops hurt in clashes More hereBesancon: ATMs & banks windows smashed, lots of anti-election slogans, including many against Melenchon as well as the usual slogans against Macron & Le PenBrittany: containers, boat attachments and car burnt in anti-election attackMaine-et-Loire: bottles and stones against Front National HQ

30/4/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: Vinci (involved in prison construction, etc.) utility burnt, tyres of Sodexo (prison food supplier), Engie (main gas supplier) & JCDecaux (involved in prisoners’ exploitation) punctured in solidarity with anarchist prisoners

pdf in French of text in solidarity with these prisoners here

 
France, Paris: clashes as 4 high schools are blockaded in protest against election Four high schools were blocked this Thursday morning in Paris and six others partially. Blockade put in place by high school students mobilized against the candidates present in the second round of the presidential election. barricades were erected with rubbish bins and electoral panels. A banner saying “Neither Marine [Le Pen], nor Macron, neither country, nor boss” was hoisted on the barricade.Several hundred people then gathered in the Place de la Republique, at the start of a demonstration that was to head towards the Place de la Nation. A part of the procession finally turned towards the Place de la Bastille. Clashes took place in the square and near Boulevard Beaumarchais, in the middle of the traffic that had not been cut. Protesters then threw bottles or stones at the police, who responded with tear gas. On the way to the procession, several bank branches were vandalized and tagged with the same anti Marine Le Pen and anti Emmanuel Macron slogans.” More here in English. “Mobs of angry protesters also smashed the windows of local businesses, while one business shop window was emblazoned with the message “neither banker, nor racist” in apparent reference to both candidates.”Rennes:  cops teargas high school studentsTeenagers in Rennes and other French cities have held rallies or blocked schools in a protest against both presidential candidates…about 1,000 people came out in the western city to chant “neither Le Pen nor Macron”.Riot police used tear gas to stop them reaching the historic city centre.”

25/4/17:

France, Dijon: various arson attacks on cars and bins

24/4/17:

France, Paris: CFDT union office windows smashed and tagged with “Death to collaborators!” after union endorses neoliberal Macron

23/4/17:

France, Paris: clashes with cops, some attacks on cop vehicles, banks, bus shelters etc., during anti-election rallyIt has to be pointed out that most of those involved in these anti-election riots are the “Appelistes” or their followers, whose ideology included a disgusting apology for ISIS following the mass murder at Bataclan in November 2015, an attack which was deemed “anti-economic” by Coupat, the Appelistes/Tiquunist leader.

Paris: key to the ignition

“Ballot boxes for the dead, the street for the living”

Nantes: bins burnt etc. during anti-election street party “…a call for students and high school students to gather in front of the faculty of Letters this Monday, April 24 at midday: “In order not to give the ruling classes the right to govern us” Essonne: town hall, where voting takes place – window broken, bins burnt, wall paint-bombed and graffitied with anarchist slogansVar: Front National offices attacked, organiser hit with bottle This is in an area where Le pen came 1st, the scandal-ridden crudely neoliberal Fillon came 2nd and the more subtly neoliberal frontrunner Macron came 3rd.

22/4/17:

France, Paris: stones v tear gasAulnay (banlieu of Paris): 50 youths surround cop van trying to release young guy arrested for targeting cops with laser beam; cops fire live rounds in the air
20/4/17:

France, Paris: 100 high school students blockade schools and then  demonstrate against the “presidential masquerade” of the election, smash and tag Socialist Party offices

19/4/17:

France, Marseille: another clash at Le Pen rallySome ultra-left demonstrators hurled projectiles and firecrackers at police, prompting them to respond by firing tear gas canisters and to arrest at least four protesters.
 
17/4/17:
France, Paris: anti-Le Pen demonstrators clash with cops, attack journocops  “RT’s correspondent at the scene, Charlotte Dubenskij, reports that the protest has turned violent with journalists being attacked with tears gas and bricks. “We have been caught in tear gas, we have had bricks thrown in the direction of us, one member of the press had his camera taken off of him and thrown on the floor,” Dubenskij, adding that fires erupted as well.”
12/4/17:
10/4/17:
France: top cop complains that cops are no longer respected/feared “There is no respect for those wearing  uniforms. Part of the population, certainly a minority, seeks confrontation with authority at all costs  and often refuses ID controls” explained Philippe Capon, the boss of Unsa-police. In the neighborhoods, “work is becoming infernal”. Should be pointed out that this in response to  only an increase of 1.2% in such attacks. In the 70s and 80s there was considerably less respect for/fear of uniforms than there is now. Far too many people seem to think that France is permanently in a state of insurrection when it’s very very far from the case (for the moment, at least).

9/4/17:
8/4/17:
 

“Certified pro-nuclear” – in fact, almost all the candidates, including the  “far Left” candidate Melenchon, are pro-nuclear.

7/4/17:

France, Guyana (Cayenne): commissioner of police seriously injured during violent confrontations as strike leaders are refused an audience with the prefecture, the first expression of anti-state violence since General Strike began 3 weeks ago A commissioner was injured, tear gas was used by the gendarmes.  …”… The commissioner is seriously injured, “said a policeman at the megaphone from the front door of the prefecture, barricaded. “Heavily wounded at the collarbone”, this man remained “unconscious on the ground for about ten minutes” and “we were forced to use tear gas to extricate him”…Several other policemen, as well as another commissioner, are “slightly injured” after being beaten, according to Laurent Lenoble, who described the violence as “unacceptable.” The collective has “taken a turn” which is “far from respecting republican values” and it “is discredited”, he regretted.  According to a member of the collective “Pou La Gwiyann ​​dékolé” (for Guiana to take off), which had organized a rally in front of the prefecture since mid-afternoon to demand that its demands be taken into account, the “500 Brothers against delinquency “, a group whose hooded members supervise the demonstrations, made a cordon in front of the policemen. But the crowd managed to beat them up.”
Check out the entry for 4/4/17 for some nuanced comments.
6/4/17:
 
France, Essonne: 6 screws injured in youth section of prison  This attack at Fleury follows demonstrations by screws in front of prisons in Fresnes (Val-de-Marne) and Bois-d’Arcy (Yvelines) to protest against the assault of two of them in front of their home or on their way to work, poor things. The one at Val-de-Marne was recognised by former prisoners and ended up in hospital.
Overpopulation at Fleury  is 148.8% on average, which implies several people per cell with beds on the ground. The situation is more critical in the men’s quarters (171%) than in the women’s sector with an average of 246 inmates. Prison overcrowding is constantly increasing as the rate of occupancy among men was 150% in 2013 and 156% in 2014.  The state is planning to build well over 30 prisons, though inevitably these too will become overcrowded as, for obvious reasons, capital is forced to lock up increasing amounts of those they need to crush and/or to put to slave labour.
 
satelite view of Fleury Merogis prison
 
The screws have decided to go on strike against the counter-violence of those on the receiving end of state brutality. We should support such a strike as long as it continues for a minimum of 100 years.
4/4/17:
France, Guyana: strike leaders occupy space station during general strike The reasons for this strike are multiple: unemployment, health conditions, judicial questions and, above all, lack of “security” (ie the high murder rate, which is largely being attributed to lack of border controls). So – for the moment – not essentially a radical strike at all even if virtually nobody is working…More here – which says that the state is offering an injection of 5 billion euros spread over 10 years (the strike leaders want 2.5 billion now), part of which will be used to finance a new prison and a squadron of mobile gendarmes! Pi writes: “It is interesting to see how a very difficult social situation in a very unusual territory (developing from colonial France, which served for a long time as a penal colony, and which was sparsely populated: especially  communities of “marrons”, former escaped slaves who established isolated villages, and Native Americans) can also generate very restrained and “moderate” dynamics, where recourse to the centralist state, institutional funding, “security” etc. are directly demanded.” (most of this is reproduced from our entry for 28/3/17)Yvelines: 20 or so youths attack cops with stones
 

