Monday, October 18, 2010
French struggle kicks off posted by Richard SeymourI know some of you have been asking me to do a write up of the extraordinary resistance sweeping France. The sort of vengeful fury engulfing Sarkozy's crumbling administration makes us feel hopeful, and, a little bit jealous. We want to pore over the details, extract lessons, enjoy the prospect of a major power in the EU failing to impose its austerity, and measure the reality against the republic of French stereotypes in our minds - those demmed revolutionaries! Well, I can't do it. Or not just yet anyway. Until I can and do, here's John Mullen explaining things:
Strikes and demonstrations are rocking France as union federations join with students and left-wing activists for mass protests against a planned "reform" of the country' pension system championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Last week saw the two more national days of action honored by all the country's main unions. On one of the days, October 12, more than 3 million joined a one-day general strike call. However, some groups of workers are continuing their actions between days of action, deciding day by day whether they will keep striking.
The strikes are hitting hard across the whole economy, but the biggest threat right now are the oil workers, one of the best-paid section of the French working class, whose actions at port facilities and the country's 12 refineries are causing shortages of gas and diesel fuel. Charles de Gaulle International Airport will run out of fuel early this week if the strike keeps up, grounding planes at the country's main airport...
While we're on the subject of resistance, here's Panos Garganos on the Greek insurgency, from the latest ISJ.