Theses on the spring 2006 students' movement in France

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Theses on the spring 2006 students' movement in France
Printer-friendly version

The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Theses on the spring 2006 students' movement in France. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

female students in struggle

Spurred on by reading a truly explosive student leaflet  against the "ideological vomit" of chavismo and its followers in Venezuela, which is available on this site, I began looking for more stuff about radicalized students and found the ICC's Theses on the 2006 Student Movement in France. There are a number of  good things to  be found here: including analytical comparisons between how students and young people now (2006)  regard their lives, work and education, and what was the case in '68!  Young folk now come off best, being more thoughtful, more conscious of capitalist reality, much less needlessly violent, and much more prepared to reach out to workers, and the less priveleged and unemployed youths living in those working class prisons called housing estates, and thus reduced to pointless violence and destruction.  (NB. The Venezuelan leaflet I referred to even regards the universities themselves, with their "liberal" or "Gramscian" views of education, as nothing but ideological prisons, and conditioning machines at the service of the bourgeoisie. Which of course they are.) 

The ICC's  thesis 17 on the student movement in France, 2006, and its proletarian nature, is noticeable for what it has to say about female students and their developing function in struggle


ICC wrote:

17) One of the reasons for the great maturity of the current movement, especially on the question of violence, is the very strong participation of young women and girls in the movement. It is well known that at this age, young women are generally more mature than their male comrades. Moreover, on the question of violence it is clear that women in general are less likely to be dragged onto this terrain than men. In 1968, female students also participated in the movement but when the barricades became its main symbol, the role they were given was often that of supporting the masked “heroes” standing at the height of the barricades, of being nurses to the wounded and bringing sandwiches so that the young men could revive themselves in between clashes with the CRS. This is not at all the case today. On the picket lines at the university gates, there have been many female students and their attitude has exemplified  the meaning that the movement has inspired in  the pickets: not a means of intimidation towards those who wanted to get to their classes, but a means of explaining, of arguing and persuading. In the general assemblies and the various commissions, even if, in general, the female students are less “loud-mouthed” and less involved in political organisations, they have been a key element in the organisation, discipline and effectiveness of the assemblies and commissions, as well as in their capacity for collective reflection. The history of the proletarian struggle has shown that the depth of a movement can be measured to some degree by the proportion of women workers involved in it. In “normal” times, working class women, because they are subjected to an even more stifling oppression than the men, are as a general rule less involved in social movements. It is only when these movements attain a great depth that the most oppressed layers of the proletariat throw themselves into the struggle and into the general reflection going on in the class. The high degree of participation by young women and girls in the current movement, the key role they are playing within it, is an added indication not only of the authentically proletarian nature of the movement but also of its depth.