France

A crucial account of lost voices from the French resistance

Fighters in the Shadow: A New History of the French Resistance
By Robert Gildea
Faber & Faber Press, London
593 pages, 2015

Upon his inauguration on May 16, 2007, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and paid homage to 35 anti-fascist resistance fighters shot by the occupying Nazis in August 1944, just before Paris was liberated.

He also read the last letter of Guy Moquet, a 17-year-old Communist, to his parents on the eve of his execution by the occupiers in 1941 along with 26 other Communist resisters.

France: With Nuit debout, a new mass movement rises


Whoever cares about an issue can stand up, write a corresponding committee name on a sheet of paper, sit on the square and start discussing the subject with others — and just like that a new committee is born.

During the protest on March 31 against France's new labour law, a few protesters handed out leaflets which read Nuit debout (“rising up at night”), echoing Etienne La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude: “Tyrants appear great only because we are on our knees”.

France: 'Nuit debout' movement shakes politics

Anyone following French politics in recent years should not be surprised by the recent explosion of public protest and resistance across the country.

For years, France has simmered with a combination of a deeply unpopular government, a limping economy and a struggling, fed up populace.

France: Huge protests erupt against new anti-worker laws

Hundreds of thousands of French workers and students joined a general strike on March 31 against their government's attacks on hard-won workers' rights, Morning Star Online said the next day.

Protests erupted across France against proposed sweeping attacks on workers' rights, shutting down dozens of schools, transportation and the Eiffel Tower.

French police demolish Calais camp; Macedonian police fires tear gas at refugees

French riot police fired tear gas as they began demolishing the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp on February 29, Morning Star Online said.

Tear gas was reportedly used in response to stone-throwers at the shanty town, which is home to about 4000 people. Lines of police vans gathered on the perimeter of the camp's southern section and people were prevented from entering the site.

BDS campaign makes gains, faces fresh attacks

There has been plenty of heat this Palestinian winter in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

There have been some important victories, helped by the increased scrutiny of Israeli state violence since October. And equally, the hysteria from Israeli and Western political establishments over the “threat” posed by the BDS campaign has reached new levels.

French activists defy court ruling and back Israel boycott


“Stop the blackmail: Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.” Paris, July 2014.

World protests demand real climate action

Even with protests banned in Paris ahead of the United Nation's COP21 climate talks, about 2300 climate protests sent a global message to leaders at the talks.

Hundreds of thousands of people joined climate change protests, marches and other events around the world on November 29 to send a message to leaders on the eve of COP21 that the world is waiting for climate change action. The 2300 climate actions included 175 countries.

Britain joins bloody Syrian conflict

British parliament sat late into the night on December 2 before eventually voting up Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to join the US-led air war in Syria.

Opposition Labour Party leader and veteran anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn argued strongly against bombing Syria, as did protesters outside parliament. However, many right-wing Labour MPs supported the government.

The worst massacre in Paris since WWII was the 1961 police killing of Algerian protesters

If the horrific attacks in Paris, France have taught us anything, it is that some tragedies matter more than others.

For example, look no further than these headlines:

120 Dead in Paris Attacks, Worst Since WWII (ABC/AP, November 14);
Paris Wakes Up Under Siege After Deadliest Attack Since WWII (The Daily Beast, November 14);

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