Tout le monde déteste la police. French insurgency and new approaches to smashing the State

Stella Magliani-Belkacem
Félix Boggio Éwanjé-Épée
  CEPN, Paris 13


During the mass protests that erupted in France in response to a government bill to liberalize the labor market, new forms of conflictuality emerged on a large scale, with an unprecedented use of black bloc tactics. While these practices were classically ascribed to a marginal fringe of the extreme left (namely, autonomes and non-syndicalist anarchism), it appeared as a more and more organic strategy of the movement, positively interacting with the Nuit debout occupation of public space and with ranking file union members during demonstrations. The escalation of repression brought about a cohesive common sense among protesters that challenged governmental and media attempts at dividing them between casseurs (black bloc) and peaceful demonstrators.
This paper intends to draw lessons from the movement, and notably the rise of autonomist-influenced and radical antifascist practices. We hold that this emergence is connected to a subterranean affinity between new terrains of struggle, dealing with space, logistics and the State on the one hand, and a set of ideas drawn from street-fighting antifascism and communization on the other hand.
How can the left learn from these evolutions while these currents have a strong anti-party component? How to build hegemony out of an anti-hegemonic stance? These questions are an enticement for the left to see with different lens classical problems of strategy related to the State. As the Poulantzas-influenced hypothesis of a prolonged dual power strategy is gaining prominence in intellectual areas, these new forms of conflictuality can be thought of as a crucial anti-State component of a dialectical strategy of breaking/transforming specific State apparatuses and sectors.
It is also to be claimed that race and imperialism bring a crucial tension in these new movements, and that retrieving radical anti-imperialist and antiracist legacies is a crucial complement to the proposed approach

strategy - autonomia - poulantzas