2/4/17:

 

30/3/17:

France, Paris: 4th night of clashes  over murder of Chinese man by BAC copsRouen: a dozen youths attack cops with stones during control of scooter driver

29/3/17:

France, Paris: 3rd night of anti-cop riots (videos)…Toulouse: high school students clash with cops, set fire to part of school This happened – in a “difficult” area – after a blockade of the school, with the gate being chained up, in solidarity with an employee at the school who’d been disciplined or dismissed (not made clear in this report). The admin had broken the chain after which some students set fire to plants at the school, the fire spreading, and the school forced to evacuate. No-one was hurt. The cops came and launched teargas and flashballs at the students and they responded with  stones, smoke bombs and fireworks. No arrests.…Rennes: 15 people at a meeting of The Republicans (presidential candidate Fillon’s party), including 2 local Republican deputies, get sprayed with piss and fish soup; Socialists condemn this attack on demockrazy

28/3/17:

France, French Guyana (South American area which is part of France): total general strike – 2nd day The reasons for this strike are multiple: unemployment, health conditions, judicial questions and, above all, lack of “security” (ie the high murder rate, which is largely being attributed to lack of border controls). So – for the moment – not essentially a radical strike at all even if virtually nobody is working…More here – which says that the state is offering an injection of 5 billion euros spread over 10 years, part of which will be used to finance a new prison and a squadron of mobile gendarmes! Pi writes: It is interesting to see how a very difficult social situation in a very unusual territory (developing from colonial France, which served for a long time as a penal colony, and which was sparsely populated: especially  communities of “marrons”, former escaped slaves who established isolated villages, and Native Americans) can also generate very restrained and “moderate” dynamics, where recourse to the centralist state, institutional funding, “security” etc. are directly demanded.”Paris: 2nd night of clashes with cops over their murder of Chinese guy Ten people were arrested in a second night of protests in Paris over the killing by police of a Chinese father of five, an incident that has caused tensions with Beijing. Around 400 members of the Asian community and supporters of anti-racism groups gathered outside a police station in the northeast of the capital to again denounce the fatal shooting of Shaoyo Liu, 56, in his home two days earlier. Those who were arrested had thrown projectiles, the police said”.More here This Breitbart report tries to link these riots to anti-Chinese riots globally, when it’s clear that these were anti-cop riots, and in fact, not just Chinese people were involved in attacking the cops. It’s typical of much of racism today which superficially condemns racism whilst in fact encouraging it, including encouraging the miserable conditions that spawn racial scapegoats. In saying, “These attitudes cannot be stopped. They come from masses of people, not from the leaders, whose job becomes to deal with these populist attitudes in a way that does the least amount of damage” such  scummy journalism uses an event in which institutionalised racism on the part of the cops intentionally hides the role of these leaders in covertly encouraging such divisions….Montpellier: local offices of Socialist Party and National Front vandalised and tagged

27/3/17:

France, Paris: riots after cops murder Chinese man More here Clashes erupted late Monday in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, on the sidelines of the gathering of about 150 people in tribute to Shaoyo Liu, who died the day before. […] The demonstration degenerated when individuals broke the window of a police car. The rear of the vehicle was burned altogether because of “probably an incendiary object,”…Policemen and protesters then faced off. Several clashes erupted, as shown by photos and videos broadcast on social networks. The situation subsided shortly before midnight. Three policemen from the security and intervention company (CSI 75) were “slightly wounded by projectiles”video

According to the daughter of the murdered man, at round about 7.30 pm her father was cleaning a fish with scissors. The neighbour above was very noisy and he went upstairs and asked for silence. He then returned downstairs to continue doing the cooking. There was then a very loud and persistent knocking on the door, and the father didn’t dare open it as the cops were in plain clothes and he suspected the people, whom he didn’t know were cops, had  some malicious intent. There was some confusion as the cops continued knocking violently and then they smashed open the door, there was a shot and her father collapsed onto the floor in front of her and her sister. According to the media, it was a case of legitimate defence even though, according to one of his  daughters, the cops had not revealed their identity and the father was merely carrying the scissors for cleaning the fish. After the murder, the cops isolated the children in their bedroom and cut them off from all outside communication. The wife of the victim was fetched back from her work and held  at the bottom of the building for more than 2 hours.

25/3/17:

France, Rouen: parts of primary school ransacked Three to four classrooms, the director’s office and the teachers’ room were devastated. The authors broke the cabinets and drawers and scattered their contents on the floors, while liquid and powdered coffee was spilled in the teacher’s room. Surprisingly, few tables were overturned. The canteen, located outside, suffered the same fate. The door was broken, and chocolate yoghurt thrown over the floor and on the furniture while the water fountain was opened….The computer equipment remained in tact and according to initial findings, little has disappeared”Val-de-Marne: cops in car ambushed, attacked with stonesSeine-St.Denis: cops shot at 7 times whilst intervening in brawl; no arrests

24/3/17:

France, Val-de-Marne: 2 molotovs thrown at police station in rue Jacques Prevert

“A great barfly plumber
Dressed for Sunday even though it’s Monday
Sings for himself all alone
Sings that it’s Friday
That he won’t go to class
That the war is over
And work as well
That life is so beautiful…” – Jacques Prevert, ‘And the Party Continues’

21/3/17:

France, Grenoble: local offices of Republicans redecorated by expert interior decorators Part of their communiqué: “…Whereas you call on people to vote to dispossess us once again of our capacity to act, we reply that we will refuse to delegate a part of our freedom, to submit to your masquerade. Rather, we call for a reversal of the balance of power in order to stop suffering the state of things. Tonight, we attacked a party, but it is the whole political apparatus that is targeted. We call for the multiplication of other forms of organization and of these gestures so that fear will change sides.
Shit to all forms of government.
No elections without revolt .”

obviously inspired by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen

18/3/17:

France, Alençon: arson attack on Front National offices...Paris: about 1000 attack cops with flares & molotovs, windows of 5 banks smashed,  on “march for dignity” Should be pointed out that this march was a horribly eclectic mix of explicit anti-semites (the PIR – Parti des Indigènes de la République, who are blind to class and are “anti-raicist” only in the sense of inverting dominant racism, with “whites” at the bottom) along with anarchists and whoeverists (see this in French).

17/3/17:

France, Val-de-Marne: 11 arrests as high school students chuck stones, heavy duty fireworks and a molotov at rapist copsToulouse: cops stoned yet again on estate that’s had several attacks on cops already this weekCreteil: cops attacked with projectiles

15/3/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: over 50 high school students attack cops with molotovs, stones, etc., cops attack with blows, flashballs, teargas, etc.; “Communist” Party politicians condemn casseurs, call for “appeasement”Toulouse: 50 youths attack cops with stones

14/3/17:

France, Hauts-de-France: refugees refused entry to camp set fire to entrance security office

12/3/17:

France, Moselle: stones and burning bin thrown at town hall, cops and firemen stoned, 5 or 6 bins burnt on popular estate

11/3/17:

France, Avignon: cops attacked with stones during arrest attempt

10/3/17:

France, Val-de-Marne (Parisian banlieu): 5 arrests as 2 high schools demonstrate against “the  violence of the state”; parked cars and street furniture damaged A radio report recorded young people shouting “Down with the state!” and “Down with school!”, though I’m not sure if it was on this date or this area or not.

