For Immediate Release
Knowledge Liberation Front – Paris
[ version française ]
On March 24th, 25th, and 26th, students and precarious workers organized hundreds of common initiatives and mobilizations throughout Europe against the austerity measures being imposed upon them by the power of banks and financial institutions in direct collaboration with national governments. Hundreds of teach-ins, mass demonstrations and reappropriations of socially produced knowledge, wealth and spaces took place in over 40 cities throughout the continent, from Russia to The British Isles.
In Paris, the Knowledge Liberation Front and UnCut France organized two rallies in the heart of the city to protest these cuts and to reclaim common spaces to foster autonomous social cooperation between students, migrants and precarious workers. When the participants attempted to march together to Hôtel de Ville, the seat of the City government, police immediately blocked them in an attempt to stifle their voices and silence their protest.
Despite threats of arrest and prosecution for having simply gathered together, the demonstration spontaneously recomposed at Hôtel de Ville to denounce this repression and to support the Coordination des Intermittents et Précaires (CIP) in their fight against the expulsion from their autonomous social center. The City answered immediately: police in full riot gear quickly surrounded the demonstration and several participants were violently attacked.
In the end, 22 people were loaded on armored vans and taken to the underground basement of a police station where they were identified and held for nearly 4 hours.
The Knowledge Liberation Front hereby condemns this police state and the limitation of our simple right to assembly and freedom of expression. The interests of the City of Paris are clearly invested in protecting banks and financial institutions rather than in the concerns and wellbeing of its citizens.
A new social consciousness has awakened in Europe, quickened by the revolutionary wind blowing in from the North African struggles and bolstered by the transnational network of grassroots organizations. Facing the deep cuts in education and social welfare, made to restructure the political economy in order to exploit social production and to enact a financial governance based on precariousness and social poverty, this new awareness of our common struggle will not be intimidated.
These 3 days were only the beginning of a widespread uprising against the arrogance of state and financial power. This revolt against austerity and expropriation will continue to reclaim spaces and socially produced wealth throughout Europe and the world: and make no mistake, even the heavily guarded public squares of Paris will not be immune to this insurrection.