Disruptions At French Oil Refineries Continue, May Extend

As this Wall Street Journal article says, 10 refineries out of 12 stopped activity protesting against a government-sponsored pension reform throughout France. It's rare to see populations fight the economical power to this degree, even for a country like France. Officially government reserves could be unlocked and cover 1 month of needs, nonetheless they expect shit to really hit the fan over the next 48 hours. There has been a lot of repression during demonstrations, which is rather new as well. Knowing the people leading this country, you can only expect even "firmer" counter-measures because they are running out of time. Maybe it's naive, but I do think the outcome of this crisis might be very important, who knows? In other countries, other people may start thinking hitting the powers-that-be in such ways. Do you think this means anything? Either way there's definitely a lot of tension around here.


McJ's picture

Hi Cryptic

Are you in Austria? I believe I remember you telling me you were. smiling
I say Vive la France! At least they are pushing back. And I don't think it is naive to believe the outcome of this crisis is important. Chris Floyd has an excellent, must read post that addresses the difference between the protests in Europe and what passes for organized dissent here in North America at the link. (http://www.chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/2029-the-altars-of-fea...)

"Why, ask the outraged crowds, should our lives be degraded in order to pay for the crimes and follies of the financial elite –- who are richer, more powerful and more arrogant than ever today, despite having plunged the world into economic catastrophe?

The Europeans, forever cast in American myth as fey, feckless, wine-sipping weaklings, have roused themselves to such an extent that the UN is now warning of years of "social unrest" due to the policies of the austerity zealots -- policies which are greatly exacerbating unemployment (with all the inevitable knock-on effects throughout the economy), while severely corroding the physical and social infrastructure of whole nations. Although the European public might be compelled to submit in the end -- by brute force, if necessary, as governments call out club-wielding cops to put down dissent -- at least they are not going quietly.

The same can't be said for the big, bold, burly American public, who for years have meekly submitted to the ever-accelerating deterioration of their lives and communities with nary a peep of protest. Trillions of their dollars are spent on murderous, pointless, wasteful rampages of war-profiteering in foreign lands, on obscene handouts and "guarantees" for the silk-suited scamsters of Wall Street, and on the monstrous expansion of a covert security apparatus that is seeking to invade and control every aspect of their lives -- but the American people say nothing and do nothing."

hi McJ

Hi McJ,

No I'm in Switzerland, and the country is also affected by the various strikes, even though our political reality is very different. I had read Chris' fantastic yet gloomy article, I think the most interesting aspect is that the French government is acting like the American one, trying to use the same rhethorics and cliches, while the demonstrators are answering with their real problems. Maybe the difference is that the neocon propaganda doesn't work as well here as it does in the States - YET. It's catching ground every day, which is another worrying aspect. Already the corporate media are pulling the same strings (Muslim hatred, etc.). Pretty soon both continents will be living in the exact same atmosphere. So I do think in some aspect that Chris' view of the European situation is far too optimistic, because here too racial hatred is used as a political program (The only difference with before is that now it is a view used be the bigger parties) and as a way for people to give up their liberties.

McJ's picture

Thanks Cryptic

I debated Austria or Switzerland - I was wrong. smiling

I was assuming that the MSM news we were getting on this was mostly bullshit so thanks for giving us a glimpse of the real picture.

"I think the most interesting aspect is that the French government is acting like the American one, trying to use the same rhethorics and cliches, while the demonstrators are answering with their real problems"

I think that is an important distinction and why is that? Why is it that the Europeans seem to get what is happening to them yet the (North) Americans don't, or at least can't seem to mobilize to do anything about it? It is a very perplexing. It it that they buy into the propaganda more than the Europeans or are they simply exposed to more of it? Is it the whole American exceptional-ism thing?

Just posted this Wayne Madsen article (http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2010/10/white-house-in-crisis-or-contri...) on Obama on a 'progressive' Canadian FB wall. I can't speak to the veraity of it but it is an interesting read. One of the regulars there felt the need to "respectfully" tell me that the article was patent nonsense and that Obama was the most level headed president the US has ever had. I am at a loss for words to respond to her. I'm thinking there is not much point in trying to explain to her that you actually have to use your brain, and some reason, when you read these these things. You need to think your way through the who's writing it, what's their agenda, whose benefiting from this information getting out, whose leaking what and why...etc. etc. before you can begin to decide what and how much of it is true. Kinda like what AP does consistently so well! See link (http://twelfthbough.blogspot.com/2010/10/we-are-all-servants-but-we-get-...).


As for the situation today: the refineries are still stopped, and the official version is very different from the things we hear people say today. Most say there is a fuel shortage, stations closed, long lines where they aren't. Part (if not most) of the shortage problem was created by panic that followed the news. Every official report is denied by reality.

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