Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘France

As Turkey Invades Iraq to attack Kurds, Turkish fascists assault Kurdish cultural centre in Lyon.

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Lyon : la dissolution des Loups Gris "s'avère sans effet", selon la Coordination Lyonnaise Solidarité Kurdistan

This lengthy article in the Guardian by Bethan McKernan in Istanbul and Adam Gnych in Amedi, northern Iraq, is heart-rending and through. It is essential reading.

Kurds in ‘mountain prison’ cower as Turkey fights PKK with drones in Iraq

Yesterday there was a sad reminder that supporters of the Turkish state and Erdoğan’s Islamist regime are prepared to extend their violence to Europe. Attackers, said to be from the extreme-right Islamist and nationalist Grey Wolves violently attacked a Kurdish cultural centre in Lyon. Banned in France after they defaced a memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide, the group is still active.

Quatre membres de la communauté kurde blessés dans une attaque à la Guillotière.

The Mesopotamia cultural space, located on rue Mazagran, was reportedly taken over by 20 to 25 attackers, armed with iron bars, on Saturday at the beginning of the afternoon. Four people were injured.

 It happened very quickly, they broke everything, ”reports a member of the Mesopotamia cultural space, located rue Mazagran, in Lyon 7 th . This place, frequented by members of the Kurdish community, was attacked Saturday, around 2:30 pm, by “twenty to twenty-five” individuals, armed with iron bars, according to this indirect witness. Four people were present inside the small room at the time of the events. All were injured.

The victims are between 30 and 40 years old and had been beaten with baseball bats, iron bars and weapons with blades, according to firefighters.

Commentators already note that banning the fascist organisation the Loups Gris (Grey Wolves), with links to the Turkish state, had not prevented this assault.

Today protests against the fascist attack took place in Lyon. Around 300 people took part. The window of a Turkish grocery shop was broken. The police used tear gas to break up the demonstration.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 4, 2021 at 4:49 pm

The Paris Commune Commemorated Amidst Controversy.

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La Maire de Paris Anne Hidalgo (centre) pose aux côtés de silhouettes de communards, en face de la basilique du Sacré-Coeur, le 18 mars 2021, pour commémorer les 150 ans de la Commune de Paris.

Thursday, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo (centre) “la Commune n’est pas morte ! 


To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune there have been events, exhibitions and many excellent documentaries and radio programmes. There are so many articles, newly published, or re-issued books, that one risks being overwhelmed by the quantity.

This Blog strongly recommends this, from Arte (you can see it on Arte directly through Smart Televisions in the UK).



On the English speaking left worth signalling are:

The Paris Commune of 1871, Banks and Debt.

And from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty.


Kelly Rogers.

2021 marks the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune; the moment that the working class seized political power for the first time, and held it for 72 days. Thousands of women took part in the events of the Commune and, against a backdrop of deep-rooted sexism, championed a revolutionary vision for the transformation of working class women’s lives.

Also available at Shiraz.

There have also been intense arguments over the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune in France.

Streets named after Thiers, who led the crushing of the Commune, have been the centre of calls to have them renamed, or  ‘re-baptised’.

Nowhere have the controversies more intense than in Paris itself. The right wing on the City council refused point blank the proposed celebrations of the Commune.


A Paris, Mairie et manifestants célèbrent la mémoire de la Commune

Le Monde.

This Thursday, March 18, the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo and a handful of elected officials from the left are celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune on Place Louise-Michel, at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur.

Fifty Parisians wore as many colourful silhouettes representing anonymous people and a few celebrities such as Louise Michel, Jules Vallès or Arthur Rimbaud, while a narrator told of the unfolding of the events and their heritage: “One hundred and fifty years later, the Commune is not dead! “

Radical leftists protested at the spectacle,

Below, blocked behind the gates, some demonstrators waved red flags and protest. “From Versailles to Paris and Hidalgo, always the same!” They shouted. ‘Down with Macron, down with Castex! “ Their voices disturbed a little the official show, but the accordion amplified by the PA is more powerful. Especially when the singer sang the Internationale, “Arise ye wretched of the earth…”, and continued with Le Temps des cerises, and selected people recited lyrics. “I know my classics” laughed Anne Hidalgo.

Earlier this year there had been a violent debate in the  City Council Chamber.

