La politique en France

Macron: next big protest 2 June

Published on: Wed, 30/05/2018 - 10:59

Michael Elms

On 26 May, the mass mobilisations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-social reforms continued, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in demonstrations billed as a “popular tide”.

Macron wants to cut jobs on the rails, close rural branch lines, break up the state rail company and make it easier for employers in the transport sector to hire workers on insecure, low-paid contracts. These reforms come alongside a raft of other attacks, on education and health in particular.

The demonstrations came on the back of an internal referendum conducted in the state railway company,

Macron struggle boosts Fête

Published on: Tue, 22/05/2018 - 19:36

Michael Elms

Over the long Whit weekend of 19-21 May, the French socialist group Lutte Ouvrière holds their annual festival, the Fête de Lutte Ouvrière.

In the context of the massive strike movement sweeping France as workers and students struggle against President Macron’s wide-ranging anti-social reforms, this year the Fête was larger than usual.

Tens of thousands of socialists, workers and students came to enjoy delicious food (from oysters to snails to West African maafe to Tunisian brik), live music, talks, science exhibitions, a medieval village, climbing walls, fireworks and more over three days.

Letter: Developing slowly, but we can oust Macron

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:13

Olivier Delbeke

The article on May Day Strikes in France (Solidarity 468) contains a slip on the nature of 1 May in France.

Since Marshal Pétain in 1941, 1 May has been a Festival of Labour, in place of the International Workers’ Day of struggle, and this remained the case at Liberation. It is a paid day off. Workers’ class consciousness can be measured by whether or not they attend the union demonstrations on 1 May, which is a day of paid leave.

Except sectors where there is year-round activity (hospitals, transport, firefighters, food, hospitality, cinema, entertainment), the question of strikes isn’t posed

France: “all together, all at once!”

Published on: Wed, 09/05/2018 - 13:09

Olivier Delbeke

On the student front, the waltz of police interventions continues, with a violent attack by the cops in Grenoble on the campus there, to chase away blockaders, who were trying to prevent end-of-year exams from being held. The cops gassed and battered not only strikers but also students who were trying to sit their tests.

The degree of police violence on campuses is determined by two factors.

Firstly, a weak level of mass organisation resulting from the retreat of UNEF after 2006, and so difficulties in launching and building mass movements at a time when people can’t get together peacefully in

May day strikes in France

Published on: Tue, 01/05/2018 - 22:29

Michael Elms

On Tuesday 1 May, French workers struck to hold over 240 demonstrations across France, as part of their battle against President Macron’s attacks on transport, education and the public sector.

In Paris, in spite of heavy police presence, a monster march of striking workers and their supporters shut down the east of the city. From across France, reports are coming in of outrageous police provocations, with gas and baton charges being used against workers and students.

In the days leading up to the 1 May strike, general assemblies were held in workplaces, where strike votes were taken by show

“We’ve all got just one thing on our mind, and that’s the win!”

Published on: Wed, 25/04/2018 - 12:07

Keith Road

Workers’ Liberty supporters and friends recently spent a number of days in France to learn from, and take part in, the movement in opposition to President Macron’s reforms.

We spoke to French socialists, trade unionists and student activists. During our stay we visited occupied universities, attended workplace and student general assemblies, and took part in a number of smaller and large demonstrations.
The background to the current unrest is the push by President Macron to reform the university application system; open the way to privatising the SNCF, French state railway company; and make

France: Workers and students against Macron

Published on: Tue, 10/04/2018 - 14:02

Olivier Delbeke

France: Macron tries to speed up reforms, but meets strong opposition

Macron – who owes his election to the elimination of any left or labour movement candidate in the 1st round of the Presidential election, against a backdrop of massive abstentionism – was able to force through his law against the Labour Code in Autumn 2017. That completed the El Khomri law, which inspired a strong mobilisation lasting more than four months under the Hollande Presidency in spring 2016.

The trade union response didn't rise to the occasion, which was down to the strategy of the trade union leaderships, but also

“A refusal to settle down”

Published on: Wed, 28/03/2018 - 18:41

Fraction L'Etincelle

Klara Feigenbaum, a Trotskyist activist of Romanian origin, known as Irène, died at the age of 97 in March 2017, a year ago.

Alongside her then-partner David Korner, alias Barta, she founded the “Groupe Communiste”, which in 1944 took the name “Union Communiste” (UC), and which led the 1947 Renault strike alongside the militant worker Pierre Bois, at a time when the CGT and the PCF (which was then in the government) were opposed to all strikes. It was from this group that would later spring Voix ouvrière (although Irène was only active in it for the first few years) and then Lutte ouvrière and

L'Etincelle conference report: learning from French Trotskyists

Published on: Wed, 01/02/2017 - 13:14


On 19-20 November two Workers' Liberty activists attended the annual congress of the small French Trotskyist group L’Etincelle.

L’Etincelle originated in the ‘90s as a faction of ‘Lutte Ouvriere’, a larger Trotskyist organisation that expelled them in 2008. Shortly after it joined the newly founded ‘New Anti-Capitalist Party’. They have a strong work-place orientation. They discussed their own activities and the wider situation, heard international reports, and held elections.

The detail discussion of L’Etincelle’s activity covered: Organisational Statistics, Finance, the magazine, bulletins

Quelle menace raciste et fasciste dans le contexte actuel en France ?

Published on: Mon, 20/01/2014 - 16:44

Le fait majeur des derniers mois écoulés en France est l'épuisement du crédit apporté à Hollande au moment de son élection en 2012.

Click here for English-language version of this article.

Ce n'est pas par son programme et sa campagne que Hollande a pu battre Sarkozy, c'est parce que les masses cherchaient une issue politique et que cette volonté de se débarrasser de Sarkozy a été stimulée par la campagne du Front de Gauche et de Mélenchon, notamment à partir du succès de la manifestation parisienne du 18 mars. Sans l'existence de cette dynamique suscitée par cette mobilisation, en 2012 on

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