9/3/17:

France, Essonne: BAC cop car deliberately driven into Gironde: building where presidential front-runner Macron was due to visit smashed up and tagged with “Revolution in process” & “Macron shouldn’t be invited”

Talence-9-3-2017-3Talence, Gironde

7/3/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: 55 youths, 44 of them under 16, arrested after riot against cops at and outside high school; school partly burnt More here A pitched battle between dozens of hooded people and the police broke out in front of the establishment and in the surrounding streets. Paving stones flew, containers overturned. The forces of order retaliated with  tear gas and flash-ball shots. The day before…the teachers’ room, on the first floor, was the target   of breeze blocks thrown, causing the double glazing to shatter….Beginning of an explanation: a video posted on social networks with hashtags “blockade for Theo” or “blockade against the police”

3/3/17:

France, Paris: wildcat demo against rapist cops – tags, ATMs and bank windows smashed, bins burnt

28/2/17:

France: 15 schools in & around Paris  blockadeddeputy head slightly injuredMontpellier: windows smashed, lots of tags, cops hurt, bins burnt during peasants’ carnival 

27/2/17:

France, Hauts-de-Seine: various clashes over cops at different high schools

26/2/17:

France, Nantes: 2 buses full of supporters of Front National attacked by 100 hooded individuals as anti-fascists put up burning barricade and do “operation snails-pace” on motorway

burning barricade nantes 26 2 17burning barricade just outside Nantes

25/2/17:

France, Nantes: 11 cops injured, windows etc. smashed, on anti-Marine Le Pen demo windows were broken along the route of the demonstration. Amongst the damage, the main entrance to the city hall of Nantes was tagged, street furniture was broken, including many tram shelters. Storefronts were also attacked by various projectiles and paint pots”.

nantes 25 2 17

Nantes: part of city officially declared no-go area for municipal cops The order was sent out yesterday morning:  Nantes municipal policemen no longer have to patrol in a part of the Bottière district in Nantes, “until further notice.” Shots fired on Monday night in the rue de la Rivetterie at the Bottière prompted the city to take action. …”not to expose police when risks are known”.Yvelines: cops use tear gas to break out of being kettled by 20 youths

24/2/17:

France, Calais: between 20 & 50 migrants chuck cans at cops preventing them getting on lorries to UK

23/2/17: 

France: at least 6 high schools in Paris blockaded, and several others elsewhere, in solidarity with Theothis says over a dozen schools round Paris blockaded. “Authorities said nine students were arrested in the suburb of Clichy after about 100 youths set two cars and a motorbike alight, threw stones and shattered a shop window .” and this, mentioning injury of deputy head of one school says 16 schools were blockaded. Final count is that 16 schools round Paris were totally blockaded, & 12 more partially blockaded. Videos here & here & hereMontpellier: at least 300 high school students walk out, demonstrate, block tramwaysSeine-St.Denis: cops from BST brigade that raped Theo, attacked with concrete blocks; 1 hospitalised

22/2/17:

France, Loire: cop car stoned, 3 cars burnt, linked to anti-rapist cops movement

21/2/17:

France, Essonne: 2 cops badly injured by about 15 youths in ambush Seine-et-Marne: cop car stoned after being blocked by barricade of burning binsVal-de-Marne: cops get tear-gassed for once, by about a dozen youthsHauts-de-France: bins burnt, cops attacked with and injured by concrete blocksYvelines: 20 or so youths attack cops  with molotovs, stones, heavy duty fireworksNice: firefighters stoned trying to extinguish burning CCTV camera  Elsewhere in the past, cameras have been destroyed to stop surveillance of drug dealers, but  another article (no link) said  the cameras were destroyed after someone was identified after escaping from the cops in the centre, so it’s probably not drugs-related. This mentions 60 attacks on cameras in Nice in 6 years…Nice being, I think, the French city with the most CCTV cameras (at least, proportionate to the population).

20/2/17:

France, Montpellier: 2 high schools in spontaneous revolt in solidarity with the “Justice for Theo” movement; bins burnt, trams temporarily stop

polygone fev 20 17bins burning on tramway near Montpellier’s main shopping centre

19/2/17:

France, Pontoise: 4 cars and 2 CCTV cameras burnt

18/2/17:

France, Paris: clashes with cops on “Justice for Theo” demo wildcat demo – bank smashed, tags etcHauts-de-Seine (Paris banlieu): cop car smashed, bins burnt, etcCompiegne (Oise): mayor’s car completely burnt out, 2nd time one of his cars has been set fire toVannes: 10 businesses (ATMs of banks, posh shops, etc.) attackedBure: clashes with cops at camp against nuclear waste site project

17/2/17:

France, Morestel: cop’s car burnt out just outside his homeCreil: fire engine attacked with stonesRouen: bins burnt, skips overturned, bus shelters smashed

16/2/17:

France, Houilles: 4 cars and 6 bins burnt, projectiles thrown copsBobigny: cops attacked with fireworks, buses & trams disrupted, shopping centre closed, as 450 cops are deployed “It’s not a demonstration – it’s a revolution” declares one girl interviewed…One girl warns: “It’s going to be worse than 2005. And I’m telling you that 9/3 is going to be a war.” “Our justice, if we do not have it, we’ll just return, that’s all,” she continues.”

15/2/17:

France, Yvelines: 28 bins and 18 cars set fire to in 10 different areas of departmentRouen: anti-cop demonstrators set fire to bins, chuck projectiles at cops, smash bus shelterVal d’Oise (Argenteuil): cops stopned, street furniture, bins and vehicles set fire tosimilar in the north of Paris “Youths set trash cans on fire and hurled bottles at police, who used tear gas to disperse them. The Barbes metro station was temporarily closed, before calm returned later in the evening.”

Alt right report here. “…the destruction is getting worse. At the beginning of the week, on the nights of the 12th and 13th, 32 vehicles were burnt out. On the 14th and 15th, some 47 cars were destroyed by fire as well as 59 bins. Police appeared to have completely lost control at times, with unverified videos surfacing on Twitter of officers being chased out of certain neighbourhoods by rioters.”
Anarchist eyewitness account here: A new gathering for Théo and all the victims of the police, in solidarity with Aulnay and all the defendants, took place this Wednesday, February 15 at 6pm, in Barbès, in the eighteenth arrondissement, unsurprisingly under high Police surveillance.
A few hundred people were present, but all attempts to start a “wildcat demonstration”
[unauthorised, unsurveilled demo] failed. All the streets leaving the intersection of the Barbès-Rochechouart metro were blocked by various kinds of anti-riot cops, supported here and there by thew BAC, as despicable as they are hateful.
After a first attempt on the Boulevard Barbès (quickly blocked by the CRS protected by fences), the gathering went several times onto the Boulevard de la Chapelle and Boulevard de Magenta, in vain. Clashes took place with the police, and if the cops ate a few projectiles, they succeeded in brutally repelling us each time using a lot of tear gas sprays and grenades. As is often the case, the tear-gas was an inconvenience to demonstrators, passers-by and neighborhood residents, with no distinction between them.
During this there were a few anti-ad actions and tags, and many shouting slogans: “Cops, rapists, murderers”, “Everyone hates the police”, “The police is racist”, “Siamo tutti antifascisti “,” Justice for Theo “or” No justice, no peace “. A fire was also lit on the Boulevard de la Chapelle, later extinguished by the cops.
Not succeeding in getting out of the huge police trap, most protesters gradually tried to get out. The cops let people pass by in a dribble, often by means of a body pat-down and a search of the bags. The BAC sometimes tried to grab people, but to my knowledge they always failed, thanks to the solidarity of the demonstrators and some of the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
Word got round that another get-together was going to be at Ménilmontant, around 8 pm, to consider something more exciting.
There, around 8 pm, there must have been about 200 people, just over half of whom decided to “go wild”, taking a path similar to one of the “wildcat demonstrations” on Tuesday 7 February. Then towards the posh areas. We take Rue Oberkampf, and the excitement of the atmosphere is gradually rising. Trash cans are spilled, street furniture of all kinds is placed across the road to prevent cops from following us easily.
Roughly the same slogans as Barbès are shouted (with some others like “One cop, one bullet, social justice”
[TN: it rhymes in French] demonstrating a certain anger). Tags appear on the walls (“Revolt for Theo”, “Death to capitalism”, “Fuck the police”). On a bus, an ad for a prison guard job is detourned with paint, as it should be (with markers and paint bombs, it continues to recruit for one of the worst jobs that exists on this planet …). CCTV cameras are repainted, journalists and their various cameras kept as far away as possible.
The more we advance, the more collective determination is felt. From the material of a construction site strewn along the road, a lot of windows are attacked: banks, real estate agencies, luxury stores, all this on Oberkampf street then rue des Commines [and it is with pleasure that we saw, passing after the demo, the broken windows of the hipster shop “The Paris Commune” NdAtt.] … A self-reduction
[ie looting] of the clothing store Melchior takes place to the cheers of the protesters! Shirts fly around in the middle of the wildcat demo.
A little before 9 pm, police sirens are heard and the first vehicles of cops appear. There’s a bit of a panic on the protest side, it scatters in all directions, and the cops arrive in numbers everywhere, by scooter, car or van. It is really hot, several arrests [
according to mainstream media, there were 5 arrests -TN].The cops chased us to the quays of the Seine and the island of Saint-Louis!
It’s something to think about for the next time. Last week it had already been complicated to dodge the cops in this bourgeois neighborhood with its half-deserted streets. This time it was even more stressful. These neighborhoods are not known…It’s great to attack them, they deserve only our class hatred and the expression of our anger

