France and protests

Lying Media Bastards on protestors in France forcing the government to back down.

I’d like to point out that if the students had just held peaceful rallies opposing the CPE, they would not have won. Period. American activists prefer calm, peaceful, legal actions, and we usually lose.

If Americans had lashed out like this in 2003, would 34,000 Iraqis still be alive today?

France has a history, going back for centuries, of taking to the streets. They are second only to South Korea, I think, in the ferocity and organization of their street demonstrations. Plus, in both cases, the demonstrators have major support from the populace and are able to turn out in huge numbers.

The nonviolent civil disobedience protests of the 60’s were ‘illegal,’ yet grabbed the attention of the nation and built the civil rights movement. They eventually won, and won big.

An organizer here in the States can’t call for, or even imply, anything but peaceful actions. They’d no doubt be indicted if they did otherwise. Nor would such tactics be effective. But as to raising a ruckus, I agree completely. The louder, the better.


  1. I’m confused by this post. As I perceived it, the overwhelming majority of what happened in France was “peaceful and legal.” Perhaps not totally “calm,” but this was NOT the “mass burning of cars” that happened a few months ago in France. What it was was overwhelming numbers, but not just on one day, but day after day. Similar to the difference between what the antiwar movement has been able to do here, with periodic one-day demonstrations, and the impact Cindy Sheehan had because she (and many others, of course) was able to keep it up for a sustained period. And also, clearly, similar to what the immigrants rights movement has accomplished in recent weeks – SUSTAINED activity. But not necessarily not “calm, peaceful, and legal.”

  2. There were cars burned and windows broken, etc. during the recent protests in France too.

    Absolutely, what’s need here is loud, sustained, militant protests with huge numbers of demonstrators.

  3. You must have an agenda, what do you do after the mass protests that win an issue? Do you all go back to the TV and let them get on with the usual corrupt circus? Or is the politics to remain on the street? The aim must be to change the system not just to win on an issue here and there. Do the mass on the street want to win this issue or are they radical enough to pull the system down and replace it with one of social justice?

  4. Exactly. The protestors in France all went home thinking they’d won. But the bill hasn’t been changed yet. Still lots of time for treachery from the government.

    They need to move on the larger issues too, like you said.

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