Faced with new threats to their living conditions, the railway workers - with some other groups alongside - have again taken up the wildcat strike. Without asking anyone else's opinion. These 'irresponsible people' haven't even waited for the unions to start negociating the exact terms of the new measures taken against them before moving into action.

This strike is a fine rejection of all those who claim that what makes the movement remarkable and exceptional is the perfect democracy which governs it. It is a fact that General Assemblies and ballots have previously taken place with monotonous regularity. But when the proletariat rises up in revolt, 'concentrating the revolutionary interests of society in itself', IT IS BY NATURE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC. 'It immediately finds in its own situation the content of and the motive for, its activity - crushing its enemies and taking such measures as the necessities of the struggle impose - and it is the consequences of its own actions which push it further.' It is clearly the fact that proletarians share an identical situation and identical interests which constitutes a negation of democracy: then you shout rebellion, contact your mates, organise yourselves, begin strike action and get moving! Arguing details in General Assemblies, spending your time on votes, delegating your powers - that's not acting or organising or fighting. And you can bet right now that the unions will use a ballot to democratically bury the fight.

UNIONS: from the run away train to getting the trains running

The determination of the strikers was so great that, after a few days hesitation, the unions rushed to catch the run-away train, and recognised the strike. As everyone agreed, the situation had become hot, explosive. It was up to the unions to defuse the bomb. In fact, these strikes, which are widely supported and affect some of the key sectors of social life, have come after a long period of social peace, during which the too few struggles that have taken place (remember Talbot, Longwy, La Chiers) remained too isolated to obstruct the austerity measures.

The distrust which proletarians now have towards the unions is shown by the strikers setting up autonomous organisational structures outside of the unions. These unions never hesitate to act like the pimps they are - the better to get us fucked - reintroducing themeselves into these structures and getting control of them. That filth Maire, feeling the wind change has given up his fine talk about privileges and how we have to adapt to the crisis. That pig Krasucki (which isn't very nice for pigs) calls for the extension of the movement - which he organises in practice by trying to get the trains running for the return of the holiday makers! And that moron Bergernon (not very nice for morons) is getting all worked up and keeps going on and on about how he had seen all this coming, and if only people had listened to him, if only they had negotiated... Faced with such scab politics the strikers are organising themselves locally in various strike committees and on a national level in two 'coordinations', one of the train drivers and the other of the rest of the railway workers. But the fact that the unions, having at first spat on the struggler are now claiming that they support the movement, is making the coordinations hesitate to fully assume the reason for their emergence - i.e. to be the strikes centre of action and organisation. They are beginning to limit their role to putting pressure on the unions and controlling them. The whole weight of the past of non-struggle is making itself felt here and it threatens heavy consequences for the future of the movement. The movements strength can only assert itself distinctly outside of and against the unions.

What a huge step backwards if we once again rely on politicians, these part masters in the art of fucking us over. The unions don't just constantly negociate the price of social peace on our backs but more than anything they sabotage our struggles by shutting them into such and such sector, factory or area and, when it's necessary, by violently and physically opposing any real attempt to sabotage the national economy.

We feel the same disastrous weight when the national coordination of the Gare du Nord excludes the 'non-drivers' who want to fight and the other proletarians who want to break their isolation - when victory can only come from an extension of the movement. Extension towards the PTT (Post and Telecommunications), towards other sectors whether private or public... And this is not an abstract or far off task. No, it is possible today to form groups to go out and pick up other workers before setting up pickets in front of the factories.

The ball is in our court - counter attack!

To thwart the schemes of the state, which is trying to set the unemployed against employed workers, we must call the unemployed to fight with us now, and we must show in practice that the needs of our lives are identical. It's because there are still trains and buses running that the government can get away with opposing users to strikers. Indeed, so long as it's possible to go to work the 'user' will claim the right to be transported and the freedom to work. NOT ONE TRAIN, NOT ONE UNDERGROUND MUST RUN unless needed for the strike. The alternative method of transport - road traffic - must be systematically disrupted by the numerous means we have available. It's only this way that the users will be able to negate themselves as users, rediscover themselves in the struggle in solidarity with their class comrades. Scabs must know that vengence exists and that they won't avoid it! We cannot let those bastards act as if life carries on as usual, as if we weren't in the proeess of changing the world. We don't give a damn about:-
placing the struggle within the legal framework of workers rights and respect for users;

bowing down like sheep to the wishes of the majority of workers (when you are a majority in a depot you are the minority in the section. When you are a majority in the section you are the minority in the area...);

negociating the application of austerity measures in the interest of enterprise, business and the national economy;


11 January '87.


CM4.2 Leaflet on the French railway strike