14/2/17:

France, Haut-de-Seine & Seine-St.Denis: several clashes in different banlieus just outside Paris – Bondy, Epinay sur Seine, Elancourt, Deuil la Barre, Nanterre, Chanteloup-les-Vignes, Clichy-sous-Bois et Asnières…More on Nanterre (post-riot video) “Street furniture was badly damaged and several cars burnt out”similar in Sarcelles and Goudainville…also Yvelines Six garbage cans and nine cars burnt at Sartrouville, Mantes-la-Jolie and Chanteloup-les-Vignes, but also projectiles and ambushes of the police. In Sartrouville…a group of about forty men approached the police and threw projectiles at them. Officials responded by firing grenades and flashballs. The evening continued with a series of garbage fires in the HLM du Plateau sector. In Chanteloup-les-Vignes, at 2:25 am Place des Quatre-Vents, a stranger called to warn that a group of thirty people armed with stones and iron bars had attacked the Job Centre and the Leisure Centre. When the policemen arrive, they get stones and Molotov cocktails and heavy duty fireworks thrown at them. They retaliate, retreat and call for reinforcements. Fifty-three policemen arrive from neighboring estates. Several burnt-out cars blocked the road in order to prevent the progress of the police. They finally got the better of the troublemakers. There were no injuries. Multiple impacts were noted on the windows of the two municipal buildings… The gate of the police station was dented, probably with the aid of a car used for ramming that was not found. The police left the scene at 4 am and the estate had regained its composure during the night. The police also were the target of projectiles at Poissy, Maurepas and Versailles.” [all these are the night of 13th to 14th]

iledefranceFrance, Hauts-de-France: 3 cops attacked, 1 hospitalised, during attempt to arrest migrants organising smuggling routes at refugee camp

13/2/17:

France: various riots in different areas of Yvelines……Maine-et-Loire (Angers): 3 vehicles burnt, projectiles thrown at cops and tramwayEssonne: police attacked A police car was the target of projectiles, before returning to the police station to change vehicles. Near the police station, some 20 people then set fire to two vehicles in the middle of the roadway, throwing cobblestones and Molotov cocktails in the direction of the building...ChamberyClichy-sous-Bois, Ulis & DrancyHaute Savoie (Scionzier): firemen stoned by about 20 youths setting fire to wooden doors

12/2/17:

France, Ile de France: riots against rapist cops continue in 30 different banlieus round Paris, and in Rhône, Aveyron and Savoie Video here of Argenteuil

11/2/17:

France, Paris: cars burnt, shopping centre occupied, etc. as “protesters effectively shut down central Paris”….Interesting eyewitness report

Bobigny 11 2 17Bobigny, 11/2/17

Nantes: new police station re-painted More here The riots…affecting the Paris region extended to Breton territory on the night of Friday to Saturday.ambushes against the police forces and firemen. Around forty individuals, hooded and armed with iron bars, set fire to garbage cans and violently attacked the security forces who came to ensure the security of the intervention of the firemen. Paving stones and molotov cocktails were thrown at the police.”

16707345_1241199932582844_6203349765263756162_o-medium

Nantes

Toulouse: estate agents car and construction site digger belonging to Eiffage prison construction company destroyed by incendiary attack

9/2/17:

France, Noisy-le-Grand (Seine-Saint-Denis): home-made heavy fireworks chucked at cops, several fires, in clashes over cop rapistsParis (Menilmontant): 2nd night of anti-cop protests involving bank windows smashed, small fires (video) (in fact, 8th – 9th Feb)

8/2/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: more cars burn as riots against rapist cops continue in different suburbs of ParisRennes: bins burnt, missiles thrown at cops, during demo in solidarity with Theo, guy raped by cops See also this in English “Rioters burned dozens of cars and set fire to a nursery school….Theo appeared on TV saying an officer rammed his baton “into my buttocks on purpose”. Police argue that his injuries are consistent with an accident, in which his tracksuit bottoms fell down and the baton penetrated him…As well as damaging the nursery school and a car salesroom, youths also used a shopping trolley full of petrol bombs in their attacks” People are usually shocked by the fact that nursery schools get targeted in some of these riots, most notably in 20050, but a lot of nursery schools in France can be quite racist and authoritarian in their attitudes to young kids.

7/2/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: riots spread to different parts of suburb, 11 cars and several bins burnt, police station vandalised, attempt to burn school….Paris: bins burnt, clashes with cops on demonstration in support of Theo (youth raped up arse with cops’ truncheon) “Some brandished placards saying “cops=rapists” and “Protect and serve…my ass!” [the latter in English]

6/2/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: KFC burnt along with 3 cars and some bins on 3rd night of riots against rapist cops in Paris suburb …See also this in English

5/2/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: several cars and bins burnt, cops attacked with heavy duty fireworks for 2nd night after cop rape of youth; youth still in hospital

4/2/17:

France, Seine-St.Denis: car burnt, bus shelters smashed, street lights fused, after cops rape youth up the arse with truncheon and are filmed doing it

29/1/17:

France, Seine-et-Marne: cops attacked with projectiles, local councillor beaten up during illegal rodeoLorraine: youths burn bins after rap film clip is cancelled

28/1/17:

France, Pamiers (near Toulouse): a dozen or so youths attack cops with metal missiles

26/1/17:

France, Yvelines: 11 masked people attack police station; gate forced open, cop car burnt

20/1/17:

France, Essonne: cop hospitalised after youth throws paving stone through patrol car windscreen

18/1/17:

France, Montreuil (on edge of Paris): squatters evicted under orders of Communist Party/Front de Gauche town hall in -8°C temperatures, in a country where there’s an etiquette of stopping evictions in winter – in fact, evictions are legally impossible for previously rent-paying tenants, but not to squats, though it’s very unusual in winter even for squats) expulsion montreuil

9/1/17:

France, Mantes-la-Jolie: heavy-duty firework thrown at cop car

7/1/17:

France, Yvelines: filming of rap music clip ends in youths on estate stoning cops

6/1/17:

France, Bobigny: 3 cops beaten up during ID control; one gets serious eye injury

5/1/17:

