DIRECT ACTIONS by unemployed people rocked France in early 1998. Unlike the reformist official unemployed associations, some participants want revolutionary change.
In Paris jobless and others took over an amphitheatre at Jussieu University. 100-200 met daily to carry out actions and to discuss. Some participants write :"We set out to discuss EVERYTHING. Beginning with what ruins our lives: work and its pointlessness (...90% of this society's jobs are useless bullshit), its miserable wages, its heirarchies, its daily horror; and the wretchedness and boredom of unemployment, ...the flip side of work, a threat held over the heads of workers, forcing them to submit to the economic blackmail." "Everything is linked to money and profit...As long as money exists there will never be enough for everyone."
"We need to create another form of society, one in which people will decide on their own activity and production rather than being slaves to the present production system."
These ideas were spread by entering works canteens to talk to workers, during the occupations of unemployment offices etc., and during solidarity meetings with illegal immigrants, with wildcat-striking subway cleaners, and with farmers opposing bioengineered corn.
The movement's activities continue, though on a smaller scale, eg
¥ On 31 May 45 people occupied 15 empty houses in Metz.
¥ On 2 and 28 July people invaded the Electricity Board office in Ales (near the Pyrenees), and won concessions for claimants with electricity debts.
Quotes from excellent leaflet by Bureau of Public Secrets, PO Box 1044, Berkeley, CA 94701 USA.
TCP, 21ter, rue Voltaire, 75011 Paris.