Tuesday, 12 October 2010

French resistance nearing crunch point

FRENCH resistance to the neoliberal 'austerity' measures being imposed on the people of Europe is nearing crunch point.

Millions took to the streets across the country on Tuesday in the latest of a series of defiant general strikes.

Even the government was forced to admit that the protests were bigger than previously.

And, in an extraordinary development, Le Monde reports that the police in Marseilles have been accused of lying about the turnout - by the cops' own trade union.

Whereas organisers reported that a massive demonstration in the Mediterranean port had attracted 230,000 people, the police estimate was a paltry 24,500.

The union 'Unité SGP police' accused senior officials of making out the protests were diminishing while they were in fact growing and of crossing the line between public service and politics.

With another day of action planned for this Saturday, Sarkozy's regime is being put under enormous pressure.

But the stakes are high - a forced climb-down over the retirement age in France would send a signal out across the continent that the neoliberal shock doctrine can be defeated on the streets.