France, Valence: 10 kindergarten, primary, middle and high schools have their locks blocked by action in solidarity with revolt in prison (the trial of the “mutineers” starts this day) “Tags left on their walls, as well as a tract …Various messages appeared, such as: “Prison is death. Life is in revolt. Solidarity with the mutineers of Valence and elsewhere “,” In prison the bad guys are above all the screws “,” Tired of homework, long live freedom “, “Every age wrecks their cage “,” Long live the mutineers of the prison of Valencia – trial today, 6/01 to 14h “, “Neither prison nor religion, long live mutiny and insubordination” (on a private catholic school).
Tract left at schools:
” Hello,
Allow us to waste a little of your time to speak of those from whom the state steals all their time, when it is not their life. It’s happening here very close to you, but also everywhere in France and elsewhere. Yet we do not often talk about these places where the government puts aside those that it considers detrimental to the smooth running of the system. The recalcitrants who no longer accept being crushed, those who initiate a violence which the powerful ones would like to monopolise, or simply the undesirables that can easily be removed in order to perpetuate the established order.
We do not often talk about prison, yet it is part of our lives. When one passes between its walls, when one goes to see a relative in the visiting area, when one submits to its threats. Like the cops and the legal system, it is one of the gears of a machine whose aim is to make us accept without complaint a world based on exploitation and domination.
In recent months rumors have come to us from inside the French prisons. These are the cries of some of the forgotten who try to break through the walls and barbed wire. Vandalism, revolts and uprisings have rapidly exploded since last summer. It seems that some have decided to return some of the violence back to the people who imprison them.
On 25 September at the central building (for those destined to long sentences) of the penitentiary center of Valence, a mutiny broke out. A keychain was stolen from a screw under threat, the doors of the cells were opened by mutineers, furniture and cameras destroyed, fires lit.
Friday, January 6, three people will go to trial at the criminal court of Valence, accused of being the leaders of this revolt. By designating the guilty ones, the law seeks both to punish heavily by example (they risk up to 20 years in prison) and to minimize the collective character of the revolt. Reducing what happened to individual deviations helps to hide the reasons for revolting against imprisonment. This was when the mutiny occurred in a context of general tension within the prison and a second mutiny occurred on 27 November despite the transfers that followed that of September.
To designate leaders is also to satisfy the screws who will be able to generously round up their monthly wages with damages and appease their thirst for revenge. Flatter them a little so that for a moment they stop whining about the conditions of a job they choose to do knowing it is akin to that of a hangman.

Maybe it’s time to listen attentively to what’s happening inside prisons. Not to turn your eyes away again just hoping not to be the next one. To bring our solidarity to the mutineers and those accused of being so. For example by coming to support them during their trial, but also by fighting daily against the disgusting shit that is prison.

SOLIDARITY WITH THE MUTINEERS OF THE PRISON OF VALENCE AND ELSEWHERE”

Toulouse: cops teargas estate after they’re attacked Possibly they were attacked by drug dealers, though this is what they always say; teargas enters people’s flats.

Events from 1/3/16 until the end of 2016 are given here

And events from February 2016 till April 2013 are now here.

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”). A 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

The Great French Revolution by Kropotkin

History of the Paris Commune of 1871 by Prosper Olivier Lissagaray

The strikes of 1947 – a Wikipedia page

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)

The following in French is useful for research into the development of the unions in the 1940s:

http://www.oclibertaire.lautre.net/spip.php?article135 – a chronology of the 1947 strikes (made by Organisation Communiste Libertaire – OCL) – there are also many things on the agreements signed with the State, etc.

an article by OCL:
http://www.mondialisme.org/spip.php?article1569 (ending with the creation of FO : a split from the CGT)

 https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A8ve_des_mineurs_de_1948 –  on the 1948 miners’ strike (which was huge)

The following is a personal testimony of the workers’ movement after 1945, mentioning the dynamics between the CNT, the CGT, the splits, etc.: http://www.autrefutur.net/Contribution-a-l-histoire-de-la  (the guy was a member of the CNT, which saw a huge boom in ’45 since it opposed the CGT – but lots of members, including the author, thought labelling the organization as anarchist would isolate them from workers or militants – there were lots of debates, and most of the militants and anarchists went back to fighting with other tendencies in the main unions).

The following appeared at the top of this page until 13th February, 2017, but has been put here for the sake of giving immediate access to the latest expressions of contestation in the chronology at the top:

Although many of the events here are related to the movement against the new Labour Law, many of them are not directly related at all.

The chronology is followed by a list of links to other texts on this site, and a few elsewhere, about movements and other critical aspects of the social situation in France.

the rumbling revolt…

…a movement moving in mysterious ways…

france revoot rumbles 31-mars-2016-300x200

REVOLT RUMBLES!

(banner from March 31 2016)

french stereotype 2

From afar (and even within France amongst the young – those who’ve never before directly experienced a nationwide movement) what’s going on seems like the prelude to a social revolution. This tends to make those yearning for a revolution to exaggerate to such an extent what’s going on that some even believe that now is the time to talk of the form and content of workers’ councils; which would be a bit like talking about what your son or daughter is going to call the name of their baby when they’re still a virgin and have only just had their first snog.

Without wanting to in any way minimise (or worse, cynically dismiss) what’s going on, it should be clearly stated that France often experiences intense social contestation, or at least gives the appearance of it (2010, 2006, 2005, 1995, 1986, etc. ), without it leading to the social explosion that wishful thinking makes people want to see as imminent. And if you were to look at the explosions happening almost every day in South Africa over the last few years, you’d have far greater reason to think every week that revolution was just round the corner. Moreover, the UK had massive forms of social contestation in the 1970s and 80s, and with a far greater base in working class communities of struggle and solidarity than exist at present, divided as people are nowadays from themselves and each other by years and years of the relentless onslaught of conditioning by the society of the spectacle, invading parts of our lives other class societies never reached….And we know the mass depression-inducing consequence of the failure of those movements, movements that seriously threatened the neoliberal project, which at that time was very much in its infancy.

Let’s be clear: these strikes, demos, riots, etc. do not cause much of a breakdown of normal daily life outside of the very temporary moments of these actions, and then largely only for those directly involved – even the most rebellious students mostly keep studying for their exams between demos etc., even the most revolutionary precarious workers keep working in the black economy – and have to. And the numbers directly involved in these forms of opposition are relatively low. Moreover, there seems to be an incredible repression of class consciousness/explicit theory compared with previous revolts (for example, no explicit critique of the form and content of school and miseducation). All this is, of course, SO FAR – and obviously the situation could change. This has been a very very slow burning fuse, persistent but weak; whether it leads to a significant explosion or just fizzles out, is hard to say. Clearly the French (and world) bourgeoisie will do everything to extinguish it before the European cup starts on June 10th. And we have to seriously consider the possibility of Daesh/ISIS doing something horrendous (and/or being allowed to by the state) which would certainly immediately create a pro-state mentality in the country, even if this mentality would possibly be somewhat reluctant.

There are so many anarchists/autonomists etc. who, despite themselves, contribute to the general movementist tendency to ignore or at best minimise problems and contradictions (just in order to give the appearance of a clear unequivocally radical social movement) when it’s so very vital to make these contradictions explicit as part of confronting them – for example avoiding or minimising a critique of unions. This is a situation which is fraught with dangers both exciting and frightening: a French version, but in very very changed conditions, of Thatcher’s assaults on the working class in the UK in the 1980s. And the failure to go into unknown territory – making new mistakes and new successes – could be devastating for both French proletarians and proletarians globally.

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5 Responses to france
  1. The following is from an email discussion on these riots between me and a friend – K – from Greece:

    K. wrote:

    I had a look at the riots in the Parisian suburbs which seem a recurring way of “collective bargaining by riot” against the state discipline which has mainly the form of police harassment. If anything suggests a change in this pattern, i would be eager to know.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ-iR1-0-oY

    K.

