France in Flames




“a powerful movement has erupted in response to an attempt to raise the retirement age”

“Macron and his henchmen have attempted to crush this movement by escalating police violence to lethal extremes”

“While French police have never shied from using military weapons to subdue rebellious crowds—for example, during the Yellow Vest movement and the eviction of the ZAD in Notre-Dame-des-Landes in 2018—it is unusual for them to target elected officials, unions, students, and children as well as the black bloc. In many cases, the entire crowd responded with collective anger, which is also unusual”

“the cops were not trying to grab people, but to inflict physical and emotional damage, in hopes of dissuading the many people who were taking to the streets for the first time from returning. Whether they succeeded or not remains to be seen”

“A part of supporting the strike is resisting “réquisitions.” Despite the right to strike being written into the French Constitution, there is a legal provision that allows the local government (la Préfecture) to force strikers back to work if the strike puts the economy at risk. In Le Havre, the blockade remained strong, but the state has been carrying out réquisitions across the country, especially in the field of energy. This confirms that the strike is working, as there is usually a delay between refineries shutting down and fuel shortages beginning, but it also indicates that the government is prepared to send the cops to people’s houses in order to force them back to work”

“On Saturday March 25, 30,000 people assembled in Sainte-Soline, a small town near Poitiers, to protest the privatization of water and the excavation of the biggest of the industrial “mega-basins” in France”

“Under police fire, with over four thousand GM2L grenades falling from the sky, any distinction between the black bloc, the union leaders, politicians, and the rest of the people in the march evaporated. More than two hundred people were injured, many of them severely”

“The police intentionally fired at the part of the field where the wounded were being treated. They blocked the ambulances and did their best to make it impossible to take the injured to the hospital in time to treat their injuries. As a consequence of this intentionally murderous strategy, as of now, two people remain in critical condition, in grave danger of death. Many more have been permanently mutilated, some losing eyes”

“we fight for water, we fight against the privatization of life, we fight against the state that protects the interests of the few instead of defending the lives of the many”

“hands point to a projectile right above our heads. What is it? Tear gas, sting-ball grenade? Identify it, evaluate the trajectory, the risk, run a little, feel our eardrums burst from the nearby explosion. Ears ringing for a couple of minutes”

“What’s hidden behind all of this? A lake, water that belongs to everyone pumped and stored for the few”

“Yes, yes, we have numbers, we’re the mass. it’s all we have against the military-grade weapons that are raining down on us, that cut our legs off, that tear our limbs apart”

“Evacuating the wounded, reuniting with the crew. Perceiving the shock by the look in the others’ eyes, assessing injuries, attempting a few words. A comrade breaks down in tears, we huddle close. Absurd, uneven, dangerous”

“many people attended a nationwide mobilization against the “Loi Asile et Immigration”

“This law, the next one on Macron’s oppressive agenda, will severely reduce the rights of migrants, facilitating the imprisonment and deportation of exiled and undocumented people on French land.”

“While the number of people who attended that protest was nothing close to the number of people who are protesting against the pension reform, we are slowly building ties connecting anti-racist resistance and solidarity with wider resistance against the government”

“While the government’s perverse rhetoric should not shape our actions, it is important to puncture the narratives that they are trying to propagate. Essentially, Macron is using the same strategy he used to suppress the Yellow Vests. He is blaming the protesters for the injuries that police inflict on them, in order to infantilize and discredit those who defend themselves against the police and to justify the escalation of police repression”

“This circular rhetoric is already at play in Darmanin’s lies about the events in Sainte-Soline, as explored in the analysis “The Trap of Sainte-Soline.””

“Darmanin has initiated a legal process targeting the collective “Les Soulèvements de la Terre” for “dissolution,” equating ecological sabotage with terrorism by claiming that many of the protesters at Sainte-Soline are long-time “A-listed dangerous individuals” (“fichés S” in the French counter-information databases)”

“Facing down the police is not a matter of bringing symmetrical force to bear against them, but of outflanking them. It requires outsmarting them as they attempt to isolate and corner us, whether physically or discursively. It means escalating all together, uncontrollably, as a network too extensive to surround—moving, merging, branching off, changing course, and innovating more rapidly than they can keep up with, and doing so on every kind of terrain, from the streets themselves to the narrative about what is taking place in them”

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