France: "A Stunning and Historical Shift"

For Immediate Release

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

France: "A Stunning and Historical Shift"

WASHINGTON -  

RICHARD WOLFF
Recently back from Europe, Wolff is author of the book Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.
He said today: "For many weeks now, a stunning and historical shift has
accelerated across France. An alliance of trade unions, left political
parties and sections of parties, students and young people from
organizations and as individuals, and many others has recomposed a
powerful left force in French society. Having mobilized millions, it is
challenging the French establishment in ways and with an intensity not
seen for decades. The French fight against government 'austerity' -- the
globally common term for making the mass of people pay for fixing the
economic collapse wrought by contemporary capitalism -- is influencing
parallel struggles everywhere."

Wolff is professor emeritus of economics at the University of
Massachusetts, Amherst. In June and July he gave a series of talks in
Europe, including at the University of Athens and University of Paris,
meeting with many of the people organizing the protests.

He is currently a visiting professor in the Graduate Program for
International Affairs at the New School University in New York City.
Video of his talk "Capitalism Hits the Fan" is available at: CapitalismHitsTheFan.com.

DANIEL CIRERA
Cirera, a researcher with the Gabriel Peri Foundation,
in France, said today: "[French President Nicolas] Sarkozy's refusal to
listen deepens public anger. The mass movement continues because beyond
the issue of the age of retirement are questions that concern everyone:
women and men, young people, wage-earners as well as retired people.
The crisis has raised the question of work (how and what to produce and
for whose benefit). The crisis also poses real social choices: the
demand for social justice (versus politicians in the service of money
and the rich) and for a different distribution of wealth."

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