San Francisco supporters of the French workers and their June 14, 2016 General Strike rallied and spoke out at the French consulate in San Francisco on that very day. Speakers supported the demands of the French workers and tied the struggle against union busting and deregulation of labor laws in France with the struggle in the United States for a shorter worker and union rights. Steve Zeltzer was the key organizer of the event and he announced the SF Solidarity gathering on his WorkWeek Radio Show, which runs from 3:30 – 4 pm every Tuesday on 94.1 FM KPFA PACIFICA RADIO. Steve went to the French consulate in San Francisco right after the show to lead a small but vocal international solidarity demonstration from 5 – 7 pm where a Solidarity Statement was distributed to passers by in 13 languages, and was read aloud in English, French, and Spanish.
San Francisco Solidarity with French General Strike (25:34) Published on Jun 18, 2016 at Labor Video YouTube Channel. Production of Labor Video Project.
Gearóid Ó Colmáin reported from Paris on the General Strike in France as it was happening on WorkWeek Radio on KPFA PACIFICA in Berkeley, California. He was interviewed by host Steve Zeltzer on June 14, 2016. France is experiencing a wave of protests led by labor unions against the emergency decree by Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Gearóid Ó Colmáin appeared in the first of 3 segments on the June 14 program. http://kpfa.org/episode/workweek-june-14-2016
The gathering outside of the French Consulate in San Francisco began at 5 pm. Vic Sadot and Dave “Redd Welsh” spoke and sang appropriate songs. Several speakers from SF Labor groups spoke. Their were two labor activists from India who decided to take a turn at the mic as well. A two sided flyer was distributed to people passing by and was published on line that had a short San Francisco Solidarity with French Workers Statement written in 13 languages just because that’s all that would fit on the flyer. Sam Francisco has a proud labor union tradition and history. Brochures for the annual month long (July) Labor Fest 2016 San Francisco Bay Area were distributed at the solidarity action.
SF Bay Area June 14, 2016 International Solidarity Statement with French Workers!
We stand in solidarity with the French working class! Victory to the Unions and their allies who are making the General Strike of June 14, 2016 against the attack on workers’ rights! We note that this law was not passed by the elected legislature. It became law only by using an emergency powers clause to impose it by authoritarian decree. We say: Defend the hard-won Workers’ Rights against fake “socialist” politicians like François Hollande and Manuel Valls, who betray the French people by trying to cause austerity in life with a specious claim that this is necessary due to high unemployment and due to highly questionable “terror” events. Defend (1) living wages that make life enjoyable; (2) universal health care; (3) the 35 hour work week; (4) no cuts in maternity leave; (5) no cuts in paid vacation time!
It is somewhat ironic and a sad betrayal to have this happening when France is being led by the “Socialist Party” (Social Democrat Capitalist) with by President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls pushing for the law, while at the same time a majority in the French National Assembly would not support the law. So Manuel Valls used an emergency clause in the Constitution to call for the law as an emergency measure. This is happening in the context of the two major terrorist attacks in France in 2015 that are still being investigated for their many odd and questionable circumstances. See the two books edited by Professor Kevin J Barrett and about 20 internationally recognized scholars providing the essays: “We Are NOT Charlie Hebdo” and “Another French False Flag”. You can listen anytime to the shows produced by Steve Zeltzer in the KPFA WorkWeek Radio Archives or in the Work Week Radio SoundCloud: “Covering issues facing working people and the trade union movement from education, healthcare, housing, the environment and public workers. It also examines the role of international labor and the US trade union movement.
Vic Sadot sang Douce France 2015 (Sweet or Dear France) by Vic Sadot at SoundCloud by “Broadside Balladeer”. The French Lyrics & the English Translation are posted below if you scroll down in the description box. “Douce France 2015” is a lyrical parody by Vic Sadot of the song written by Charles Trenet in France in 1943 during the Nazi occupation, Vichy collaboration, and the French Resistance. It was recorded in 1947. Although it is a parody, it most certainly is not a mocking one. It expresses a love and a preference for a liberated France, and a disgust for a France misled by corruption towards fascism. Hit the “show more” button at SoundCloud to follow the lyrics and the translation to English.
Dave “Redd” Welsh had a new version of the French National Anthem that was less bellicose and bloody, which was dedicated to the workers of France. He also led the gathering in singing “The Internationale” and “Solidarity Forever”. Vic Sadot sang his version of Bobby Darin’s “Simple Song of Freedom” that Vic released on 9/11/11 on a CD titled “9/11 Truth & Justice Songs”, which is available at CD Baby. Dave Welsh has two recent CD’s with great original political songs: “Class War” and “Stand With The People”. Vic Sadot YouTube Channel is called “Truth Troubadour” and a new cd is in production with a fundraiser site at 2016 IndieGoGo Truth Troubadour CD Fundraiser Campaign .