[Marxism] French not fans of the capitalist system

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 4 14:14:29 MDT 2006


(The French don't seem to have much time today for finding fault with 
Evo Morales or the Vietnamese Communist Party for that matter, thoug
this is likely because the French, too, are under the misleadership of the
reformist betrayers of Stalinism and Social Democracy. We don't yet have
reports on what role Tony Negry, Christopher Hitchens and Marc Cooper
are playing in these events, though it's probably not for the best <g>)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Via NY Transfer News Collective  *  All the News that Doesn't Fit
 
[AP is reporting "at least a million" in the streets; PL is reporting
three million. -NY Transfer]

AP via Yahoo - Apr 4, 2006
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060404/ap_on_re_eu/france_job_protests_80

Latest Paris Demonstration Turns Violent

By JENNY BARCHFIELD
Associated Press Writer

PARIS - Demonstrators opposed to a new jobs law swarmed parts of
downtown Paris on Tuesday, throwing stones, tearing down street signs
and ripping up park benches. Riot police, firing tear gas canisters
and making several charges, carried away protesters in handcuffs.

Police said at least 1 million people poured into the streets around
the country in the latest protests against the law, which makes it
easier to fire young workers. Organizers said 3 million people
marched.

A nationwide strike shut down the Eiffel Tower and snarled air and
rail travel for the second time in a week while students barricaded
themselves in schools.

It was the second time in a week that unions and student groups had
succeeded in mobilizing such numbers. The largest march, in Paris,
drew at least 80,000 people, while 935,000 marched in other parts of
the country, police said.

Organizers put the figure in the capital at 700,000.

Violence erupted at the end of the largest protest, in Paris, with
youths pelting police with stones, fighting and using metal bars to
break up chunks of pavement that they hurled at helmeted riot
officers.

One young woman twirled flaming batons. The sounds of blowing whistles
were heard throughout the plaza.

Officers carrying batons and shields charged several times, making
arrests.

Protesters have mounted ever-larger demonstrations for two months against
the law. But President Jacques Chirac signed it anyway Sunday, saying it
will help France keep pace with the global economy.

He offered modifications, but students and unions rejected them,
saying they want the law withdrawn, not softened.

"What Chirac has done is not enough," said Rebecca Konforti, 18, who
was among a group of students who jammed tables against the door of
their high school in southern Paris to block entry. "They're not
really concessions. He just did it to calm the students."

By midday, police said at least 100,000 people had hit French streets,
including buoyant students parading through Marseille under a sunny
southern  sky  and  major marches from Nantes in the west to
Saint-Etienne in the southeast. Protests even reached the French
Indian Ocean island of Reunion, where 2,000 people marched.

Some 60 students lobbed eggs and other objects at police in the
northern city of Lille, and at least one person was detained.

Organizers, who said the turnout was in the hundreds of thousands,
hoped it would exceed the 1 million who marched last week. The
afternoon march in Paris promised to be the biggest, and the city
deployed 4,000 police to avert violence that marred previous protests.

Police actively looked to thwart troublemakers. At Paris' Saint-Lazare
station, riot officers with weapons and a police dog pulled over train
travelers disembarking from the suburbs, searching their bags and
checking identities.

Tourists, meanwhile, stood bewildered before closed gates at the
Eiffel Tower. Parisian commuters flattened themselves onto limited
subway  trains. Garbage bins in some Paris neighborhoods stood
overflowing and uncollected by striking sanitation workers.

Irish budget airline Ryanair canceled all its flights in and out of
France.

The strike appeared weaker, however, than last week's action. Signs of
a possible breakthrough began to emerge as labor leaders suggested
they could hold talks with lawmakers after Tuesday's demonstrations.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin devised the disputed "first job
contract" as a bid to boost the economy and stem chronic youth
unemployment. He maintains it would encourage hiring by allowing
employers to fire workers under 26 during their first two years on a
job without giving a reason.

The measure is meant to cut a 22 percent unemployment rate among
youths that reaches 50 percent in some poor, heavily immigrant
neighborhoods. Villepin has cited the national statistics agency as
saying it would create up to 80,000 new jobs at zero cost to the
state.

Critics say it threatens France's hallmark labor protections, and the
crisis has severely damaged Villepin's political reputation.

Chirac stepped in Friday to order two major modifications -- reducing
a trial period of two years to one year and forcing employers to
explain any firings -- in hopes of defusing the crisis. In so doing,
he dealt a blow to Villepin, his one-time top aide and apparent choice
as successor next year.

In an apparent first in France, Chirac signed the original measure
into law this weekend, as promised, but also effectively suspended it
with an order that it not be applied. The 73-year-old president's
legal sleight of hand kept the law alive while a new version is in the
works.

Now that the law has been signed, protesters have less maneuvering
room. The government appeared to be hoping that protests would die
down after Tuesday's big event and was looking to possible talks
between more moderate unions and lawmakers led by Interior Minister
Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy, a leading presidential hopeful, is the only senior government
official unscathed by the crisis.

The head of the governing UMP party's bloc in parliament, Bernard
Accoyer, told reporters he had invited labor leaders to talks.

Two labor leaders -- CFDT union chief Francois Chereque and CGT union
chief Bernard Thibault -- suggested they would attend. But both said
they hoped the law eventually would be rejected.

                                ***

Prensa Latina, Havana
http://www.plenglish.com

Three Million Protesters Rock France

Paris, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Three million students, union members and
activists marched in France Tuesday calling for strikes and protests
for annulment of the new jobs law (CPE).

General Labor Union (CGT) Secretary Bernard Thibault called it a
successful continuation of last week's "black Tuesday" when again
Paris was rocked by over three million protesters.

Thibault called to give a death blow to the CPE, which allows
employers to fire, without cause, under 26-year-olds in their first 24
months on the job.

The demonstrators say the law will make employment for youth even more
precarious -now hit nationally by 25 percent unemployment, but 40
percent in the greater Metropolitan area.

The protesters -Paris (one million), Nice and Marseille, Nantes, and
Reims- tied negotiations to the CPE annulment.

A Le Monde survey revealed over 61 percent reject the legislation and
this, along with another "Black Tuesday" sends a clear message to the
government.

hr/ccs/emw/bts
       
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