Denis Goddard

France after the Charlie Hebdo killings

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The immediate response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo was that of “national unity” in the face of terrorism. This mood benefitted the government of Francois Hollande, because it masked many of the contradictions inside French society. In the first week there was a horrific wave of Islamophobia, with more attacks on Muslims and other minorities reported than in the whole of last year.

France: confronting state power

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"On Monday we strike, on Tuesday we strike, on Wednesday we strike, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday too - and it'll only be over when we've won."


Photo: Phototeque.org

This song has become a hit on the mass demonstrations in France. After four days of national strikes and weekly demonstrations since 7 September the government has still not caved in. In just the last four days of action more than 3 million protesters have taken to the streets across the country. As the law to increase the retirement age was about to be passed in the Senate the unions called two new days of strikes and protests.

Letter from France

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The victory of conservative Nicolas Sarkozy last year has led to disorientation for the mainstream left. But this can offer exciting possibilities for anti-capitalists, argues Denis Godard

Just a few weeks after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected as president last year, many on the radical left were interpreting the electoral results as a whole society moving to the right. The Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) leadership, meanwhile, started to talk about calling for a new anti-capitalist party in France. This initiative responded to both a necessity and an opportunity.

The "move to the right" theorists were right on one point. The election campaign and the period since have seen the whole establishment moving to the right.

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