Since the national strikes on October 18th 2007 the wider situation seems to be towards radicalisation. The transport unions have realised that the Sarkozy goernment has no intention whatsoever of negotiating over the ’special regimes’ for pensions. They are now making unified calls (which was not the case for the 18th of October) for a strike to begin on November 14th with the possibility of renewing the strike. Tomorrow the transport system will be almost entirely closed at a national and local level (trains TGV autobus) The Sarkozy government thinks it is in a position of strength to impose the ’break’ that it wants and its reforms.
According to opinion polls over 60% of the population seem to be in agreement with these reforms, and especially those aimed at the ’special regimes’ for rail-workers’ pensions. It is in the context of a confrontation between two different tendencies in public opinion that those involved in the struggle are organising. Students are still mobilising against the LRU reforms which will give ’autonomy’ to universities in order to privatise them. More than 14 universities are being blockaded by striking students. In many there have been violent clashes between striking students and non-strikers (in particular with the right-wing UNI student union) and attacks on pickets by police with a amny students injured or arrested. This weekend a national coordination meeting was held at Rennes by students, It called for all universities to be occupied and for students to act in concert with the rail-workers on the 14th and blockade railways. The student sections of the CNT and the FAU are actively participating in the movement. The President of the university of NAnterre went as far as to denounce "a student movement manipulated by radicals from the CNT and the JCR (trotskyist group)".
The energy workers (gas and electricity) will be on streike from the 15th of November. Public sector workers (hospitals, postal service, teachers) will strike from the 20th. The CNT is calling for all these struggles to converge, for the public and private sectors to unite to form a general strike.
We all remember November-December 1995. Twelve years ago we won against te Chirac government, defeating their social security reforms. This time victory depends on our ability to continue and extend the movement of resistance.