Student Poverty


I know why I was on the streets of Paris in 1968. I went to enjoy and participate in the Frogs kicking seven kinds of shit out of each other. It was stupid, brutal, simple and honest. It lacked the self awareness to blossom into revolution but it wasn’t reformist; we were not there to demand that someone else pull our chestnuts out of the fire.

The events of the 9th Dec. were reformist, ostensibly the students demanded more gruel from their owners. They did not question the industrial myth of childhood. (Children were considered ill-informed undersized adults till they became an Important Market.)  They did not question the value of education. (Which is largely to keep little bastards like them off the streets.)

 For me the low point was watching forty or so kids in two ranks with linked arms blow a seven meter hole in the police lines as they walked out of the kettle. No one followed. The police redressed their lines. The cavity in the demonstration created by the escapees slowly filled with people either too stupid or two cowered to walk through an open door.

At this time the quantity of the movement is inadequate. There is popular sympathy. But there is no will to turn this sympathy into support.  Two outstanding targets suggest themselves; the teachers and the electricians. The teachers have been treated like shit by every government for the last 50 years. If they come out they will release hundreds of thousand of insane natural anarchist suicide troops described by the clothing and bling industries as children. The Electricians are one of the few unions that still have real power; they run the country. Years ago the Electricians leadership was packed with anti-communists by the security services but the padding has probably worn out by now. Approach as friends and be recognized.

You can tell if the tide is with you when street actions sweep into themselves huge crowds of former passers by. Such a situation is not a victory. It is a message. A message that your theory of struggle must itself be in the same violent transformation as the situation it is creating. In Paris in ’68 they wrote ‘action is thought’ on the walls. Be nice to see the doctrine realized. Interesting too.

 Mike Lesser


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