On February the 3rd, at the municipal council, Anne Hidalgo and her rosé (Socialist)-red-green team received violent criticism from the right, very hostile to the idea of ​​glorifying the event, “this sad moment of civil war “. For the right-wing party Les Républicaines there should have been no question of transforming the Communards into into heroes ” who took hostage and murdered” religious figures, and killed gendarmes, or  for “those who chose to burn the Tuileries, the Palais-Royal, the Palais d’Orsay , the synagogues and our City hall ”.

Here is a detailed article on that row: « Légende noire » contre « légende rouge » : la difficile commémoration des 150 ans de la Commune de Paris.

There is a video to accompany it:



The BBC also reports on the issues,

A century and a half on, the Commune continues to divide.

For three months from today, Paris’s left-run city hall has prepared commemorations focusing on what it sees as the movement’s great social advances: equality for the sexes, disempowering the Church, participative democracy.

But the right-wing opposition says that Socialist mayor and presidential hopeful Anne Hidalgo is “instrumentalising history” for political ends.

“You can summarise the Commune in one word: violence,” says Rudolph Granier, a member of the centre-right Les Républicains (LR) on the city council.

“It was a populist movement. And in the current state of France and the world – when in Paris we have the yellow vests and in Washington they’re storming the Capitol – I do not think we should be celebrating people who burned down our city hall.”

or another LR councillor, Antoine Beauquier, “the left-wing majority is doing its usual thing of mixing up history and politics”.

“Of course there was an event called the Commune which we should remember. But we should remember what it actually was – not the fantasy of the Communist Party (PC). They think every Communard was a hero. But many were also killers.”

According to the right, by allowing them to run the Commune commemorations Anne Hidalgo is throwing her PC allies a bone in the hope that they’ll support her in the race for the French presidency next year.

The left has retorted by accusing the right of being “sectarian” and failing to see the justice behind the Communards’ cause.

“It is a sign of the times – the French right is getting more and more hardline,” says Laurence Patrice, Communist deputy mayor of Paris.

“They never used to care that much about the Commune. But now with Emmanuel Macron, the French have a president who has abandoned his centrism and is in fact more and more right-wing.

“And that is forcing the traditional right into positions that are ever closer to the extreme.”






Written by Andrew Coates

March 19, 2021 at 11:49 am

Welcome Sign of Unity on French Left.

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This is extremely good news.


Elections régionales : EELV, le PCF, LFI et le PS font front commun derrière Karima Delli dans les Hauts-de-France

“grand slam” to ensure the return of a left that has disappeared from the region under pressure from the extreme right: representatives of Europe Ecologie Les-Verts (EELV), the French Communist Party (PCF), La France insoumise (LFI) and the Socialist Party (PS) announced, Thursday March 11, that they had reached agreement to unite in Hauts-de-France for the regional elections.

Negotiated for months, this agreement “unique at this time in France” places the Green MEP Karima Delli as head of the list, specifies the text, signed by the Communist,  and Socialist leaders, the deputies of the North Fabien Roussel (PCF) and Ugo Bernalicis (LFI) and the North Senator Patrick Kanner (PS). The objective “is to ensure that history does not repeat itself” and “to seek an exemplary victory for all of France,” Ms. Delli told Agence France-Presse (AFP) .

Hauts-de-France, whose capital is Lille, could in many respects to former industrial and mining areas in the North of England. Like one time Red Wall seats which voted for the hard right Brexit and Tories in the last election, some parts of it has moved to the extreme right Rassemblement National.

Les territoires de la région Hauts-de-France sont plutôt ancrés à gauche, toutefois au cours de ces derniers années, on remarque une montée du vote pour l’extrême droite ou populiste de droite, notamment dans les anciennes cités minières .

The territories of the Hauts-de-France region tend to be on the left, however in recent years, it has been marked by a rise in the vote for the extreme right or populist right , especially in the former mining towns.




There are hopes this example may spread, although in other regions the left is far from negotiating a parallel united front. The General Secretary of the Parti Socialiste Olivier Faure has called for regional lefts to face up to their responsibilities. In the Huffington Post political scientist Bruno Cautrès has  noted that the electorally winning strategy of left unity began at a local level in the 1970s. For the moment this looks unlikely for next year’s Presidential elections.

Régionales: la gauche unie dans les Hauts-de-France, laboratoire ou exception?   Anthony Berthelier


Written by Andrew Coates

March 12, 2021 at 10:44 am