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Paris France's resistant and alternative collective
The first two week FRAP - Festival of Resistances and Alternatives
in Paris - festival ran in Paris during March 2001. The series of
meetings, debates, direct actions, and street protests worked so
successfully that a whole new organisation - CRAP (the Collective
of Resistances and Alternatives of Paris) was spawned.
CRAP's main activities are publishing the monthly Tohu Bohu newsletter
and organising more FRAPs.
The overarching goal is to widen grassroots support for antifascist,
antisexist, antiracist, workers, community and ecological (and many
Tohu Bohu is a monthly newsletter listing resistant and alternative
events going on around Paris (even though it cannot be exhaustive.)
Distributed in bookshops and bars round Paris, it's also available
on the web. We encourage people to photocopy and distribute to their
friends, families and co-workers, in the desperate hope (!!) it'll
spread outside the usual activists, squatters or artists circles.
A second, three week long, FRAP ran from April-May 2002, at the
same time as the French presidential elections. The core message
was : If you really want to take back your life, everyday action
is more important than voting. The main issues raised were labour
(expanding workers rights or abolishing labour?), city space (squatting,
fighting - or changing - urban development plans, getting politics
to the streets...), free things (free transports, free press, free
food and clothes...), repressive policies (surveillance cameras,
new security laws and other paranoid policies) and minorities (supporting
faraway minorities - e.g. Chile's Mapuche - or refugees - e.g. Kurds).
There were more participants than last year, and we're hopeful that
if we do more CRAP work we'll spark more and more local activism.
As well as FRAP there was a "Forum of Social Disobedience"
in March 2002, and in May a week of actions against Securitarian
Laws ran alongside another festival, called Charivari. (Though the
Charivari fest was coming from a different place - as it was linked
to some political parties running for the elections, unlike the
other initiatives.) Other FRAP-like festivals around France - like
the Festivals of Resistances and Alternatives in Gap and Saint-Etienne,
Enrageons-nous (Let's rage) in Brest and FRAKA (Festival of Anticapitalist
Resistances) in Grenoble - have us feeling very hopeful. Is this
the beginning of a new grassroots uprising?
Web sites to check:
- Discover Tohu Bohu and its covers anthology
http://lefrap.free.fr - Presenting
the FRAP 2002 and its program
www.resiste.net - Other festivals
of resistance and alternatives