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Paris, #MayDay 2018: To Those Who Side With Windows (Communique)

This year's May Day protests in France were unusually lively. Along with a contingent of establishment unions and political parties (France Insoumise, CGT, etc), anarchists and revolutionaries made a major appearance. Their actions drew swift condemnation from the political class and already the CRS has decided that they weren't repressive enough, even as over 250 "Euro Anarchists" were arrested.

What upsets Macron, LePen, and Melenchon so much about the antifas? Police claim that 31 shops were smashed, of which 2 were burned, 6 vehicles were burned down and 10 others were smashed. This is, of course, grossly hypocritical: police conducted a military-style assault against the ZAD, destroying countless squats and buildings, and have also evicted students and young people from universities across Paris, breaking down the barricades.

Furthermore, Emmanuel Macron attacked various research facilities and apartment blocks in Syria just two weeks ago. Antifas, meanwhile were met with CS gas, pepper spray, chemical agents, flash grenades, water cannons, and tank-like vehicles.

Most of the liberal hand-wringing involved the burning of a Renault building and the attacking of a McDonald's in solidarity with the McStrike. The CEO of Renault, Carlos Gohsn, has a salary 200 times that of an average French worker, and the chief executive of McDonald's, Steve Easterbrook, has a salary over 400 times that of an average French worker. Nearly 20 years after Jose Bove was praised by some elements of the French media and the PS after he dismantled a McDonald's, reactionaries are so ascendant among the rich and powerful that an attack on the criminal multinational has emboldened the CRS to "separate" and thus attempt to divide protesters in the coming days.

To allow the antifas to make their case in their own words, a translation of a communique left on one of the smashed multinationals can be found below:


The windows of a boutique symbolise the false transparency of this world, a wall like any other after the impasse.  They are the product of a world of  industrial domestication, conformism and fashion. If it was the SDF, rather than a crack on a window, you would not even have noticed it. Yet more than 2,000 people die each year in the street. 

We attack symbols, physical manifestations of capitalism, and not individuals, the furniture is not human, it is only money. These actions reaffirm the human being as the fundamental value in the face of commodity capitalism. Indeed, these actions reinforce humanist values. We want to make visible an omnipresent oppression that should, according to some, be responded to passively. 

We denounce the dependence on capital, property and materialism.  Alienation and liberal slavery are plagues. The real violence is hidden by the media, wars, rape, the racket of the people, police violence, employers, patriarchy ... this injustice is ignored, controlled, masked by the state, its accomplices and their police to protect the wealth that the multinationals steal from the people. 

This action is payback for insurance, privatization, rentiers, and all those who monopolize wealth, and for the inequalities that they create. A person living in poverty, dominated and conditioned by structures cast and treated as norms, will not have the same point of view as one who does not share his experience.  We express our refusal of this domination in material and concrete terms. This imposed silence must not force us to passivity.  Be careful not to to confuse action (politics) and looting.