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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #290 - Popular movement, Libertarian Communists and Yellow Vests (2) (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]
Mon, 7 Jan 2019 09:00:10 +0200
As last month, a sample of the activity of the AL groups involved in this revolt of the "
peripheral France ". Certainly, far from us the naivety to believe that " everything
that moves is red ": this movement against the dear life is a carrier of many
contradictions. AL carries an anti-capitalist message, or shares his know-how in terms of
self-organization. With contrasting experiences: sometimes disappointing, sometimes
encouraging. ---- ANGERS: SOCIAL CLAIMS ---- Friday, December 7, AG in a room lent by the
town hall, with a hundred people. Atmosphere a little messy. The forum was made up of
administrators of Facebook groups, who consider themselves elected by the " people " of
Internet users ... They and they have thus presented what had been decided on Facebook. In
the debates, a lot of confusing interventions, even conspiracies, remarks about ordinary
sexism, but no racist remarks - a brief allusion to the Marrakech pact on migration was
blown up by the platform, which obviously feared " Infiltration " by the extreme right
and extreme left. In fact, if there was no faf known in the room, but quite a few
activists LO, AL, LFI, ATTAC, SUD, CGT ...
The " citizens ' initiative referendum " claim was brandished for a moment, but quickly
dismantled by OL activists who insisted that power was economic and that the strike had to
be launched. In the end, all the demands adopted by the GA were social. Convergence on
December 8 with the climate demonstration, on the other hand, divided participants, some
of whom did not want to " do politics ".
The demonstration of the next day gathered nearly 1,000 people in the rain ... A great
ride through the ring road, the train station, and the main axes, until a junction with
the manifest climate - finally ! Nice mess in the middle of the Christmas market, with the
flirt well upset and a little outdated, running in all directions with helmets and
shields. Activists will learn later that during this time, people were arrested while
trying to get on the train without a ticket to join the demonstrations in Paris.
TOULOUSE: A STRUCTURING FROM BELOW
AG yellow jackets of Toulouse, December 9: around 400 people (40 % of women) all
generations. Some students, precarious people of all ages, some small bosses and
craftsmen, salaried employees (private and public), pensioners. Presence of the NPA, CGA,
AL, collective Class, CGT.
This was an example of direct democracy rarely seen. The three organizers - including a
former DJ - held this masterfully. The rules were clear: no more than three minutes of
intervention per person, exclusively on the question: " For or against the structuring of
the movement ". Everyone has played the game, with a few digressions, but quickly
reframed, and towards the end a gender parity system has been introduced.
The debate centered on whether or not to have representatives to negotiate with the
government, a majority of interventions rejecting politicians. Result of the vote,
ultramajoritaire: no representative.es, but structuring from below with regular meetings.
Many interventions of a very libertarian tone on the democratic organization and distrust
vis-à-vis the institutions.
The day before, at the demo, 8,000 to 10,000 people were in the street, yellow vests and
Climate manifest having marched together. It is therefore a massification after the 2,000
of the previous week.
From the beginning, the cops, for no apparent reason, tried to split the procession with
tear gas. It took three quarters of an hour to reform the procession and several clashes
took place. The riots clearly brought together several thousand people with a big dominant
" sir / madam everyone " and, as the evening, a dominant " insurrectionalist " more
traditional. There is a popular anger rising impressively.
TOURS: SPEAKERS IN WOMEN-MEN PARITY
The success of November 17 was a big surprise: several dead spots with probably 2,000
people, and a confusing rendezvous in the city center: attempts to occupy the town hall to
hold a GA (failed), parades , blockages of the tram, who leave block elsewhere ... In the
middle of this bazaar, some activists of LO and libertarians - the sticker " general
strike "AL was successful - but no comrades NPA, neither CGT nor Solidaires ... The
extreme right, however, had jumped on the occasion - two thugs have also come to
physically threaten a comrade AL - but their crude attempt to happen, with a van covered
with posters and stickers identity, rather messed up. In the discussions, it quickly
became apparent that the price of gasoline was only one aspect of the movement, with a
very classy discourse (gifts to the rich, taxes that weigh more heavily on the poor).
Saturday, November 24: a level of police violence, and resistance never seen in Tours. The
cops attacked gassing blockades and charges from 4 pm to dusk. Many young people, not
yellow vests, joined the rebels on the barricades. This time, after the demonstration
against violence against women, the revolutionary activists, trade unionists, feminists,
etc. have joined the yellow vests in numbers. It was about the strike issue, which had to
be launched because it was the moment or never.
December 3, on the roundabout that serves as headquarters, visit CGT workers of Sanofi,
very reassembled. One of their comrades, father of three children, was mutilated by a
de-encircling grenade: burnt leg, hand torn off. Decided to join the movement, they were
urged to challenge the UD CGT to call it also. Meeting the same day, the departmental
office of Solidaires, very reluctant at the start, jumped the pace by calling the protest
against the police repression, and more broadly to join the movement.
The following days, at the GA that caused structuring, AL comrades proposed the parity of
the parolate: a man, a woman, otherwise there would be too much " couillus " in national
representation. It went without difficulty and obviously with a good reception on the side
of women. The GA then wanted to enjoin the other departments to do the same, but how ? Who
to join, except Facebook pages ?
