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(en) freedom news: France: Act 12 rallies in face of repression
Mon, 4 Feb 2019 10:12:49 +0200
After months of clashes, "Act 12" of the main Gilet Jaunes (yellow vest) marches today is
setting itself squarely against police and fascist violence - and calls are growing for a
general strike. ---- A fascist attack launched against a procession at Act 11 by
anti-capitalist party NPA last Saturday shook the left sections of the yellow vests.
Several groups have since pledged to join together to avoid leaving a procession of people
not ready to repel this kind of attack. ---- Much of the dynamic however is expected to
focus tomorrow around a callout of solidarity towards the families of victims of police
crimes. Several groups of Yellow Vests from Paris (Rungis, Montreuil, Belleville) are
joining this initiative, which comes as the government beefs up police powers once again
and actively tries to ban "troublemakers" from participating - alongside fines of 15,000
Euros for covering your face.
Organisers of the rally said in a statement:
Since the beginning of the Yellow Vests movement, every Saturday we have witnessed a surge
of violence throughout the country. The Macron government and its interior minister
Castaner are entirely responsible for this situation.
Obstruction of the freedom to demonstrate, women and men mutilated for life.
Zineb Redouane, 80, was seriously injured in the face by a tear gas grenade thrown by
police in her apartment, during a demonstration of Gilets Jaunes in Marseille. She died
Sunday, December 2 at the hospital. Nearly 2,000 have been injured since the beginning of
the movement, including 100 seriously wounded. Mutilated, éborgnés, hands torn off, as a
consequence of this repression.
Our solidarity is with the victims, their families, lives ruined for demonstrating for
We must remember that all this violence is part of a historical continuity, for 40 years
in the banlieus we've counted the deaths of hundreds of young people, mutilated in the
general indifference of the rest of society. All weapons used against the movement of
Yellow Vests are massively used daily in our neighborhoods.
We must demand Truth and Justice for all the victims of the police and the gendarmerie
The march is demanding, among other things prohibition of fatal immobilisation techniques,
flashballs, LBD and GLI 4, the dissolution of the hated Brigade Anti-Criminalite and a
general protester amnesty.
It comes just days before a major trade union mobilisation called by the CGT, with a
24-hour energy sector strike nominally calling for wage and pensions improvements but
aligned to the Gilet Jaunes timetable. It's the second such strike in two months, with a
48-hour walkout having happened in December.
February 5th has quickly turned into an appeal for a general strike however, and for the
last several weeks in different occupied public spaces and assemblies, yellow vests and
unions have been meeting and asking major power plant branches to widen the callout.
Paris-Lutte explained: "Trade unions are not very well represented among many yellow
vests, temporary workers, fixed-term workers, unemployed workers and employees in small
units. The street protests allowed a lot of people to finally participate in a social
movement. However, for many private and public service employees, the mobilisation
capacities of the unions remain effective. A strike that goes beyond the key areas of
labor mobilisation could be really powerful."
Several unions, including the Union Syndicale Solidaires, have declared themselves ready
to embark on a general indefinite strike. Mainstream unions such as FO, FSU and Solidaires
seem to be close to getting their act in gear as well, with strike notices been filed
ahead of time. Key however will be whether these can coalesce with sufficient force.
Pic: Acte IX by Pascal Maga
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