Hospital workers strike spreads throughout France By Anthony Torres

15 August 2019 — WSWS

The strike by French hospital workers against the Macron administration’s healthcare legislation, which came into force in March, is spreading throughout the country. Of the 478 emergency services in the country, 216 are now involved in the movement that began in March and involved 80 hospitals by June.

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French intelligence strategy document warns of “insurrectional violence” By Will Morrow

19 July 2019 — WSWS

The French national intelligence and counterterrorism organization quietly released the first update to its five-year public strategy document on Monday. The report—which was uploaded to a ministerial website and not accompanied by any presidential press release—states that the role of France’s counterterrorism agencies is to fight “subversive movements” and the threat of “insurrectional violence” in the population.

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Tired of Being Ignored, Refugees in Calais Are Learning to Do Their Own Press

7 July 2019 — Novara Media

On a sunny afternoon in June, thirty people from Sudan, Iran and Ethiopia gathered in the quiet back room of a local day centre near the port of Calais in northern France. One man volunteered to translate from English to Arabic so everybody present could understand, as a coach explained how to take control and set the agenda when speaking to journalists.

Life After a French Revolution: What Next for the Protest Camp That Won? by Greg Frey

30 May 2019 — Novara Media

Two things are clear when entering France’s infamous Zone to Defend, or Zad: this is a reclaimed space and a divided territory.

The handmade cabins, the welcome messages scribbled over road signs and the empty tear gas canisters littering the fields show how these 4,000 acres have been salvaged from the states’ plans to turn them into an airport. Under this central struggle another one lurks. The defaced map of the zone and the spray-painted message ‘Zad for Sale’ on the lighthouse, show how the end of the airport project has divided the Zad’s inhabitants. When I asked a long-term inhabitant, he described this as the latest feature of the zone’s ongoing “civil war”.

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China – and Macron’s U-Turn By Peter Koenig

1 April 2019 — New Eastern Outlook

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Less than a week ago, President Macron was lambasting Italy for signing agreements with China in the context of their New Silk Road, alias President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), in the same breath he was criticizing China for attempting to undermine Europe with new trade individual country deals under the pretext of BRI. However, Italy, also scolded by Brussels for her single-handed deals with China, was, in fact, the first G7 country for signing a number of contracts with China to use Italian ports under the BRI, making Italy also the first official EU partner of China’s BRI.

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Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests By Tom Luongo

27 March 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Globalism’s Last Disgrace: The Army vs. the Yellow Vests

There are few people in this world more odious than French President Emmanuel Macron after his behavior this week. I’m sure there are child molesters who are worse. But as a man who is pivotal in the future of hundreds of millions of people, his decision to order the French military to quell the Yellow Vests protests with live ammunition is simply vile.

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Economist Frédéric Lordon’s Letter to Emmanuel Macron: “Hand Over the Keys”

23 March 2019 — Novara Media

In response to the explosive yellow vests (gilets jaunes) movement, French president Emmanuel Macron announced the “Great Debate” – a vast, unprecedented nationwide exercise in consulting citizens on how to fix France’s problems – starting in December 2018 and ending this March. Attempting to shore up his legitimacy and dampen contestation, Macron travelled the country engaging in lengthy debates with locally elected mayors. With his tour ending on 15 March, the yellow vests flocked to Paris, ransacking the Champs-Élysées and joining in two other large, simultaneous protests: one for climate justice, the other against state racism and police violence.

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What Colour is Your Vest? By Stefan Kipfer and Karen Wirsig

14 February 2019 — The Bullet

The Gilets Jaunes Revolt Shaking France

In 1934, the political situation in France was tense and uncertain. The year began with a mobilization of royalist and fascist militias (on February 6) that were followed immediately (on February 9 and 12) by a response from the Communist and Socialist wings of the workers movement. As Norbert Guterman and Henri Lefebvre reported, “all these men are ready for the concrete liberation a revolution would bring – and perhaps also, unfortunately, the mystique and brutal mythology of the fascists” (1999 [1936], 143, trans. SK). When these lines were written in the mid-1930s, France was experiencing a rising tide of grassroots anti-fascist politics culminating in the strike waves of the early days of the Popular Front government. Yet Lefebvre and Guterman’s warning was well-placed. The Popular Front disintegrated due to many contradictions, ultimately giving rise to Marshall Pétain’s collaborationist administration, France’s contribution to fascist regime politics.

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France: Yellow Vests and Red Unions Strike Together

10 February 2019 — PM Press

Macron Prepares New Repressive Measures

On Tues, Feb. 5, as the Macron government pushed harsh repressive laws against demonstrators through the National Assembly, the Yellow Vests joined with France’s unions for the first time in a day-long, nation-wide “General Strike.”

At the very moment when in Paris the lower house was voting to implement Macron’s proposed laws designed to suppress public demonstrations (a legal right protected in both the French Constitution and the U.N. Human Rights Declaration) tens of thousands of their constituents were out in the streets all over the country demonstrating and striking against Macron’s authoritarian, neo-liberal government. The demonstrators’ demands ranged from better salaries and retirement benefits, restoration of public services, equitable tax codes, an end to police brutality, and banning the use of “flash-balls” on demonstrators, to Macron’s resignation and the instauration of participatory democracy.

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