Hollande and Valls Want to Silence the Protests – They Won’t be Able to!

Unable to silence dissent against the Work law, Hollande and Valls threatened to ban demonstrations due to the “violence acts” that happened. As if by chance… Didn’t the Euro football championship lead to much more violent excesses like the clashes in Marseille between Russian and English hooligans? Did Hollande, Valls or Cazeneuve threaten to ban the Euro? Certainly not! The government only drives back English people when they are part of a humanitarian convoy to help migrants in Calais. Which is what happened on June 18, when the government prohibited the convoy to leave Dover!

In Toulouse, while CGT-FO-FSU-Solidaires inter-union had planned a demonstration on June 20, the prefecture asked trade unions to change the date under penalty of prohibition. Reason: Toulouse was expecting Russian fans on that day… Yet he prefect does not threaten the Euro, only the demonstrations!

Violence in the demonstrations? Let’s talk about it!

Bernard Cazeneuve had the gall to accuse the CGT to have “violently attacked the police”… But all those who participated in the protests against the Work Act in the last three three months could see the police causing incidents to better be able to retaliate with gas, batons and arrests.

The major TV channels, clearly under orders, showed of the great national demonstration of June 14 in Paris only clouds of gas. They repeatedly showed the “damages” committed at the Necker hospital, suggesting that the ground floor windows hit by stones were those of operating rooms – which is completely untrue.

Images circulating online show a totally different picture. Yes, a number of demonstrators took to the storefronts of banks, insurance companies, and advertising panels. Whatever one might think, it is clear that these represented targeted objectives, symbols of major companies defended by the Medef and the government, even if these broken windows do little to scare the capitalists. Hospitals and public services were certainly not targeted!

And it is not as if there had never been plainclothes policemen acting as “agents provocateurs”! In 1995 and 2003, the union security services had caught some with their police ID on them! From recent demonstrations, some photos posted online (see for example “reporterre.net”) are unmistakable!

However, on June 14 in Paris, it was impossible for a “regular” demonstrator to exit the march, for example to protect themselves from police tear gas. Lines of robocops blocked the adjacent streets. And, at the few places from which the demonstrators were allowed to leave, the cops made them remove any badge, sticker and T-shirt with slogans.

With what right? Who do Valls and Hollande think they are? Putin? Erdogan? Do they think we will accept to be silenced?

The reasons of the anger…

All the disinformation from the government and the mainstream media is not working. Nearly two-thirds of the population still want the law to be withdrawn. But the government braces itself and shows its teeth. Because it is afraid.

Afraid that, if it withdraws the law, the working class will feel boosted, regain its confidence and begins to put everything that’s wrong on the table. And the reasons for anger abound, wages – we can afford less and less -, working conditions, getting tougher all the time, with bosses getting more and more arrogant. This Monday, June 20, unions have maintained the call to demonstrate against the Work Act on June 23. We’ll see if the government dares to ban it.

In the meantime, the government’s attitude and threats should, more than ever, make us wish to fight and occupy the streets in order to demand the withdrawal of the Work law!