Skip to content or view screen version

News and views about post-electoral unrest in France and resistance

Wind of May | 13.05.2007 22:36 | Repression | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements

No Saucepan demos in each neighbourhoods and no “reclaim the streets with the kids, grandma and grandpa”. Not yet but a sweet, lovely wind of may is blowing, flowers of small acts, liberation of words, desires, Life, speeches and exchange, arguments and passion, reason and organization, solidarity and networking, exchange and rebellion.

News, views, analysis and comments about post-electoral unrest in France and social resistance…

So here it is: Fear, fear to fool us all. Fear as the ultimate tool of manipulation by the Empire, its suicidal economy, its insane need for profits, wars, genocide, ecocide, its systemic violence, its compulsive lie. Fear as the decisive way for State Terror to rule us all.

In France, the ruling class needed to be more “subtle” than in the US, with it’s use of fear: IN 2002, it used Le Pen (and massive propaganda) as an electoral fear to force French people to go voting (as the abstention, this form of political strike was stronger than ever) to Chirac, the “soft” fascism to prevent “hard” fascism. Disempowerment.

Later it used fear (and one of the most arrogant media propaganda in recent times) to try to force people to vote “yes” to the European Union Constitution: it didn’t work, radical and reformist organization did an excellent job of counter-information, going everywhere (streets, neighbourhoods, working places) and did counter-propaganda, giving data’s, facts, structured arguments, historical facts to the people. It was not revolutionary, regarding the objectives and the consequences, but it was an important and meaningful moment. Empowerment.
Let’s not forget that many people were already sick of the mass media lies, so many were by instinct and by personal experience, already critical of the neoliberal UE, one reason being the fact that the European Commission is unelected, out of any control, even theoretical, and all-powerful and dictate many insane policies, another reason being that EURO currency made it harder and harder for the millions of working poor, unemployed, poor and middle-class retired.

In 2007 election, it used the fear of “Sarko President” to force left and disillusioned people to go voting. It used the fear and hate of “state bankruptcy, lazy public servants, immigrants from former colonial empire, lazy youth, labour unions, radicals, bobos and multicultural crowds from the large cities, anticolonial memory, antifascist sentiment” to bring the lower middle-class retired, white, crowds from rural and small town areas.
The main left alternative was another millionaire: Ségolène Royal.

For the voting isolated individuals the choice was hard.
The debate was intense: Sarkozy in an insane show of negationnism and Orwellian apology of genocide, celebrated the good old times of the Crusades against the muslim, arab and jewish world, he honoured the French Colonial Empire and its great civilizing mission in Africa, America, Asia.
Ségolene made no excuses for the active complicity of Socialist and Communist Party in the colonial crimes during the 50’s and 60’s (many remember that in 1945 it is a national unity and left government that launched the genocidal “pacification” against Algerian Colony)
Sarkozy wanted to reduce the number of cops to make them more efficient and to be able to buy them more high-tech equipment. Ségolène said she would increase the number of cops.
Sarkozy made insane nationalist speeches about “Restoring the National Pride”
Ségolène said she wanted a France with flag on each balcony.
Sarkozy said that the children between 16 and 18 years old would be punished as the adults.
Ségolène said that she would create military training camps for the juvenile “offenders” to the masters’ laws.
Yes you read it… this is Socialist Party… Are you surprised? Ask Russian people about the great times of Stalinism…

Different marketing, same S…
And the small candidates from the left, Trotskyites, Stalinists, antiglobalists?
Well the reason for their implication in the electoral farce was to bring many disillusioned voters back to voting for the system by giving the illusion of a real alternative. Then in the second round of election, they said: “ok now vote for Ségolène”. Also money is involved: any party having more than 5 % will receive cash from the state, and some influence over social movements too. But “alternative” bureaucratic left, already out of the streets and working places, (with a few exception as the fighting and growing SUD labour union, linked with Trotskyite but made of non-affiliated workers such as the growing CNT) is running in despair after social movements
Do the various left and greens bureaucrats and bosses apologize for their failure?
No many are saying: “let’s prepare for parliamentary elections”. And another round of alienation…


