Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning

April 10th, 2006

Are you inspired yet?

Chirac backs down on employment law

Staff and agencies
Monday April 10, 2006

The French government today bowed to weeks of protests and said it would replace a controversial employment law which made it easier to fire workers aged under 26.

Stunned by the biggest street demonstrations in almost 40 years, the office of the president, Jacques Chirac, said a new plan focusing on youths from troubled backgrounds would replace the “first job contract”.

“The president of the republic has decided to replace article 8 of the equal opportunities law with measures to help disadvantaged young people find work,” said a statement from the presidency.

[…]

And, of course, I know you haven’t forgotten this

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A few people deciding enough is enough, refusing to put up with an unfair law and doing something about it.

And the governments changed the laws.

5 Responses to “Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning”

  1. irdial Says:

    Let us also remember the greatest ever demonstration in the history of the UK, which failed to stop the UKs involvement in the illegal occupation and mass murder in Iraq.

    Demonstration is pointless, and the ‘Governerment Francaise’ has given in because they know that if they fail to do so, the concsequences will be the total loss of power. By accepting the will of the demonstrators, they denude them of their power, and keep the population enslaved.

    Dominic and co will not delegitimize the entire french government over a single ill considered piece of legislation. But I digress. As I have said here before, when no one believed me and after, when I was proved right, demonstrations are a waste of time. Only action that directly stops the root problem is acceptable.

    That site that meau posted shows that people are starting to wake up to this. The turming point in UK politics might have been that huge demonstration after all, because people are now waking up to the fact that they are powerless to control their own government, and that a new, more permanent strategy needs to be formulated and executed.

  2. chriszanf Says:

    I fail to see what any of the whole campaign of anti-poll tax demonstrations ever did.

    I was involved in a local branch of an anti-poll tax group that advocated demonstrations and non-payment as a part of the national movement. Even though it gained momentum and was a sustained campaign (over a year), culminating in that fateful day on March 31st 1989, what became of the Poll tax for all the effort people put in? It was dressed up in slightly different clothing and shoved back down the publics throats.

    Remixed, Repackaged, Resold.

    Even when Thatchers government were faced with large scale rebellion, both in non-payment and riotous civil disobedience, they did the usual, “We will not back down to threats of terror” and called the poll tax “community charge” and then completely emasculated the whole campaign against it.

    The only difference I see here is that Chirac’s government have seemingly been ‘seen’ to back down rather than a full on campaign to criminalise the protestors.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Chirac, in the next few weeks or months, repackaged this law, called it something different, maybe even split it into a couple of seemingly innocuous laws with the same accumulative power and then foisted it back on the French public with the impression they had won out with the protests.

    As Akin said, a permanent strategy that begins with the complete removal of the system where a few people make decisions affecting millions, needs to installed.

  3. chriszanf Says:

    I got what they repackaged the poll tax as wrong. It was called the ‘Community Charge’ and then renamed ‘Council Tax’.

  4. irdial Says:

    The council tax is completely different to the poll tax; its done on a property basis not individual basis. The original, bad law was destroyed because of mass refusal; im not sure what you mean there when you say “It was dressed up in slightly different clothing and shoved back down the publics throats.”

  5. Alun Says:

    I saw both as reasonable examples of how active protest (not simpy marching) brought significant change in a government’s position. Granted, the Poll Tax Riot was a serendipitous outpouring of hatred after 10 years of Thatcherism, but nevertheless the example stands. Akin hits my nail on the head, above, re the Poll Tax. The unfair nature, which was the major gripe, was removed. And Thatcher herself was politically maimed beyond recovery by the whole issue.
    In France, the main protest seems to be directed against the specific piece of legislation that would have permitted sacking workers for no reason, empowering abusive employers and not the young worker. No French government would now DARE to bring in even a watered-down version of this, under threat of further, politically crippling, active protest. And Villepin may also be politically ruined by this. He will never be President now, although he’s always stated he didn’t want to be anyway (yeah, right).
    It comes down, I think, to the difference between saying NO!, meaning it and backing it up, compared with saying ‘We’d rather you didn’t’ and then only following it up with ‘Er…we said we’d really rather you didn’t’.

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