For a massive and noisy May Day

The article by NPA - Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste discusses the ongoing protests against the pension reform in France, highlighting the government's authoritarian policies, and the need for continued mobilisation to build an anti-capitalist alternative and achieve social justice.

 

Macron would like to blow the whistle for the end of the match by imposing on us “one hundred days of appeasement” to turn the page on the pensions battle. But in reality our determination remains intact and, wherever it goes, the government is greeted by casserolades [1] because there will be no peace without withdrawal. So we must not give up and must make 1 May the beginning of a new sequence of mobilization, with strikes, blockades and demonstrations.

For the anniversary of his re-election, Macron, standing tall, displayed a disconcerting self-satisfaction about his record, which contrasts with the casserolades that still resounded everywhere on Monday 24 April. In an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien, he unsurprisingly insisted on the “legitimacy” of his reform, the usefulness of which would have been misunderstood by opponents who, according to him, only know how to make noise and indulge in incivilities. The anger of millions of people for more than three months is thus trampled on by an illegitimate government.

Wearing a sprig of Lily of the valley (muguet) is traditional on May Day. Here the flowers are depicted as saucepans.
Wearing a sprig of Lily of the valley (muguet) is traditional on May Day. Here the flowers are depicted as saucepans.

Macron dares to say that this reform “gives France back some muscle” and allows future projects to be opened. Basically, it means continuing to destroy our social gains and the planet. In terms of form, it reinforces the practices of authoritarian governance, the use of force in the Assembly or in the street, practices symbolised by the equally assumed refusal to consider police violence, even though this is becoming institutionalised. Worse still, Macron is camped out as an opponent of the RN while at the same time announcing a tougher migration policy. In Mayotte, the hunt for the poor and immigrants via the “Wuambushu” operation will worsen an already dramatic situation and offer Darmanin a laboratory for his migration policy.

By reinforcing the political crisis, by carrying out an authoritarian, racist and anti-social policy, the government is rolling out a red carpet to the fascists in ambush, who dream of feeding on the disillusionment of the social movement.

The Zbeul Olympics [2]

For more than a week now, not a day has gone by without a trip by a member of the Macronie being disrupted by actions and demonstrations. The phenomenon has become so widespread that more than a dozen ministerial trips have been cancelled in the space of a week, and the ministries communicate at the last moment to announce the ministers’ agendas. This was the case for the trip of the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, to Lyon on 24 April, which was announced less than two hours in advance, but which was severely disrupted… until the return to Paris, at the Gare de Lyon, when Ndiaye was forced to leave the station through a back door and under police escort.

The “JO du Zbeul”, as they are now called, are not just the work of a few radical left-wing activists, but bear witness to the extent and depth of the rejection of the pension counter-reform and, more globally, of the Macron regime. Everywhere they go, they are awaited by tens, hundreds, even thousands of demonstrators, determined to make their lives impossible. And that’s good! Far from admitting defeat, more and more people are convinced that it is urgent to stop this government which is leading us ever further into the wall and to break with an anti-democratic institutional regime which establishes that a handful of elected representatives are more legitimate than the opinion and mobilisation of the majority.

Mobilisation to build an anti-capitalist alternative

There will be no truce in the class struggle. We refuse to allow a political agenda to be imposed on us that is modelled on the institutional agenda. As with the “casserolades” movement or the day of “railway anger” on 20 April, it is up to our social camp to impose a new calendar of mobilisations whose ultimate objective is to bring the country to a standstill with a general strike. This May Day must be a demonstration of strength that will allow us to engage new perspectives to win the withdrawal of the reform.

This victory is necessary to reverse the balance of power and impose urgent social measures: return to retirement at 60 (55 for arduous jobs), with a maximum of 37.5 years of contributions, a drastic reduction in the working week, increases in wages and pensions, development of public services…

This is possible by building a united and radical response based on political, trade union and associative forces determined to fight back. More broadly, we must engage in the political battle to get rid of this illegitimate government and work for a revolutionary break with capitalism, for a democratic, eco-socialist society, free of exploitation and oppression.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Noisy demonstrations with demonstrators banging on saucepans (casseroles).

[2] “Zbeul” is a French slang word for disruption or chaos, from the Arabic. The Olympics references that the Olympic Games (Jeux Olympiques - JO) will be held in Paris in 2024.


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