The revenge of the individualist, egoist crowd, a neocon version of “no future, fuck our children and grand-children future”, the psycho-pathological death desire used by all fascistic and totalitarian organization to recruit members. Divide and rule…
Bitter irony, these conservative lost souls who “don’t see and hear anything from the real alive world around us”, economically fragile crowds might pay a very high price if public services are destroyed: French public health care system, the only survival with public education of the so-called “French model”,

“French model” praised by so many leftists, statists and bureaucrats around the world, people in desperate need for a place where State-Capitalism works. The same people who do not realize that in France too, proud women are sleeping in theirs cars with the kids, going to slave-work every morning to buy junk food for their little loved-ones. That in France the official unemployment rate is around 8, 9 % because working poor is not in the date, because the lazy bourgeoisie is pushing more and more “lazy thugs” out of the statistics: by tens of thousands, like the number of non-status immigrants sent back to their neo-colonial territories or to detention camps each and every year. That Statists public services can be destroyed much more easily than self-managed public services. Large segments of population kept in passive obedience and consumerism, only pave the way for more systemic injustices, violence, brutal leaders and electoral disasters.

Ok, “enough now”, you’re right friends.

Let’s see what is going on now that the new king has been elected, Sarkobush. The editorial thugs are singing, dancing, media riot: “champagne, we fool, they rule”.
French Media editorialist who are you? Many of them are former “68ard”, former Stalinists-trotsk-maoist, defending this criminal system with the same cold-blood viciousness and blindness, as they were defending in their youth the (un)”real communism”.
Its cocktail time for the ruling-class, the CEO, the media-stars, the trade-union yellow leaders.
In the streets it’s not the same kind of cocktails “Alas my dear, the dirty poor, the immature youth, they don’t recognize the virtue of nihilism and submission”

OK, sorry let’s get back to Molotov:
People hear about “violent” riots reported by AP, Reuters, AFP, the usual liars, with a few “hundreds” demonstrators and a few “dozens” rioters.
True the “anti-sarko”, antifascist demonstrations and riots that started the evening of the electoral farce were small and isolated.
A thousand people in a couple of major cities (such as a thousand in Lyon), hundreds in middle-size cities. But the propaganda apparatus always divide numbers by ten. Guess why.
Last Sunday, the French People of the Left was crying, passive and isolated in front of the insane TV screen. Unlike the people of Argentina (or Mexico, Algeria…) they still have food on the table and some sort of hope that the system can be fixed. No Saucepan demos in each neighbourhoods and no “reclaim the streets with the kids, grandma and grandpa”.
Not yet but a sweet, lovely wind of may is blowing, flowers of small acts, liberation of words, desires, Life, speeches and exchange, arguments and passion, reason and organization, solidarity and networking, exchange and rebellion. Small things, isolated but growing plants, developing on a land of silent (still passive a week after the election) and huge social anger against this corrupted system and its Men-In-Black.
“Le Temps des Cerises”, “Belle fleur de mai refleuriront”, “Ah ça ira”, “Tous à la Bastille”… it may only be a question of time and organizing…
Maybe not.
It depends on ordinary citizens, old and young, black and white, poor and not-so-poor-yet, on the radicals and revolutionaries too. It involves crucial questions on methods, patience, memory, organisation, autonomy, direct democracy, concrete alternatives, networking, tactic and strategy, communication and love also. Love for our children, love for humanity.
It depends on the capitalist left too: is it still as efficient in its “control-freak” policies. Will they once again, as it happened some many times in 200 years of French revolutions, take control of popular movements, isolating it from outside when it is still small, destroying it from inside if it goes big. Remember the 1995 general strike, this incredible movement uniting working class, lower middle and unemployed ?, we were there, the spirit was alive, remember the CPE struggle ?, remember the large riots in 2005, by the poor and immigrants youth ? When the media fail, when the cops are powerless, when the recipe for counter-insurrection is failing, then the master calls the Bureaucrat.

Here are some links to analysis, calls, testimonies, opinions, images of what is happening (and not happening) in France since last week, the views expressed are different, they do not reflect the complex, contradictory, rich and fertile reality on the ground (who thinks media and internet can do so?)

