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France: Third Day of General Strike and Actions, Conflicts in Several Cities, Oil Workers on Strike, Students enter the Mix…

Yesterday marked the third day (not consecutive) of general strike actions and protests against the French governments planned changes to the current retirement system. Many sectors had already showed signs of wanted to take the step towards an unlimited general strike as of this day, and there was also much expectation (or fear, depending on which side you are on) as to what role the high school and university students would begin playing in the movement.

While the massive unlimited general strike with the power to paralyze the country and force the government to retreat does not seem to have erupted, the movement again yesterday showed that it constantly grows and seems to be prepared for a drawn out struggle with the government. What follows is a, very arbitrary and incomplete, round up of the different demonstrations, actions, strikes, and acts of repression noted across France.

A blockaded Paris high school

In general, high adhesion to the strike can be seen in transport sectors, and currently 10 of Frances 12 oil refineries are on indefinite strike. Over 300 high schools were on strike (most of them blockaded, as can be seen below) on Tuesday, and still today over 100 are reporting „disturbances.“ The teachers unions are calling for further strike actions as of Thursday, and a further day of demonstrations is planned for Saturday. While the movement seems to continue growing, so does frustration amongst many who see the isolated one day strike actions as a waste of their time, energy, and money, preferring instead a one week or longer strike action that would have more economic consequences for the French economy.

*Paris: Reports of several hundred thousand people at the mass demonstration, including libertarian blocs from the CNT and Anarchist Federation reaching a combined total of over 3.000 people. After the end of the main demonstration, approximately 1000 people continued on a more action oriented demonstration, engaging in some conflicts with the police before dispersing.

A good first hand report is again available (in German) at Je ne Comprends Pas, and in French (with pictures) at Beton Arme, a Parisian Anarchist Federation group.

Ive never even heard of this place, but apparently 100 demonstrators invaded the offices of the Mayor and ransacked them. No reports of arrests.

*Caen: After the main demonstration, almost 1.000 people continued on to the offices of the Medef (boss „union“). Confrontations ensued with the cops guarding the building, one demonstrator was unfortunately seriously injured after being shot with a tear gas canister in the head.

*Toulouse: Police attempted to arrest people who they accused of spraypainting slogans during the demonstration. The solidarity of other demonstrators leads to successful unarrests. In response to this, police raid the homes of the accused activists in the morning hours.

Meanwhile, in Germany hope dies last. At least some people still try to create their own hope. In that regard, the ARAB has released a nice mobilization video, to the tune of „Which Side Are You On?“ from US Latino hip-hop band Rebel Dias.

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