Paris sees second day of mass student protests over immigrant deportations

Published time: October 18, 2013, RT

Thousands of French teenagers protested for the second day over the public deportation of an Albanian-Kosovar girl and an Armenian student. The issue caused disruption in 50 schools across France.

Teenagers clashed with police, who used tear gas against the high-school students.

Students climbed bus stops and shouted demands for the interior minister Manuel Valls to leave office. According to France 24, one school became a scene of green garbage cans piled on top of each other, while above hung a banner with the words ‘Education in danger.’

The catalyst for the event was the expulsion of a 15-year-old Romani girl, a native of Kosovo. Leonarda Dibrani was forcefully taken off a school bus in front of her classmates while the group was on a trip earlier this month. The incident took place in the eastern town of Levier.    Continue reading

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-austerity protests and strikes

Activists battle with police during violent clashes in Lisbon, as protests against austerity sweep across Europe.

10:21pm UK, Wednesday 14 November 2012

Video: Protests Across Europe Against Austerity


General strike

Rome is being brought to a standstill as anti-austerity protesters take on riot police in the streets.

A wave of anti-austerity anger is sweeping across Europe with general strikes in Spain and Portugal and walkouts in Greece and Italy – grounding flights, closing schools and shutting down transport.

Millions of workers have been taking part in the dozens of co-ordinated protests in a so-called European Day of Action and Solidarity against spending cuts and tax hikes. Continue reading

France: “Stop Racial Profiling” group brings collective action against targeting and abusing blacks and Arabs

15 French file lawsuit accusing state of racial profiling in ID checks

By Associated Press, April 11, 2012

PARIS — Lawyers for 15 French people, either black or of Arab descent, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the state for abusive identity checks based on alleged racial profiling.A lawyer for the group said they were routinely targeted for police identity checks that often included humiliating public body pat downs, insults and even threats because of the way they look.

[( Remy de la Mauviniere / Associated Press ) – French lawyer Felix de Belloy, center, addresses reporters outside Paris court house Wednesday April 11, 2012.]

Felix de Belloy, along with three other lawyers and supported by the Open Justice Initiative, has filed civil suit on behalf of 15 individuals, complaining that they have been subject to police “stop and search” checks solely on the basisi of the color of their skin and ethnicity. The statement says it’s the first such collective action in a racial profiling case in France.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers said this was the first such collective action in France to tackle abusive identity checks, a problem documented by several studies. The lawsuit against the French state targets the Interior Ministry, which oversees police.The 15 were subjected to police checks between September and February. Their names were among those who responded to a hotline set up by the collective Stop Racial Profiling for people who felt they were unjustly checked by police. Continue reading

French steel workers occupy ArcelorMittal plant

February 21, 2012

FLORANGE, France (Reuters) – Workers at an idled Arcelor  Mittal steel plant in northeast France occupied the site Monday, seeking to put their plight on the political map ahead of a presidential election where industrial decline is a central theme.Some 200 workers invaded management offices at the factory in Florange, in the Moselle region close to Belgium and Germany, after ArcelorMittal announced last week it was prolonging the temporary shutdown of its two blast furnaces.Unions had announced at the weekend their intention to take action and workers found the offices empty. They plan to install a tent village at site, imitating the “Occupy” anti-capitalist movement which swept Western nations in the wake of the global financial crisis.

France: Undocumented workers occupy the Bastille Opera House

Workers Without Status in France
 Emerge as a Social Force

Karen Wirsig

At the end of the afternoon of May 27, a mass demonstration marched into the Place de la Bastille in Paris. The march itself represented what can now be viewed as a low point in the national union mobilizations to challenge the proposed weakening of France’s public pension regime and other reactionary responses of Nicholas Sarkozy’s government to the world economic crisis. But despite the rain, despite the niggling worry that fatigue was overtaking the movement and apathy the French public, a group of marchers went to work making sure it was a day the French labour movement won’t soon forget.

Hundreds of striking workers without status, known as “travailleurs sans papiers,” set about occupying the steps of the Bastille Opera House in what was to be a crucial stand in their astounding strike.
Workers without status demonstrating against the Sarkozy government reforms.

Workers without status demonstrating against the Sarkozy government reforms.

The strike had started on October 12, 2009, a year ago last week, the morning after a spirited rally and preparation session at the headquarters of France’s biggest union, the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), on the eastern edge of Paris’s central city. Thousands of workers, men and women born around the world and living in France under the most fragile conditions, mounted dozens of picket lines at temporary agencies, construction companies, cleaning firms and restaurants.

In all, some 6,700 workers stepped out of the shadows and into a central role in re-energizing France’s left social movements, their physical presence confirming what everybody knew but few people seemed to face: just how much certain employers were relying on, and profiting from, directly or indirectly through sub-contractors, workers with no social rights. These included the well-connected international construction firm Bouygues and other builders, well-known restaurant chains and even the Paris public transportation authority, the RATP. Continue reading