Street democracy: Alternative Libertaire activities in France
france / belgium / luxemburg |
the left |
Friday February 09, 2007 15:17 by Alternative Libertaire (France)
French anarcho-communist organisation Alternative Libertaire gives a post-VIII Congress summary of its activities.
ACTIVITIES IN FRANCE
The highlight of the political scene is the presidential election campaign with the first and second ballot set on the 22nd of April and the 6th of May 2007 respectively. It will be followed by the ballots for the parliamentary elections in June 2007. In this context the militants of AL are systematically trying to build on the different struggles and unite them. It is the case in the workplace, in the youth movements but also in other domains (struggles against racism, sexism, around ecological issues, around housing and against security measures and in solidarity with the upheaval in Oaxaca).
For we, anti-electoralists, the transformation of society is based on social struggles and “street democracy” against the institutions, their fake democratic spirit and their more and more authoritarian tendencies. Direct democracy and self-management will be strong guidelines of our expression, as well as the importance of struggles to build other social relationships and to go toward social progress.
Concerning those two institutional events, Alternative libertaire will not take any position regarding either some candidate or abstaining.
For us, then, the electoral campaign must not act as a brake on the pace of the struggles. After the massive protest against the first employment contract in the spring of 2006, it is hard to find ways to remobilise. The militants of AL were heavily involved in this partly successful struggle and some paid the price of an unprecedented repression.
The major trade unions are still counting on a victory of the candidate of the Parti Socialiste and they are trying to stop the development of any struggle. Last december, the CGT [post-communist-aligned General Confederation of Labour] tried everything to put an end to the strike of rail workers around the issues of employement, wages and against the privatisation of the rail industry.
Concerning mail workers, while half of the dispatching centers are on strike under the initiative of the SUD [grassroots syndicalist Solidarity Unity Democracy] trade union and while the managers have agreed to negotiate, the confederation of trade unions are opposed to the spreading and the radicalisation of the struggle.
Finally, public schools workers have been under heavy attack (5700 jobs have been suppressed, teachers are required to work longer hours, private schools are being made stronger through subsidising…).
Once again, the major trade union in this sector (FSU) refuses to call the workers to strike and to give some impulse to this struggle. The main Trotskyist organisations that put all their forces into the electoral campaign of their party also bear the responsibility of the actual inertia.
Many of us are involved in the struggle around the issue of immigration and most especially in the Réseau éducation sans frontières (RESF: education without borders network) fighting for migrant pupils and their families and asking for their right to stay in France.
We are also fighting alongside those asking for the abolition of anti-immigrant legislation. Besides, we are taking part in the struggles around the “delinquency prevention law” aimed at blaming the youth from the lower class, migrants and more generally those most affected by the flexible labor market and who decide to speak against this kind of oppression.
The repression against our militants is growing and it affects trade unionists, political activists and anti racists taking the defense of migrants. Recently 7 militants from AL have been brought to court. We launched a campaign of political solidarity and financial support to help them and to denounce this unprecedented repression against us. We thank all the libertarian organisations from France and all over the world that brought their support.
On the 8th of March we will take part in international women’s day.
On the 17th, we will take part in the protests (5 big demonstrations in Lille, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse and Strasbourg) against the new French nuclear program which plans to replace the old nuclear reactors with new ones.
Finally we will take part in proportion to our forces in the solidarity movement in support of the rebellion of the people of Oaxaca by organising public meeting and several solidarity comitees.
Alternative libertaire held its VIII congress in Agen the last 27th, 28th and 29th of October 2006 where several motions were debated and voted: on antisexism, on ecological issues, on the youth movement, on religion, on the policies around lay offs… Those different texts were the occasion of lively debates with opposing views.
The past two years have seen a strengthening of Alternative libertaire which allowed us to settle and be acitve in about 40 towns. This strengthening is the result of larger and larger involvement in the different struggles, of a development of our political expression (website, propaganda, newspaper…) and of bigger political visibility.
Finally, our congress decided to restart our international secretariat and our international activity in general.