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(en) France, UCL AL #315 = culture, Culture: Occupy theater! (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 15 May 2021 09:46:55 +0300

In March, the entertainment workers occupied theaters that had been closed for twelve months to draw attention to their plight and claim their right to exist. The reopening of the rooms, desired by the management, remains under debate. ---- The very symbolic Odeon theater - which was covered with red and black flags in May 68 - was once again occupied! From March 4, a blossoming of occupations followed, with more than 60 cultural places taken over by culture workers and their supporters. ---- The demands are made by the CGT-Spectacle, SUD-Culture et Médias and the Coordination of intermittent and precarious workers (CIP), a group whose name refers to the social movement of 2003. The stake: the withdrawal of the reform unemployment insurance[1]and the extension of the rights of performers and technicians beyond August 31, 2021 (deadline for the white year), and at least for one year after the total recovery of the sector cultural.

There is also a demand for the extension of this measure to all precarious workers excluding intermittence - extras and seasonal workers, temporary workers, fixed-term contracts, students entering the labor market, incoming intermittent authors, on maternity or sick leave. .

The occupiers are also asking for the establishment of an exceptional policy of support for artistic creation, in particular in the form of public commissions. But the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot chooses to maintain the vagueness instead of responding to the demands. What about the issue of reopening cultural venues? It is especially desired by the directors of cinemas (and their employers' union, the Syndeac), eager to resume their programming. These departments have also readily consented to the occupations, hoping to recover their media coverage to challenge the public authorities.

Occupation of Theater Odeon, Paris, March 8, 2021.
Photograph by Martin Noda / Hans Lucas. Red photo library
Within the occupation movement, however, the question is still under debate: in Marseille, the GA declared itself in favor of reopening "in compliance with health instructions", also in Caen ("Shops and places of worship are open , why not our places of culture?").

Performing artists are the most demanding, for existential but also social reasons (performances are generally better paid than rehearsals)[2]. The SFA-CGT (artists) and the Synptac-CGT (technicians and administrative staff) are also calling for the reopening. But in other busy places, such as Toulouse, it is not in the priorities. In the end, the third lockdown, announced on March 18, somewhat stifled the debate.

By reappropriating these places in March, the occupiers have made them laboratories of direct democracy where unions and autonomous collectives have brought back to the fore the demands defended for months, even years on unemployment insurance and on the regularly attacked "status" of the intermittence of the spectacle. For the public and users, this enabled people to speak out to affirm their solidarity and reaffirm that we all need the cultural sector.

Lucie (UCL Amiens), Aurel (UCL Toulouse)

[1]Read "Between virus and bosses: intermittent · es on the grill", Alternative libertaire, September 2020.

[2]Read "Live show: the drama of the performing arts", Alternative libertaire, February 2021.

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