Calls, public announcements and opinions:

The FA (Fédération Anarchiste) public statement from its federal bureau (External Relations) on may 11:
It is a decent summary for non-french readers, here is a partial translation:
« Since may 6, we know the face of our new enemy. He is not unknown to us, we “practiced” him as a minister the last five years. The policy he will implement will be in all aspects a program of social regression, of freedom restriction and brutality of the state apparatus against the population. Despite those who tied their hands in the “call to vote”, we reject the legitimacy of this power and are calling to resistance. “
And FA goes on: “Never such a police presence was seen for an electoral evening… It says a lot about the faith that the leaders have in the legitimacy they get from this rotten system. Of course these acts (the isolated riots) can seem sterile, expression of despair. They are nonetheless nothing but the answer of revolt in reaction to Power’s violence, the brutality from the past but also the one coming. And the resistance, yes sporadic, starts blooming: Tolbiac University blocked in rejection of the future policy of Sarkozy, sabotage by workers at Aulnay…”
Later in the Statement:

(Translator’s note : The following quotation comes from an incredibly honest but largely unnoticed interview with a mainstream paper « Le Parisien » These words were pronounced by the electoral king in mid-February, the “anti-lazy poor” candidate was relaxing in a palace on La Réunion Island, a remain of the French colonial empire

« Sarkozy confirmed it during its campaign: “I will be a president like (the actor) Louis De Funes in the “Grand restaurant”: servile with the powerful, infamous with the weak. I love it”. A grin on his face the bastard. We the weak people, we do not laugh. And we hope to make him lose his little sarcastic smile of the new master of the nation.

The big reforms will start soon : banning of the right to strike through the rule of « minimum services »; full-scale assault of foreigners and state racism; enforcement of PRESS before summer, tool for privatization of university; raising of the legal working time and generalisation of “incentive bonus”; aggravation of the judicial and prison arsenal, specially against under age children; elimination of public retirement pensions; overexploitation of the youth and the old workers; implementation of a health care system based on social discrimination.
This return to the 19th century, completed with the good ideas of 1941-1945, we have to be everywhere to prevent it. And we can.
The previous generations were able, with hard fights, conquer some better living conditions, we have to keep struggling, to defend our current rights, to get some new ones and overthrow this corrupted regime. Let’s not get us trapped in the insane illusion of electoral defeat. The elections, whatever the result, could not have been a victory. Only our mobilisation, in the streets, by the permanent organization against exploitation, will bring us victory. So we are calling for counter-institutional forms of resistance and conquest everywhere.
In the schools, in the factories, in the offices, the universities, the neighbourhoods, we are calling for the organization of people and the permanent struggle against government and the bosses.
The power is shaking when we are in the street.
Let’s make him crumble in fear.
Together, let’s organize resistance!
Fédération Anarchiste
Le 11 mai 2007 “

Other statements from organizations :
France: Let's be ungovernable! - Post-election statement by Alternative Libertaire (note: AL is another organization, the ideological and strategic main difference with FA is that AL believes in tactical linking with the reformist left such as Trotskyites from LCR, and Al is more active in support with anticolonial struggles)

