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(en) France: Report on CPE demos in southern France [it]

Date Tue, 21 Mar 2006 17:27:36 +0200

Throughout France, over a million people on the streets in support of the
battle against the already-approved CPE ("Contract of first employment"). In
Nice, there were about 10,000 of us (a rather more realistic figure than the
wildly exaggerated ones provided by the organizers). We got together in a
red'n'black sector with the CNT-Syndicat Interprofessionnel Alpes Maritimes,
with a truck, sound system, flags, leaflets, etc. Good news from the Marseilles
demo, where there were 100,000 demonstrators. The CNT and SUD sectors were well
populated, 300-odd with the SUD and around 100 with the CNT. At the end of the
Marseilles demo, the police charged and used tear gas, arresting 2 people in
front of the Municipality, where a large group of anarchists and others had
gathered. One young demonstrator managed to climb onto the balcony and hoist
Alternative Libertaire's red and black flag in place of the French tricolour.

It now seems that the mainstream unions have finally decided on a national
general strike to be held on 28th March.

The government has two ways out - either it decides to cool things down by
suspending the CPE scheme (but not cancelling it), or it modifies the system as
the Medef has suggested (reducing the trial period from 2 years to 1).

Time is on the side of the government as with the arrival of exam time and the
holidays, there is the risk of ending up like in 2003, when the pension reform
was approved during the summer. However, there is still a great deal at stake.
Altogether, about 70 universities are either occupied or blockaded (including
Nice, where there is a strike and lessons in the Literature faculty have been
suspended). However, the movement, which is being driven mostly by secondary
school students, has yet to enjoy much in the way of radical participation from
workers, something which sparked off various direct actions and coalitions
between students, workers and precarious workers during the course of 2003.
Something else which has changed is the increasing use of rioting, justified by
its authors as the most efficient way to force the government to withdraw the

It goes without saying that it is of the utmost importance to extend the front
to include precarious workers in general, particularly given that the CNE
(which affects all workers, irrespective of age) was introduced in the summer
without any substantial response other than in radical sectors of the trade
unions, such as CNT and others. Unless there is a determined and autonomous
mobilization it will not be possible to push back the wave of labour

Finally, a member of the SUD-PTT grassroots union is in a serious condition in
hospital following the riots in Paris and police are currently under
investigation. The government is absolutely terrified that someone might die as
a result of the clashes, as this has in the past caused the downfall of a

FdCA Alpi Marittime


CPE: Contrat Première Embauche (Contract of first employment)
SUD: Solidaires, Unitaires, Démocratiques - grassroots trade union
CNT: Confédération nationale du travail - anarcho-syndicalist union
Medef: Mouvement des Entreprises de France - French employers' federation
CNE: Contrat Nouvel Embauche (Contract of new employment)

From: Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale-A-fdca.it>
To: a-infos-en@ainfos.ca
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