On December 8 the number of protesters quadrupled, before a sharp decline on the 15th. On
Monday 17, in a big hall, a real GA finally decided a collective and democratic
functioning, with at least one assembly a week. It also made a return on the initial
demands, overshadowed by the " popular initiative referendum " (RIC): lower taxes and
VAT on essential products, return of the ISF, increase in income ( wages, pensions and
social minima) ...
ISSOIRE: MEETING WITH UNIONS ON THE INDUSTRIAL ZONE
Not always easy convergence yellow vests-red vests, but the best way to relieve distrust
is to meet. On 7 December, a comrade from AL offered yellow jackets to block the
industrial area of Issoire (Puy-de-Dôme) together with the CGT union and employees of
Constellium, a large metallurgical plant in the area where he was working until recently.
General approval, though a little incredulous. Shortly thereafter, the comrade makes the
proposal at a union meeting of the factory. Moderate enthusiasm: Must see ... Must discuss
with other unions at the local union ...
A week passes, and the CGT actually begins to prepare an action on the industrial zone for
December 14, in connection with mandatory annual negotiations (NAO) ... but without making
contact with the yellow vests. For their part, they speak of mounting a block with 200
people from roundabouts around, but questioned strongly: what is the CGT ? What does the
CGT want ?
The comrade of AL is therefore a little forcing for a delegation CGT meets the yellow
vests, otherwise we go to a big failure. It works, but a little late. On the 13th of
December, the day before the action, three cégétistes, including a Federal Metallurgy
Officer, went to the busy roundabout, transformed into a small village - huts, sofas,
kitchen - and were greeted warmly, " as at the house ".
The exchanges are courteous and diplomatic, but without complacency. The local
spokespersons of the yellow vests explain their role, how they were elected, do not hide
the mistrust that exists vis-à-vis the unions, but assure that there is a wish to discuss
and why not to build common actions. The Cégétistes, for their part, assure their kindness
towards a good part of the claims, but underline that they will refuse any questioning of
the social contributions, and that their role it is above all the defense of the employees
in the boxes.
It lasts more than an hour and it's really very interesting, especially when it comes to
discussing action. The CGT, cautious, thinks that only 150 employees on several thousand
in the industrial zone will strike on December 14. Under these conditions, it does not
plan to block, but simply different from leaflets to portals. Disappointed, the yellow
vests ensure that they can bring the world, but only if it is to block. Moment of Flutter
... So, are we blocking or not ? And the cementists concede: OK, but it's the yellow vests
that will lead the dance ; the CGT, it will help logistics (leaflets, barnum ...). It is
very appreciated and it reassures the yellow vests which, behind, began to pester. Market
concluded, we separate with good handshakes.
On the way back, the cementists admit to having been impressed by the self-organization of
yellow vests, with almost no means.
The next day however, the joint action is lame. As expected, the CGT call to the strike
was only modestly heard, by a hundred employees at the portals and distributing leaflets
at the junction of factories. But the crossing, it is not blocked by the yellow vests,
which put their forces on another block. Only a fortnight filter trucks on three tracks
... with a disconcerting support of motorists !
This first joint action, a little messy, however, will have beautiful consequences: red
vests went to lend a hand to the yellow vests against the thorns of a local boss Carrefour
came to threaten the roundabout. In return, the assembly of yellow vests voted to support
the strike of December 18, and the blocking of the industrial zone if the CGT tried the blow.
LORIENT: CONTRASTS AND CONTRADICTIONS OF APOLITISM
In this sub-prefecture of Morbihan, the official " apolitism " and the real
interclassism muddle the claims. On December 6, a general assembly brought together a
hundred people, including a few AL comrades, in a private garage. Rudimentary but
effective device: micro and tires as a pedestal. From the beginning, a yellow waistcoat
reminded that the movement had no leader, but " lecturers " to distribute the word.
These included voting a list of claims. Any proposal receiving less than 25 % of "
against Was considered adopted. Thus were adopted from the policy (dismissal of Macron,
abolition of privileges of elected officials, referendum citizen initiative), the social
(decrease of VAT on essential products, recovery of the ISF, increase of Smic, tax on
luxury products and / or pollutants ...) and antisocial (lower employer contributions for
micro-businesses and indexation of contributions on profits). Universal income has been
massively rejected. Finally, some proposals, which raised the misunderstanding, were
carried over to the next GA, under the heading " to reformulate ": tax on kerosene and
air and sea diesel ; increase in pensions and salaries ; questioning of the CICE and the
flat tax; equal sharing of wealth ; development of renewable energies ; nationalization of
banks, insurance and energy ; respect for the rights of handicapped persons, children and
the homeless ... There was no claim for nor against the migrants.
After this first rather mixed round, the next GA on December 13 brought together about 80
people, without being able to clarify things, except the sudden enthusiasm for the new
Grail, which is the " citizens ' initiative referendum ". The animation of the AG was
more authoritarian, with a lot of anti-union hints, we felt the weight of small traders
The paradox is that on December 8, out of 700 people who walked for the climate, there
were a hundred yellow vests, gladly taking up the slogans launched by AL and linking
social justice and ecology. And that on December 14, yellow vests, red vests and
struggling high school students demonstrated together, before blocking a roundabout
together. The truth is that the yellow vests that we see in action and demonstration are
not really the same as those who go to AG ! In short, a shifting situation, which calls
for a differentiated intervention.
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