    I replied:

    Hi –
    Don’t see “collective bargaining by riot” in the events going on since 4th February, any more than they existed in – say – the November 2005 riots. I’d guess that very few – if any – of the rioters dream of “bargaining” with the cops/the state – it’s just direct anger without demands, unlike the “collective bargaining by riot” of many of the riots of the 19th century and earlier. Can’t access the video from my computer.

    Then a slightly modified version of the same (from me):

    Hi –
    Don’t see “collective bargaining by riot” in the events going on since 4th February (see this for up-to-date information on events in France: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/france-the-latest/ ), any more than they existed in – say – the November 2005 riots. I’d guess that very few – if any – of the rioters dream of “bargaining” with the cops/the state – it’s just direct anger without demands, unlike the “collective bargaining by riot” of many of the riots of the 19th century and earlier. Or the riots, say, by the garment workers in Bangladesh. What demands can be made of brutal rapist cops? Please stop being so nasty? There are “demands” like “Justice for Theo” but can one really call this a demand?
      

    – Sam

    K replied:

    Actually, yes, I had the November 2005 riots on my mind, setting something like a pattern, that is why I made such a comparison.
    The collective bargaining should not be seen literally but as a way to explain the form and content of the recurring riots as something more than an explosion of anger.
    It’s true that there are no “negotiations” in the traditional sense or mediation channels such as unions or workers’ committees
    (although in a different context and time, after the LA riots of 1992, representatives of the Crips and Bloods gangs did propose a set of demands),
    still the choice of the targets of the rioters is revealing enough. In the neoliberal strategy of the penalization of this part of the proletariat the police has a central role.
    Through the reinvention of the “dangerous classes”, the police is the main (if not the only) state institution dealing with them. If this state management seems to suggest
    that it is only through repression and devaluation that their expectations should be dealt with, then the attacks against the police show a demand of respect,
    a demand not to be treated as criminals; the attacks against schools show a demand against a mechanism of exclusion, the attacks against public means of transport
    are a demand against a form of racist state power – in short riots suggest a deeper demand for “equal treatment” and the defense of one’s existence against one’s state of permanent precarity.
    I read in yesterday’s reports in your site about the attacks against Job Centres and the Leisure Centres and I think they are very indicative of what I am trying to say.  

    Certainly, a lot can be said about the future, the limits and the rather obvious (absence of) alliances of such riots, however, to me they are struggles with indirect demands behind their direct anger.    

    K.

    I replied:

    Hi K –

    About what you said on the riots:

    Sorry, but I really find this way of theorising not at all helpful. It comes over as projecting a pre-written schema onto a situation, a situation that has no explicit demands other than “Justice for Theo”.

    You say “The collective bargaining should not be seen literally but as a way to explain the form and content of the recurring riots as something more than an explosion of anger.” I don’t see how this sentence clarifies anything literally or not literally. In fact, it’s an interpretation that falls into a reformist phraseology even if you don’t mean it that way. On the contrary, we should be seeing an explosion of anger as something more than “collective bargaining“ or trying to “explain” this explosion as such.

    Trying to find some “indirect demands” doesn’t really make things clearer for me – how can people “bargain collectively” launching attacks with no mediation and no explicit demands? No-one during these riots is asking the State or other institutions for understanding or support. This is the role of the associations (whether religious or cultural), or the role of leftist politicians. Reading “demands” into a situation which doesn’t have any seems like wanting to impose a “theory” externally and somehow fitting an interpretation of the facts to this schematic theory. I can’t see the point in this other than to speak “theory” for theory’s sake – it clarifies none of the contradictions these people live

    You say “the attacks against the police show a demand of respect, a demand not to be treated as criminals”. Do they? Without any statements or facts to back up this notion, it seems plucked out of thin air. It implies that they don’t simply hate the cops for the obvious – their constant harassment, for the misery of arrest, beatings, crippling fines, prison etc. – for the violence the state imposes on them. There’s no perspective of a “demand for respect” – no positive politics in this, though I suppose you could read this positive demand into the negative anti-cop fury but such a positive political expression just falls into some safely categorisable reformism. Some of the rioters probably are “criminals” insofar as they earn a bit extra through illegal activities (petty theft, low level drug dealing, etc.). That goes for a hell of a lot of the modern proletariat, but it doesn’t mean they dream of the cops respecting them – and I wouldn’t want to read into the variety of different opinions and feelings “a demand not to be treated as criminals” unless there was something explicit that gave such an indication (which – as far as I can see – there isn’t). Even as an interpretation it implies that they have illusions in the reform of this society, when the prevailing attitude here (which has been prevailing for years, at least since the mid-90’s) is a “don’t give a fuck attitude”.

    You say, “the attacks against schools show a demand against a mechanism of exclusion”. Again, do they? Most people don’t like school – I didn’t and I went to a “good” Grammar school without any idea of exclusion.

    It’s fine to (implicitly) define schools as a “mechanism of exclusion” but the implication was that people are demanding inclusion. Again, even as an interpretation it implies that they have illusions in the reform of this society. In the anti-Labour Law demos I met and discussed (ie more than exchanged just a few words) with 2 high school students, one of whom yesterday participated in a walk-out of his school against the cops. The other goes to the most privileged school in Montpellier (and had got into trouble with the admin earlier in the school year for putting up on a wall a section of a radical critique of schools), the one who walked out goes to a more obviously proletarian school. Neither of them seemed to want to be “included” particularly – that’s not their vocabulary and not really their desire. I guess many people rioting object to their exclusion – their exclusion through being at the bottom of the pile financially – but I doubt that they think in terms of somehow being “included” and even less so of turning this into a demand. Did you like school when you were a teenager? Did you worry about being excluded?

    The fact that some rioters have attacked Job Centers is hardly a surprise: anybody without work who is forced to go to them hates them for all the harassment and their policing function, their increasing transformation of unemployment into a full-time appallingly-paid “job”. As for the attack on a Leisure Center – who knows? Maybe because of their pacifying role, their attempts to keep kids off the streets? But here it’s me that’s projecting a pre-made critique. Perhaps this attack (and I’ve only noted one) was a personal grudge, a revenge for some humiliation or other. I really don’t know. Of course, this doesn’t sound very “theoretical”, but then sometimes one needs to stop with the “theory”.

    You talk of “the limits and the rather obvious (absence of) alliances of such riots”. The “fuck it all” attitude is also one of the reasons why these riots often don’t go beyond the estates or the banlieus, don’t spread to other sectors of society, etc. Whilst the 2005 riots were clearly interesting, the possibilities of communicating, of meeting with people and discussing were rather limited if you were from outside the area, particularly in comparison with other movements – eg the 80’s riots in the UK (and also the recent riots in the US).

    As far as I can see, unlike, say in the ‘92 Rodney King LA riots that you mention – with the Crips and the Bloods, there are very few very organized gangs here (though some of the attacks on cops last year, particularly those involving smashing up CCTV cameras, have been carried out by drug dealers trying to stop cop surveillance). It’s also true to say there are no “mediation channels such as unions or workers’ committees” but mediation takes a different form in the banlieus and estates: there’s a powerful local control through associations, whether cultural or religious, such as the MJC (youth cultural centres) network, social workers, etc. which are financed by the State, which have been a significant limit to autonomous and collective initiatives in these areas for years.

    That’s all I’ve got to say for the moment.

    Take care –

    Sam

    PS I recommend this: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/articles/war-politics/french-letters/french-letter-2/ for a good nuanced take on the banlieus/estates following the Paris massacre, November 2015

    K replied:

    Hi Sam!

    Although I do understand that the concept of “collective bargaining by riot” applied to the specific riots in the French “banlieue” probably sounds provocative, I still think it’s useful.

