STRIKE! (pourquoi pas?) 13 November 2007Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, California / Pacific Coast, Culture of Death, DC Politics, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Paris, WAR!.
Dressed in riot gear police pepper-spray one of two protesters who attempted to block the first convoy of military vehicles out of the Port of Olympia Sunday morning bound for Fort Lewis.
Tension at the scene eased after that initial confrontation as later convoys left the terminal without any major incidents. [Steve Bloom/The Olympian]
Not sure, but think his sign says “Choose Peace”. (And thanks to melvin for posting the story of the Olympia protests: Protests spread beyond port into downtown Olympia. More/video at seattle indymedia.)
French railway and public transportation workers are to go on strike Tuesday evening to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s reform measures. On Wednesday, they will be joined by energy sector workers, students and lawyers across the country.
The first wave of strikes are set to hit France on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. with railway workers’ trade unions getting things started. Then, on Wednesday, Parisian public transport workers who are trade union members will join in, as will the employees of energy company EDF and natural gas provider GDF. Lawyers and hospital employees have also announced that they will go on strike next week.
Commuters crowd into the subway in Paris. A public transport strike on Oct. 18 saw the eight trade unions in the sector cooperating for the first time since 1995. [AP]
In 1995 Minister Jospin retreated. We don’t know what Sarko l’Americain (and recently kissed by all in the US – from Bush to McCain to Samantha Powers, she loves Kouchner too… ) will do. A firm hand with the children, without a doubt.
Well… we sure the hell don’t want to be “scumbags” do we?? (his word for protestors in 2006, in the banlieus, the suburbs and housing projects that ring Paris):
President Sarkozy said at a press conference: “We were elected to change France.” The pension privileges that have existed until now are no longer fair, he argued, insisting that retaining them would lead to greater proverty while simultaneously endangering France’s economic competitiveness.
Sarkozy also warned against violence: “Be responsible and stay calm,” he appealed to those on strike and to commuters.
I was reading an interview with Sarko, a couple of months after he won the election – he comes out four square against any idea of egalite. If you have more you are more. His words. And I had a sort of heart explosion. I just cannot stand it any longer when the State diminishes people. They rely on all work, all action, all energy from the beleaguered “people”. As horrific as the State is, it is nothing without human labor.
So, hell – strike. Agitate. LOSE IT!….
Here is a long, but very bracing snippet from Cockburn at Counterpunch…
On Friday, October 26, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had to be whisked out of France by US embassy officials to avoid just this fate. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and two Paris-based groups, the International Federation of Human Rights and the League of Human Rights. filed a legal complaint with the Paris prosecutor charging Rumsfeld of responsibility for torture at Guantanamo and in Iraq.
Indeed Rumsfeld’s role was personal and direct. Andrew Cockburn detailed on this website back in April, 2007, Rumsfeld’s micromanagement of torture [...]
And Cockburn quotes from Americans Against the War:
“About 8:30, whom do we see jauntily walking up rue du faubourg St. Honore, but none other than DR, surrounded by 4 or 5 men who were probably secret service-maybe even Blackwater stand-ins. And by coincidence, les desobeisants arrived at the same moment. Instantly they unfurled banners-Donald Rumsfeld War criminal (in English), and Donald Rumsfeld, prix Nobel de la Guerre as we pursued DR into the courtyard. Yelling “criminel de guerre,” and other things I don’t remember, we went as far into the courtyard as we could go-not terribly far. For the next two and a half hours we stood outside, with the very long banners at first strung across the façade, then held when we were asked to take them down.
“I really liked how les desobeisants operate. They approach people, get right in their faces, but do so in very charming, disarming (no pun) ways, and are always extremely polite. It helps that some of them are in clown costume. What really struck me was the behavior of the police.
Here we had an arch criminal, one of the most reviled men on the planet, representative of a country the French president is sucking up to, confronted by a group of militants carrying long banners, some shooting large rubber bones out of cardboard bazooka (that would be the clowns).
No one asked us to refrain from anything, except hanging the banners on the building (seems to have been someone from Interalliee who asked us not to do that). And we had no permit! Les desobeisants know exactly what the laws are regarding civil disobedience-in fact, they have weekend trainings and invited any of us who wants to attend to do so (they’re free). The trainings are not just about civil disobedience but planning interesting and attention-grabbing actions.
“We waited for DR to exit the building. As people were filing out, we asked them about the breakfast, I handed out our flyers. Either DR got out by lying on the floor of a car with blackened windows, and we missed him, or he escaped through some passageway that might link the US embassy with the Interalliee building, or he just waited until we dispersed.”
Don’t worry, Cockburn adds, knowing we are the photo up top:
Imagine what would happen to someone deploying a cardboard bazooka firing rubber bones in the vicinity of police and security guardsin Washington DC. There have also been efforts in Germany and Sweden to detain Rumsfeld on charges of war crimes and torture.
The Cockburn is a segmented post, sections on Bill and Hill and requiem for Mailer at the same link…
While I was at Counterpunch noticed this interesting take on the Writers Guild and the teamsters… there are several posts there on the WGA strike, by the same author.
Madman just added this to the previous thread, so will carry it forward:
The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The American public is complacent, unsure of what to believe, knocked off balance by fear and passive. We will be saved or doomed by our generals.
The last wall of defense that prevents the Bush administration from targeting Iran, an attack that could ignite a regional conflagration and usher in apocalyptic scenarios in the Middle East, runs through the offices of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; Adm. William Fallon , the head of the Central Command (CENTCOM); and Gen. George Casey, the Army’s new chief of staff. These three figures in the defense establishment have told George W. Bush and the Congress how depleted the U.S. military has become, that it cannot manage another conflict, and that a war with Iran would make the war with Iraq look like an act of prudence and common sense.