Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

France: Mass movement erupts

An impressive movement has been spreading all across France since early March. The movement erupted in response to anti-worker legislation put forward by the Valls/Hollande government.

The laws, which will see wages slashed, working conditions undermined and job security reduced, have been met with great furore by French workers and young people. Hundreds of local, independently organised strike actions, marches and blockades have been organised in dozens of cities.

Alongside actions organised by the trade unions a movement dubbed Nuit Debout (comparable to Occupy) has facilitated open discussions about the problems affecting French working class people by holding general assemblies and speak-outs.

The assemblies have been positive but there is a need for greater unity between Nuit Debout and the trade unions. The movement as a whole needs a far-sighted leadership that can link the issues raised in the assemblies to the industrial action. A clear set of demands is needed that puts the needs of ordinary people before the profits of a few.

If the movement can unify and organise a general strike the government could be forced to retreat. Such a struggle could set a precedent for how to effectively respond to anti-worker attacks and lay the basis for a change to the capitalist system.

By Jorden Griggs

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