France: The anarcho-syndicalist CNT vs Sarkozy
Note: CNT denounces the repression against the demonstrators and rioters and calls for unconditional liberation of people jailed this week but CNT they do not support riot and insurrection, at least not now, they claim that they do not rebel against one leader of the system but against the whole system, they also think that syndicalism and general strike are much more efficient to stop the system and build a new one. Another reason, not assumed officially, might be that the CNT fears that the electoral left might try to recycle itself, by taking control of an anti-Sarkozy movement and making it an electoral tool. But everybody recognizes that last week demonstrators are not controlled by the left and opposed to any form of control. Some members of CNT and other organized anarchists (and other revolutionary organizations) think also that an isolated, impatient movement of demos and riots will be quickly crushed, breaking the lives of hundreds of young people, with no real victory over ruling class and fascism. But these radical militants do not reject “Argentina” type of popular insurrection contrary to authoritarian left; they fear that the timing and methods are not efficient.
On the other hand some (not all) activists for “insurrection” think that by waiting for “the good timing” and doing only legal marches, the revolutionary organizations would be playing the game of the state and of the left.
The positions are various, is there a simple answer? Let’s hope that dialogue and networking will develop instead of potential sectarian infighting.
Other public statement from CNT:
“Contrary to what was announced in many media outlets, the CNT is not involved in the incidents happening since many days in the anti-Sarkozy.
The CNT understand the fear, anger, impatience and exasperation of whole segments of youth. CNT will not comment or condemn their rebellion et it will support all those who are facing a judicial insane repression.
But let’s make things clear: as a labour organisation, the CNT do not place itself on the same action field as the anti-Sarkozy movement that is growing today (It is not a critic of this movement, simply a statement). Indeed, the struggle of CNT can not center itself around the public character of on President. CNT fights against State bosses, private bosses and capitalism with the tools of syndicalism. It did so before the election of Nicolas Sarkozy; it will go on now that he is elected. “

Here are some words, calls from anti-sarkozy and autonomous people, organized groups or individuals, students or working people or unemployed.
nous ne reclamons rien (we do not claim anything) by “Les Insurgés de Paris”
“We are not shouting: “scandal”. We are acting. We do not wait the opening of the debate. We are the debate. We will not demonstrate in lines on the official and policed avenues. We will occupy space as we will want, by 10’s, 100’s, 1000’s We will burn or we will chant. We will slowly become free humans in free spaces. We do not want any new presidency. Let’s stop begging, let’s build a life in respect of our ideals, let’s struggle. Les Insurges, le 9 mai 2007, Paris »

News from Student activism:
TOLBIAC, ceci n'est pas un tract... (Tolbiac university, this is not a tract)
(Note: today 7 days after the elections, tolbiac is back to « normal ».)
Tonight we occupy Tolbiac faculty.
We don’t have demands, we simply opened a space and this is the opposite of what proposed Sarkozy: the enclosure.
Opening this space allows us not to be isolated anymore, to root ourselves in our environnement, to discuss, react and open the debate.
Let’s organize in universities, schools, work places, and street.
Let’s not wait for June elections.
We refuse the actual situation and Sarkozy in power.
The revolt from the evening of may 6 illustrates our rejection of the system.
This vote was a fraud and not an act of supreme political act, as proof the repressive programs of the PS and UMP (Sarkozy) were the same: they offer us nothing but repression.
Hundreds of arrest, immediate court hearings, and prison terms are falling on us since 3 days.
The right to demonstrate is de facto suppressed.
The state is offensive with a warrior spirit; Sarko means war on the poor suburbs, war on social struggles and war to all who are in its way.
Justice system and CRS are making war on us, let’s make revolution to them.”

« Le Mirail : autonomie et réappropriation ORGANISONS NOUS !
vendredi 11 mai 2007
For info, text from the General Assembly of Jeudi 10 mai 2007
In the context of an active reclaim of the General Assembly of the Mirail, too often controlled by bureaucrats unionists, we started today a new era in the autonomous and horizontal decision making. Popular assembly is called for Sunday the 13th at Marché St-Aubin, 2h30 pm.
During the assembly of today, the 10th 1 pm, we didn’t vote for blockade of strike but the political and social struggle goes on…”

Let’s organize popular resistance! From State Police to Police State…
Flyer from the “struggle comity” calling for national general strike, expropriation and rebellion

Brief news of the G.A on Saturday

Appel unitaire d'organisations de jeunesse : manif mercredi 16 mai
(Call from anarchist organizations and youth organizations of the more statist, mainstream left, call for a “unity meeting” on the 22 of may at Bourse du Travail de Paris and for demos on 16th of may)
“We are calling on the creation of Resistance Comities, open to all, in all universities, high schools and neighbourhoods, and we are calling for General Assemblies and Meetings in all these places.
We are calling for demonstrations in all French cities on the 16 of may
We are inviting all workers organizations, political and community organizations to a unity meeting on Tuesday the 22 of may at 7pm at Bourse du Travail de Paris to discuss about a large demonstration”

(Was edited after 2005 riots from the poor white and POC youth. Republished on internet after Sarko election)
Que vivent ces feux de révolte ! (Long life to the fires of rebellion!)

