---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Giorgos Mitralias <giorgos.mitral...@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 00:00

[image: Γαλλία]
*France: The historic counterattack of the workers' movement puts the
political system itself in deep crisis!*

By *Yorgos Mitralia**s*

*What is happening in France this March 2023? What is happening is that
France is now well into a - very promising - social and political crisis
that is beginning to be compared only with those of May 68 and 1936! That
is to say, that it is already experiencing one of those rare bouts of
struggle of its people to which we have become accustomed over the last
three centuries!*

And we explain. Its unprecedented political crisis consists in the fact
that its neoliberal government, or rather "Macronia" as the French use to
call the Macron regime, is now in a situation where it is always caught
between a rock and a hard place: anything it does automatically results in
its abject defeat, which further exacerbates its impasse! Isolated not only
in society, with disapproval rates reaching and in some cases exceeding 82%
(!), but also in Parliament where she no longer has even a relative
majority even when supported by the - once powerful and now disintegrating
- traditional right (of Chirac, Sarkozy, etc.), Macronia is now subjected
to the curses and censures of (her own) media, and of the until yesterday
(very well disposed) employers, big business and other decision-making
centres! The reason is simple and understandable: the "irresponsible and
reckless" arrogant and egotistical Macron has done everything in his power
not only to revive a workers' movement in permanent crisis and aphasia, but
also to unite it and make it the *major protagonist of the most central
social and political developments in the country.*(1)

Of course, nothing falls from the sky, and all these media and
decision-making centres would now be praising Macron and his Macronia if
the labour movement, which has been striking, blocking and demonstrating en
masse for almost three months now, had not resisted tooth and nail to its
pension (anti-)reform. And precisely because it has done and is doing all
this, *this militant labour movement is now managing to rally around itself
broader popular masses,* even going so far as to inspire and bring down to
the streets and strikes social categories, such as, for example, business
executives or several liberal professions, who, traditionally, flirt with
the "above" while not being distinguished for their sympathy for the

The irrefutable witness to all these feats of the labour movement is the
continuous public opinion polls, which now reach the extraordinary figure
of 82% of French citizens opposing the use of the infamous Article 49.3 by
Macron and his Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to pass their (anti)reform
bill. Or the perhaps even more incredible 49% of French people who are now
not only in favour of industrial action (this always exceeds 70%) but in
favour of blocking the country even with actions that until yesterday were
considered by them to be criminal or even almost...terrorist!

However, all this is nothing but the background of a reality which, since
the use of the infamous 49.3, has tended to evolve into a situation of
generalised social and political paroxysm, with historical stakes and a
completely uncertain final outcome. Indeed, everyone - enemies and friends
alike - agrees that we are already witnessing the passage of the crisis
into a qualitatively superior phase, not only because the stakes are now
much higher than the pension (anti-)reform, but also because this is what
more and more of the crisis' protagonists, both anonymous and anonymous,
firmly believe and are beginning to put into practice when *they do not
hesitate to refer to two very eloquent historical precedents: May 68 or -
even more so - the revolution of 1789!*

So what are the French workers, together with their supporters, doing in
this qualitatively superior phase of their mobilisation? They are no longer
confining themselves to striking, and are moving on to new forms of
struggle more adapted to contemporary realities: having learned a lot from
the "yellow vests" movement, they are blocking key economic and other
centres such as: refineries, electricity and gas plants, roads and
interchanges, city entrances, administrative centres, government offices,
airports, railway stations, ports, waste management and incineration
centres, and all kinds of facilities, including those of Macronia's leaders
and Mps.

But not only that anymore. The same evening of the day that they saw Macron
use the 49. 3, thousands of French people spontaneously poured into the
streets of dozens of cities, and in too many cases clashed for hours with
riot police when they made their (class) anger very palpable in the
sanctuaries of the mega-bourgeoisie, such as in the area around the Place
de la Concorde in Paris, home to the Parliament, ministries and
presidential and other mansions, embassies, and perhaps the world's most
expensive jewellery stores. But this was not a simple outburst. It was the
same thing the following days, as the following conclusion and decision is
general: after months of doing everything from strikes to the most massive
peaceful demonstrations in decades, without Macron making the slightest
concession, we have no choice but to harden our struggle more and more,
following the example of the "yellow vests", who, after all, were the only
ones who forced Macron to back down! And this is exactly what we see them
doing now all over the country...

Of course, nothing has yet been definitively decided as we are only now
entering the final (?) phase of the showdown and even as the powerful
French far-right is lurking and can benefit even though it is conspicuously
absent from the mobilisations. But one thing is certain: *the French labour
movement is no longer limited to defending itself but is now going on the
counter-offensive, already threatening to overthrow not only the government
but also the Macronia leader himself,* while at the same time paving the
way for the fulfilment of its even more ambitious social and political
objectives, which are beginning to appear on the horizon. If anything, the
days, weeks and months ahead will be particularly crucial for the
continuation of this historic French class conflict. We therefore close
this text with exactly the same sentence as we closed the previous one:
Beware of France since it is always true that when France catches a cold,
all of Europe sneezes!...


See our three previous articles on the same subject:

[image: Γαλλία]

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