    However, your critical comments reminded me that there should always be some clarification of terms and objects of analysis for any meaningful discussion to take place. That is, there is a need to clarify and consider various levels of analysis and certain terms:

    1. A definition of social “exclusion/inclusion” and their meaning in general and in respect to these riots, put in the general context of the class relations in French society, is particularly needed. Here’s an old article on the issue of “exclusion/inclusion” we had translated back in 2005 which still seems valid to me

    http://divergences.be/spip.php?article385

    2. The riots as a means of struggle and expression of implicit/explicit demands is unavoidably connected to an analysis of the local politics and powers at play (immigrant, gang or religious organizations and their internal relations with more -apparently- “individualized” rioters)

    3. Riot violence juxtaposed to reformism (there is much historical evidence that riots and reforms have not necessarily been opposed to one another – this is not my political point of view but an historical fact that should be taken into consideration in any relevant analysis)

    4.Theory and its role in analyzing reality (most of the times things are not what they appear to be).

    To elaborate on the above points it would require from my part a certain research (which I have already started) which can be hopefully used in a workshop we are planning on riots and strikes for the summer meeting in July. So, we will have plenty of time to debate on the issue after we have done our research.

    Other examples of riots apart from those in France could be discussed, too (the one in Greece in 2008, for example) to show how misleading it would be to use the term “riots” as an umbrella one that can automatically explain any kind of collective violent conflict with the state in modern urban areas.

    So, take care

    K.

    I replied:

    Hi K. –

    We’ll discuss it in the summer, but I’d just ask this question – is there anyone who accepts “the term “ riots ” as an umbrella one that can automatically explain any kind of collective violent conflict with the state in modern urban areas”? It seems obvious that there are some riots that have nothing independent about them (eg ethnic riots attacking those from other ethnicities/ religions etc.), and some that develop out of explicit demands off the state or bosses. I’ve not yet seen anyone suggesting that the term “ riots ” is an umbrella one that can automatically explain any kind of collective violent conflict with the state, but maybe I’ve missed out on this particular kind of ideology.

    all the best –

    Sam

    She replied:

    Hi Sam,

    I had on my mind a theory that was originally coined by Woland from (the defunct now) Blaumachen within the SIC circle and which became trendy under the pompous name of “the era of riots”. 
    Under this term, various types of riots and movements with demands are crammed together, despite their obvious differences, as they supposedly express the “ultimate structuring of the contradiction 
    between the proletariat and the capital”. Several texts reproduced this theory but I will just quote here an excerpt from the first text to introduce it, called (what else?) The transitional phase of the crisis: the era of riots. 
    I believe the over-generalizations and false assumptions resulting from such a theorizing are easy to detect even in this piece but in the text other riots /movements are squeezed together, too:

    “ By introducing the term ‘era of riots’ we define the transitional period of the crisis and the crisis of this transitional period: “Recent struggles reflect the two basic aspects of the process that produces the revolution of the current period: first, the delegitimization of demands, i.e. demanding is converted into a component of the reproduction of classes, which tends to be marginalized and suppressed, and second, the internal distance produced between proletarian practices in the evolution of class struggle. These two aspects of class struggle are produced in every zone of capital despite all their differences, and is imposed by the objectivity of capital, the economy. We may risk the prediction that we are entering into an era of riots, which will be transitional and extremely violent. It will define the reproduction crisis of the proletariat, and thus of capitalism, as an important structural element of the following period. By ‘riots’ we mean struggles for demands or struggles without demands that will take violent forms and will transform the urban environments into areas of unrest; the riots are not revolution, even the insurgency is not revolution, although it may be the beginning of a revolution. The internal distance between proletarian practices aggravates all social contradictions and creates a self-reinforcing process of growing conflicts that includes more and more categories of the working class and the intensification of State repression. The particularity of this ‘era’ is that the dynamics of the struggle cannot produce stable results. In any case, the struggles of the proletarians will inevitably reproduce the opponent class and their own class existence as a class of proletarians. The limit of these struggles, now, is the fact that they are class struggles. The only guarantee to overcome this limit is a practical attack against capital, which is identical with the attack on the very existence of the proletarian class”.”
    http://www.blaumachen.gr/2011/07/the-transitional-phase-of-the-crisis-the-era-of-riots/

    Or, in a text by another Blaumachen member,The feral underclass hits the streets: On the English riots and other ordeals,

    “But despite all their respective particularities, or better exactly within these particularities, in all three instances [French riots 2005, Greece 2008, England 2011] the protagonists of the riots revealed and attacked class belonging as an external constraint in an outburst of destructive activity which sought to negotiate or defend nothing, and this was bound to their specific situation and its place in the modalities of the reproduction of the proletariat in each respective case.”
     http://www.blaumachen.gr/2012/10/the-feral-underclass-hits-the-streets/

    I don’t think I agree with anything from the above, except perhaps for the phrase “the struggles of the proletarians will inevitably reproduce the opponent class” as an accurate and prophetic description of his own personal trajectory…

    Bye,

    K.

    And final reply from me:

    Hi again –

    Well all that Woland/Sic stuff is just pretentious abstract waffle for “Theoreticians” who want to maintain a theoreticianist role which pretends to itself that such an all-encompassing theory can provide for proletarians (with  disparate histories,  circumstances and revolts) some catch-all theory that could somehow unite them, as if it was only a theoretical question (and we know full well how convenient it was for him to reduce it all to just a theoretical question). And as if such a theory could ignore all the various different mediations that either tend towards or repress such a possible unity (which should be looked at re.  the class struggle in France, particularly in an epoch when there are very few strikes and/or occupations, and even less ones that have something independent about them).

    But – as I said, we should leave that till the summer.

    all the best –

    Sam

  2. Do you know anything about recent goings-on in Lille, or where I could find more English-language info about it? Just seen this text: https://insurrectionnewsworldwide.com/2017/09/16/lille-france-call-to-protest-the-state-of-emergency-september-30th-2017/ and would be interested to know more – it’s the first I’d seen about the far-right supplying weapons to Islamists, guessing that this is just a case of the apolitical gang underworld having some crossover with the nazis and some crossover with the Islamists (and some crossover with the cops) rather than any more deliberate collaboration?

  3. […] Canada, launched a rent strike on May 1st and welcome donations to their strike/hardship fund, and the Dialectical Delinquents site continues to be a valuable resource for keeping up with events worl…. They’ve recently added an English translation of “another boring leaflet” dealing with some […]

  4. nosotros.proletarios says:

    “Gilets jaunes”… “Communards”… “Sans-culottes”… “Va-nu-pieds”… “damnées de la terre”… Derrière des appellations fleuries émergent nos luttes contre la misère !

    https://grenoble.indymedia.org/2018-12-07-Gilets-jaunes-Communards-Sans

    Barricades en feu sur les Champs Elysées, voitures de luxe incendiées, boutiques de luxe saccagés et pillés, « la plus belle avenue du monde » a brûlé de notre désir de vivre et de ne plus survivre. « La Ville Lumière » était beaucoup plus éclairées que ses maîtres ne l’avaient jamais voulu. Et les feux de la révolte brûlent depuis trois semaines aussi dans d’autres endroits – en France et aussi en Belgique – réchauffant nos cœurs et nos esprits.

    N’avons-nous pas trouvé là un remède contre le l’épuisement professionnel !? Contre le blues de l’automne !? Contre ce sentiment que nos vies se perdent au travail pour un salaire minable ou à l’école pour devenir un autre chômeur !? Que nous ne vivrons jamais rien d’autre que cette misère d’une vie sous la dictature de l’argent !?

    Ce sont les points les plus importants qui ont suscité notre espoir que tout ceci n’est pas une fatalité, qu’un changement radical de la société est possible.

