I had the opportunity to discuss the current French strike and contextualize it in relationship to global class struggle on “Keeping Democracy Alive with Burt Cohen.” Click here to listen (description below). This discussion is partially based on my article in CounterPunch, “Understanding France’s General Strike in the Context of the Yellow Vests and Global Class Warfare.”
There’s been no coverage in America of the extended turmoil engulfing France since early December. But it is huge, and it is a major intensification of a worldwide struggle against neoliberal globalism. As Macron’s government and so many others aim at privatization of public services protestors are shutting down the French economy. On this show France expert Professor Gabriel Rockhill explains how the current labor action arises from the context of the Yellow Vest movements. And how established labor leaders are being overpowered by the rank and file who demand a genuinely democratic government instead of top down austerity. And how have the police reacted? According to Rockhill, France has greatly increased its police budget and they are now at the cutting edge of advanced militarized police technology. The police regularly attack peaceful crowds, a lot of injuries have occurred. And he explains that this economic and political struggle is part of the global fight against climate change, protecting the bioshphere for humans and other species.