The current development of the movement in France against the new pension law, once again unfortunately confirms the « loser logic » that permeates all the social movement in France. Both the trade union leaderships – supposed to represent the workers – and the parliamentarians (Deputies and Senators) – supposed to represent the people – failed in their strategy, the law was passed. This demonstrates the inefficiency and uselessness of any parliamentary and representative opposition Despite the population’s legitimate anger, we have just witnessed the obvious theft of at least two years of our lives, leaving on the pavement, on the road to poverty, hundreds of thousands of people with « disrupted careers » – mainly women – on the road to unemployment workers over 55 years old, on the way to the hospital – at least what remains of it – the most worn down by the hardship of their job.
The old world is not rooted into real life. Trade union leaders and political parties, Senators and Deputies extend the parliamentary and institutional routine without qualms. Move along, there’s nothing to see here!
All the reformist unions – CGT, CFDT, FO, UNSA, SOLIDAIRES, FECGC, CFTC and FSU – are defending their strategy by arguing the importance of being united into a single “intersyndicale” (inter-union) and that they will remain united “until the end”… But and above all they are united to avoid the risky appeal to a general strike to the workers who are feeling unprecedented anger. The immediate reaction of the Intersyndicale, right after the law passed thanks to a real institutional coup d’état from the Prime Minster Borne, is the flagrant proof that the Unions don’t want to make any real move: instead of calling for a general Strike, the Intersyndicale did call for … another day of marching, 7 days after the law passed!!! They also called to invent punctual actions – like blocking administrations, high schools, postal sorting center… but without providing real support nor publicizing those actions, making them in fact ineffective. What is the point of such “punching actions” with no real strength, done on the sly and ignored by the population since the actions have not been popularized.
« But the struggle continues Comrade » as they tell us. How many more days of marching around: 10, 12, 15 or more, “in a goodnatured atmosphere” as the trade-unions centrals rejoice in, echoing satisfaction about the “good manners of the demonstrators” expressed by the Police, the government and Macron himself. What is the point of playing the parliamentary circus spectacle since by advance and simple calculation it was doomed to failure. The old political world is not living in real life but it is not suicidal. The united left (left populists of LFI, ecologists of EELV, Social democrats of PS, communists of PC), together with the far right RN of Marine Le Pen (the same one the united left rightly call a fascist…) and the right-centrists parliamentary group LIOT, all joined to create a facade opposition to Macron’s government, what a masquerade and above all what a shame! So despite the strikes in such strategic sectors as energy, transport, schools etc., the objective of withdrawal of the law has not been achieved. And yes, the voices of the millions of workers who oppose this flagrant injustice, this umpteenth forced passage by Macron, are missing.
So we need to collectively change the method! Why the broadening of the struggle ignores the population? The reply is simple: unions are not at the service of workers, they are at the service of bourgeoisie. The bourgeois and the gentrified unionist leaders don’t want to take the risk of losing control of the social movement, they are afraid of « political chaos » and disorder. But in fact they are the chaos, they are the one who create disorders, and they are the one paving the way to the far right that is patiently awaiting its hour to come!!!
We Anarchosyndicalists, therefore syndicalists affirm that direct democracy, the self-organization of struggle through direct action by the workers themselves without any representative, any mediator, remain the only revolutionary path for the emancipation of workers. Therefore we call once again in front of the current situation:
• the holding of popular assemblies – inclusive of all the working class, active workers or unemployed, workers in training or retired, housewifes, etc… – that are sovereign in their decisions without any external interference (political parties, unions, NGOs, religious organization or sects), visible to all,
• to the greatest participation of the population, far from the hackneyed and restrictive practices of the reformist union world and political routines.
We have nothing to lose, nothing to negotiate,
Only the Social Revolution matters to us!
— Some CNT-AIT France militants
Published in AIT-IWA Bulletin : IWA External Bulletin May 2023. (A4 Version)