• Yellow Vests and Red Unions Strike Together

    On Tuesday, February 5, as the government of Emmanuel Macron 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.” Keep reading »

  • What Colour is Your Vest?

    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 … Keep reading »

  • Seasons Greetings from France’s Yellow Vests: “We Are Not Tired”

    Is the Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) rebellion, now in its seventh week, “petering out?” Such was the near-unanimous pronouncement of the mainstream media, when I returned home to Montpellier, France, eager to participate and to observe first-hand this popular insurrection which I had been afraid of missing. I needn’t have worried. By nine o’clock last … Keep reading »

  • Yellow Vest Protest Movement: Inequality and the Hollowness of the French Regime

    Ignored by French President Emmanuel Macron, distorted by the media, courted by the Right, snubbed by the Left, the self-organized mass movement known as the Yellow Vests (Mouvement des gilets jaunes) is seriously challenging the political and economic order in France. In Paris, on the morning of Saturday December 1st, as thousands of self-organized Yellow … Keep reading »

  • French Railworkers on Strike

    The philosopher Étienne Balibar is one of the figures behind the solidarity fund in support of striking railworkers in France – a fund that now stands close to €1-million. Responding to questions from workers who are taking part in the rolling strike action, Balibar emphasized the need for what he calls “collective resistance against social … Keep reading »

  • Where Are the Riots of Yesteryear? Remembering May 1968

    This month marks the 50th anniversary of the wave of radical revolts and revolutionary uprisings that startled the world in 1968 and which – although ultimately crushed by the forces of reaction that dominate the world to this day – left in its wake rights so fundamental that we tend to take them for granted … Keep reading »

  • France: Student Strikers Attacked; ‘Fascist’ Dean Jailed

    Student strikers attacked at Montpellier University in France; Dean of the University held over in jail for arraignment by the Chief Prosecutor. Analysis of the strikes in France by Richard Greeman. Keep reading »

  • France: Unions, Left Confront Macron’s Attacks on Rail Services and Jobs

    France is once again on the brink of an all-out industrial war – and its outcome could transform the country’s political landscape. The showdown is over the plans that President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe have for the state-owned National Railway Company (SNCF), which have been described by Le Monde as “the biggest … Keep reading »

  • Casualization as a Social Model in France? Definitely No!

    On August 31st, the French government finally published decrees which alter labour law, for the second time in little over a year. Less rights for workers, more power for employers: that is, in a nutshell, the contents of this new law. This further social retrenchment goes much further than the previous reform (so-called “El-Khomri Law”), … Keep reading »

  • Questions and Implications of the French Elections: Mélenchon, La France Insoumise, Populism

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s presidential and legislative campaign this year was different from the previous ones. There was a huge change in the relationship to political parties in general and to his former Left Front allies in particular. It’s important to understand the reasons for this change, as well as the implications and the specific context in … Keep reading »

  • Sunday’s French Election

    The good news this May was that French voters rejected far-right Marine Le Pen by a two-to-one margin in the second round of the Presidential election. “At least the French are not schmucks as the Americans!” were the first words that passed the sweet lips of my Provençal partner Elyane when the radio announced Le … Keep reading »

  • ‘Things are serious’: Update on the French Presidential Election

    “C’est grave,” (things are serious) said the monsieur who sells me the papers every morning. A resident of Mantes-la-Jolie (a working class town at the western edge of the Paris region), he laments a lack of clarity on the dangers of the Front National (FN) not only among colleagues and neighbours but also parties and … Keep reading »