Movement against pension reform in France

Struggling behind the unions leads to defeat

The movement of struggle against the pension reforms has lasted eight months so far. Workers and employees of all sectors have regularly come into the streets in their millions. Since September more or less radical strike movements have appeared here and there, expressing a profound and growing discontent. This mobilisation is the broadest in France since the crisis which shook the world financial system in 2007-8.

Attempts to struggle outside union control

Below we are publishing two leaflets that demonstrate the effort on the part of what is still a very small minority of the working class to take control of its own struggles.

Testimony on the repression meted out at the demonstration of October 19 at Lyon in France

Published here is a translation of the statement of a witness to the police repression meted out against students, youth and workers at a demonstration last month in Lyon, France against the pension “reform” and the attacks of the French ruling class. The French police have also picked up on their British counterpart’s tactic of “kettling”, particularly using it to prevent any collective reflection on the best means of struggle that is emerging in minorities of the working class fed up with being marched up and down and then sent home by the unions.

How can we control our struggles?

A living movement of struggle follows many twists and turns. Flying pickets, barricades, blockades occupations, leafleting, spontaneous demonstrations, etc., are familiar expressions of class action, and we can expect the working class to conjure up others in its future combats. But at the heart of every struggle there is unavoidably the general assembly or mass meeting. It’s where we can discuss, debate, and agree together the way forward. The assembly/ mass meeting is THE place where the workers’ struggle can be discussed openly and decisions can be reached collectively. And it’s for this reason that there is always a great risk of all kinds of sabotage.

France: Refinery blockades are a double-edged sword

20% of the pumps are running dry and there are endless queues. So says one of the media outlets regarding the economic paralysis of the country. Workers are combative and determined while the President of the Republic bangs his fist on the table and threatens the “hooligans” with the worst reprisals. This strong image is about to make its way around the world.

The Unions lead us to defeat

There were millions of us protesting and on strike in the recent Days of Action. The government has not yet backed down. Only a mass movement can make them do this. This idea made its way into the discussions on an indefinite, general, renewable strike, bringing the economy to its knees...

A brief chronology of the struggle against pension reform in France

Below is a brief chronology of the events and different stages in the movement against pension reform which has developed in France over the past few months. We will add updates as and when new they occur.

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