(Linking with the anarchist and revolutionary project for a degrowth economy)
By “EN Dehors”
Prenons le maquis économique !

Among the many calls for civil disobedience:
Pour l'avenir, pour le présent, pour le passé
« We understood the message from the electorate, in the future we will focus more on law and order, the value of work, security, national identity and the problem of immigration” Manuel Valls, PS (Socialist Party) representative
“Left-trash, totalitarism is you, and your right-wing friends and your false “democracy”. Here we are, you paved the way for Sarkozisme when you were in power with Repressive laws, antisocial destruction, co-management of capitalism, the state and industrial madness. Now we are stuck with it.
Expropriation ! Self-managed Public Services ! Self-management of work places !
Out of nuclear industry immediately ! Degrowth, real-needs economy and sharing of collective wealth ! Direct democracy and federalism ! Popular assemblies in neighbourhoods, municipal level, department level, regional level with mandate of one year, revocable anytime !
Peasant agriculture ! Dissolution of the army, police and gendarmerie !
Reallocation of soldiers, policemen, gendarmes to jobs useful for society and for the transition out of suicidal capitalism !
Creation of local citizen comities to take in charge daily tasks of public security (traffic regulation, sexual aggressions etc.)
Abolition of prisons and injustice courts ! Creation of a collective, community-based, feminist, preventive and non-punitive justice without sanctions of prison terms !
Let’s occupy the street until all these clowns and thieves go !
Nobody will save us !
Nobody will give a future to our children and grand-children !
Nobody will make the revolution for us !”

(from AC! Grassroots, horizontal national “union” of jobless and working poors)

75 pour cent des chômeurs n'ont pas voté sarkozy
(75% of unemployed people didn’t vote for Sarkozy)

Quotation of the last words of this public statement:

“Today resistance means solidarity and the building of a common force that is not only the refusal of such or such candidate or party.
Resistance needs the Collective and we are calling all unemployed and precarious workers to re-learn the common fight: you are thousands calling us, coming to our offices when confronted with job loss, cut of electricity, cut of Assedic or troubles with your boss.

But you are not enough participating to collective actions or taking of your time to help other precarious people.

But here starts the resistance, in each ANPE (state offices for unemployed people), each ASSEDIC, Each CAF (state agency supposed to help poor families), every time jobless and precarious refused to be made more fragile and isolated, to become a collective force able to impose its demands.

The resistance, is not a great word but thousands of praxis at our own level, which can cause the failure of this criminal power.
When we are civil servant at ANPE, it means informing jobless of their rights, it is also to refuse to practice the monthly “follow-up” when there is no decent job to offer them, it is “forgetting” to notify when a jobless does not come to a called-meeting, it is also to inform jobless and precarious workers of the new practices of control and of the way to counter them.
When we are civil servant at la CAF it is to treat in priority the files of “resources attribution” instead of the files of “Trop-perçus” (when the state realize it gave “too much” money to poor people).
When we are jobless, worker, precarious or not, it is to go massively with the person threatened of sanctions (resources deprivation) to the source of the threat.
When we are working of EDF, GDF (Hydro and gas public corporation), drinkable water corporation, it is to act as Robin Hood.

Resistance starts in our heads: where they tried to divide us and to classify us, we have to do this step to find ourselves.

If we let it go, there will be no jobless, no workers in the After-France.
There will be only suffering precarious who one day will be begging for food, or shopping at ED and Lidl (junk food grocery stores for the poor), when on the other site the bourgeoisie will celebrate with Sarkozy their unity at Fouquet’s. (Restaurant for the rich thugs)

No full-time precarious jobs, nor mass unemployment, we want to live !”


“action instead of electing”
VIDEO EXTRACT FROM « La dialectique peut-elle casser des briques ? » by René Vienet, 1973
Hilarious, amazing antispectacular statement for autonomy. (Bruce lee against the bureaucrats) Some subtitles from time to time.
Keny Arkana - Le Front de la Haine

Wind of May