    • Le mouvement s’est développé en dehors et dans une certaine mesure aussi contre les structures traditionnelles (partis, syndicats, médias…) dont le capitalisme s’est doté afin de rendre inoffensive toute critique pratique.

    • Jusqu’à présent, il n’y a pas eu de revendications « positives », pas d’interlocuteurs, pas de porte-paroles, pas de négociateurs, ou ils ne représentaient qu’une infime minorité (et parfois pas très appréciés, voire même menacés par les plus radicaux !) du mouvement. Même si les média tentent d’enfermer les manifestants dans le cadre de la « lutte contre les impôts », la consigne universelle est plutôt « lutte contre la pauvreté en général » dans toute sa complexité (bas salaires, prix élevés, perdre sa vie à la gagner, aliénation…) et donc, en définitive, elle remet en question l’ordre capitaliste en tant que tel.

    • Le mouvement est organisé au niveau régional et dépasse les divisions habituelles des syndicalistes selon les branches de production. Ce sont les voisins, les amis ou les collègues qui se rencontrent sur les blocages ou les barricades et ce qu’ils ont en commun ce n’est pas un intérêt particulier de telle ou telle branche professionnelle mais un ras le bol général de la misère de nos vies qui est implicitement partagée par toute la classe ouvrière.

    Il existe bien sûr des tentatives de restructuration du mouvement pour qu’il s’inscrive dans le cadre des structures capitalistes – des appels à formuler des « revendications claires et positives », à discuter avec les autorités, à rester raisonnable… Mais jusqu’à présent, ils n’ont pas eu beaucoup de succès. Au contraire, le mouvement n’a pas peur de montrer aux soi-disant modérés qu’il n’en est pas question, qu’ils n’abandonneront pas leur radicalisme et qu’ils ne laisseront pas faire ceux qui veulent diviser le mouvement sur cet axe afin de le détruire.

    • Le mouvement, ou une grande partie, est radical et donc violent et il l’assume. Ce n’est pas seulement que les « gilets jaunes » n’ont pas peur de la confrontation avec la police, beaucoup n’ont pas peur de casser, d’incendier, d’éradiquer ; ils n’ont aucun respect pour la propriété privée, ils pillent… Mais plus important encore, ils le revendiquent aussi – certains implicitement, d’autres ouvertement, ce qui rend difficile l’utilisation des tactiques habituelles de la bourgeoisie pour diviser le mouvement en « bons manifestants » et « mauvais vandales ». Tout le monde n’a pas envie de participer aux émeutes, mais beaucoup considèrent l’émeute comme une expression légitime du mouvement.

    • Non seulement le mouvement n’arrête pas d’appeler le reste de la classe ouvrière à le rejoindre et il essaie de s’étendre et de se généraliser (la contestation se développe dans le secteur « lycéen ») ; mais de plus en plus d’appels à la fraternisation avec les forces répressives apparaissent également. Il y a des gens qui répondent aux CRS, se plaignant de la pénibilité de leur travail, qu’ils peuvent simplement baisser les armes et rejoindre les manifestants. Il y a ceux qui les invitent à réfléchir à qui est leur véritable ennemi. Et il y en a d’autres qui appellent les soldats à désobéir à leurs maîtres dans le cas où ils seraient déployés contre le mouvement.

    • Rien n’est sacré pour le mouvement, pas de symboles, pas de légendes, pas d’identité, pas d’idéologie qui ne puissent être brûlés, détruits, éradiqués. Le meilleur exemple du week-end dernier – l’Arc de Triomphe, le symbole de leur république bourgeoise et de sa toute-puissance guerrière, a été tagué, son musée saccagé et des prolétaires dansaient de joie sur son toit.

    Tels sont les points à développer et à surmonter dans la lutte continue. Luttons ensemble pour éviter toute récupération du mouvement par les partis politiques ou les syndicats, luttons ensemble contre le cadre des élections, des réformes et des revendications que certains voudraient nous imposer.

    Allons jusqu’aux conséquences finales de notre critique ! Organisons-nous, discutons, nourrissons ensemble le feu de la révolte ! Nous sommes impatients de voir, de vivre la suite…

    décembre 2018

  5. nosotros.proletarios says:

    “Gilets jaunes”… “communards”… “sans-culottes”… “va-nu-pieds”… “wrecked of the earth”…
    Behind flowery labels stand our struggles against misery!

    Barricades in fire on the Champs Elysées, luxury cars of set ablaze, luxury shops wrecked and looted, “the most beautiful avenue of the world” was burning from our desire to live and not survive anymore. “The City of Light” was much lighter than its masters ever wanted. And the fires of revolt have been burning since three weeks also in other places – in France and also in Belgium – warming up our hearts and minds.

    Haven’t we just found a cure for the burn out at work? For the autumn blues? For this feeling that our lives are fading out wasted at work for a lousy pay or at school to become another unemployed? That we will never live anything else than this misery of life under the dictatorship of money?

    These are the most important points that aroused our hope that all this is not a fatality, that a radical change of the society is possible.

    • The movement has developed outside and in some sort also against traditional structures (parties, trade unions, media…) that capitalism equipped itself with in order to make any practical critique inoffensive.

    • So far there were no “positive” demands, no speakers, no spokespersons, no negotiators, or they represented only a tiny (and sometimes not very appreciated, or even threatened by the most radicals) minority of the movement. Even if the media try to enclose the demonstrators in the framework of “struggle against taxes”, the universal motto is rather “fight against the poverty in general” in all its complexity (low wages, high prices, wasting our lives at work, alienation…) and therefore, in final consequences, it puts into question the capitalist order as such.

    • The movement is organized regionally and it is overcoming the usual trade-unionists’ divisions according to production branches. It’s neighbors, friends or colleagues that meet each other on the blockades or barricades and what they have in common is not a particular interest of this or that professional branch but a general fed up with the misery of our lives that is implicitly shared by all the working class.

    Attempts to restructure the movement so that it fits into the framework of capitalist structures of course exist – callings for making “clear and positive demands”, discussing with authorities, staying reasonable… But so far they didn’t have a lot of success. On the contrary the movement is not afraid to show to the so called moderates that this is no way, that they won’t give up their radicalism and that they will not let do those who want to divide the movement on this axe in order to destroy it.

    • The movement, or its big part, is radical and therefore violent and it assumes it. It is not only that the “Gilets Jaunes” are not afraid of confrontation with police, many are not afraid to break, to burn, to root out; they have no respect for private property, they loot… But more important, they also claim it – some implicitly others openly, what makes the usual tactics of the bourgeoisie to divide the movement in “good demonstrators” and “bad vandals” difficult to use. Not everybody feels like to participate to the riots, but many consider the riot as a legitimate expression of the movement.

    • Not only that the movement doesn’t stop to appeal the rest of the working class to join it and it is trying to spread and generalize (the protests develop in the “lycéen” sector). More and more callings for fraternization with repressive forces appear as well. There are people who reply to the CRS (antiriot police) complaining about their hard work that they can simply put down their guns and join the demonstrators. There are those who invite them to think about who is their real enemy. And there are others who call the soldiers to disobey to their masters in a case they would be deployed against the movement.

    • Nothing is sacred for the movement, no symbols, no legends, no identity, no ideology that could not be burnt down, destroyed, rooted out. The best example from last weekend – the Arc de Triumph, the symbol of their bourgeois republic and its warlike omnipotence, was tagged, its museum ransacked and proletarians were dancing of joy on its roof.

    These are the points to be developed and overcome in the continuing struggle. Let’s struggle together to avoid any recuperation of the movement by political parties or trade unions, let’s fight together against the frameworks of elections, reforms and demands that some would like to impose on us.

    Let’s go until the final consequences of our critique!
    Let’s organize, let’s discuss, and let’s feed together the fire of the revolt!
    We are impatient to see, to live the next…

    december 2018

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