France

New Caledonia has been rocked for several days by riots that have so far claimed six lives. This uprising is the result of repeated provocations by the French imperialist government. In 2022 – after Macron forced through a referendum on independence in spite of his promises to the contrary – we published the article below, in which we wrote: “The French government welcomes the result, but the problem is by no means settled – and is bound to resurface, sooner or later.” Since then, the government has pushed ahead with a process of electoral reform that constitutes a significant provocation for the Kanaks.

The crisis in NUPES – the ‘union’ consisting of La France Insoumise (FI), the Socialist Party (PS), the Greens and the Communist Party (PCF) – is increasingly taking on the air of a bedroom farce: shouting, declamations, doors opening, slammed, and then opened again, etc. Boredom mixed with irritation is spreading among the audience, and little by little the auditorium is emptying.

On 17 October, the Paris prefecture banned a meeting, which was to be held at the Bourse du Travail the next day, to demand the release of pro-Palestinian activist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, detained in France for nearly 40 years. On the evening of 18 October, at the time of the meeting, the Paris Labour Exchange was closed under the surveillance of the CRS (riot control police).

In France, as elsewhere, the extremely brutal response of the Israeli government to the Hamas attack on 7 October has aroused the indignation of millions of young people and workers. But in the name of "Israel's right to defend itself" and "the fight against terrorism and anti-Semitism", the Macron government decreed that this indignation was unacceptable and must be silenced, at all costs.

This article, marking 60 years since the end of the Algerian war of national liberation, appeared in Révolution, the paper of the French section of the International Marxist Tendency, in March 2022.

We are witnessing a profound crisis of legitimacy and moral decomposition of the entire capitalist system. Former US President Donald Trump's latest legal drama is just one more in a ceaseless succession of establishment scandals, blunders and internecine disputes at all levels. From parliament, to the police, to the press, to religious institutions – every pillar of bourgeois rule is rotting from the inside out. Why is this happening, why now, and what does it mean for the class struggle?

Last week, a French policeman shot an unarmed French-Algerian teenager (Nahel M.) in the chest after a traffic stop. Before pulling the trigger, Nahel was told “I will lodge a bullet in your head”. A video of the brutal slaying was uploaded to social media, resulting in a massive outpouring of rage that swept the country.

At the time of writing, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, is delighted with the results of the fifth consecutive night of riots, which was “calmer thanks to the resolute action of the forces of the 'order' [the police].” This statement is very relative. In response, let's put things into perspective. The fifth night was perhaps "quieter" than the fourth and, above all, than the third. But in relation to the “100 days of appeasement” announced by Emmanuel Macron on 17 April, it was still very agitated! (Note: this article was originally published 29 June and has since been updated. ...

Around 100 members of Révolution, the French section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), gathered in Paris on 16 and 17 June, for our 2023 National Congress. Attendees came from Paris, Toulouse, Marseilles, Lyon, Montpellier, Grenoble, Brest, Morlaix, Lille and Rambouillet. We also welcomed comrades from the IMT’s sections in Switzerland and Belgium, and were joined by Fred Weston from the International Secretariat of the IMT.

Whatever its scale, the 14th “day of action” against Macron’s rotten pension reform, scheduled for 6 June, will have no more effect on the government than did the 13th. Even if Macron did not really obtain the ‘appeasement’ he was hoping for, he can conclude that, on the pension reform, he has undoubtedly won the battle, at least temporarily. However, from the point of view of the French bourgeoisie, it is a Pyrrhic victory in which the winner emerges much weaker, overall, than the loser.

Our Brazilian organisation (Esquerda Marxista) recently sat down for a discussion with Jérôme Métellus, leading member of Révolution (the IMT in France), about the powerful movement of strikes and protests that rocked French society starting in January. This struggle, triggered by Macron attempting to hike the retirement age, has entered into a phase of stagnation, but the situation in France is more polarised and enraged than ever.

In his inaugural speech as President of France in 2017, Emmanuel Macron said that he wanted to “convince our compatriots that France’s power is not declining, but that we are on the threshold of an extraordinary renaissance”. Since then, the decline of French imperialism has accelerated, both economically, geopolitically and militarily. This is particularly the case in Africa.

During his televised speech on 17 April, French President Emmanuel Macron tried to move on from the uproar surrounding the recent pension reform by promising the Earth to all those who, since 19 January, have mobilised in the streets and have been on strike against this bill.

On 17 April, British police arrested Ernest Moret, a French publisher, as he exited a train from Paris to London on a work trip. The arrest was carried out using British anti-terrorism laws, on the grounds that Moret had taken part in the recent protests against the Macron government in France. This is not only an attack on the basic democratic right to protest, but a clear sign of collusion between the French and British authorities to victimise those who dare to speak out against them.