Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Anasse Kazib: The Socialist Worker Captivating the French Media

The strike in France against a planned pension reform has entered its 50th day. One aspect of the movement that has not been highlighted in many media reports is that the weeks of sustained struggle and demonstrations has produced a workers vanguard in which the revolutionary left has a lot of influence.

Left Voice

January 22, 2020
Facebook Twitter Share
Photo by @bsaz.photographie

The Revolutionary Communist Current (CCR) — the organization that produces Left Voice’s sister publication, Permanent Revolution — has great influence among the rank and file workers involved in the strike. They have produced countless videos, articles, and footage of strike actions across the country to show the reach of the movement and highlight the struggle of France’s workers for a national and international audience. They have been instrumental in publicizing the intense repression being suffered by protesters at the hands of the riot police, who, on Macron’s orders, break up demonstrations violently with tear gas, clubs, and water cannons.

Anasse Kazib is a CCR militant and a leader among the striking workers who, according to the press, has become a spokesperson for the rank-and-file. Anasse Kazib is a train guard at the Bourgert train station in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, on the north-eastern outskirts of Paris. He has been part of the Revolutionary Communist Current for four years. 

As a report in Le Parisen says, “He has a great agility of words and a thick voice. A guard at the Bourgert transport station (Seine-Saint-Denis) and a trade unionist for Sud Rail, Anasse Kazib knows how to make himself heard.” 

Kasib lives on the outskirts of Paris, where millions of immigrant workers from Africa and the Middle East live under the conditions afforded by immigrant and precarious work. He is also a 33-year old father of Morrocan descent in one of the most racist countries in Europe. As Kazib told Le Parisien: 

“When you live in Saint-Denis, when you live in Aulnay, we live through calamities and they know it well! We fight for you, especially for the children of all.” 

Anasse emerged as a major figure in the news coverage of the ongoing strike when, on a CNews television program on December 29, Fadila Mehal, an advisor to Macron’s party, accused him of “verbal terrorism.” He walked off the program in defiance of her racist and conservative attack. 

“It’s an insult to the victims of terrorism to treat someone as a terrorist because he corrected you on a question about pension contributions,” he said indignantly on social media afterwards.

When talking about the strike and France’s recent social upheaval, Kazib often speaks about the “radicality” of the yellow vests, a movement he played a significant role in by trying to draw sectors of the working class into the struggle through his union. He is also a friend to one of the leaders of the movement, Jérôme Rodrigues, who was seriously injured in one eye on January, 2019.

Since the current strike began on December 5, Kasib has appeared in countless articles and videos to denounce the government and the union bureaucracy in the strongest terms, representing the combativeness of the strikers and their determination to scrap the pension reform for good without compromise. 

In an article recently published by France TV , Kazib expressed the rank-and-file’s resolve to continue the strike while the government met with top union officials to negotiate a deal, demanding: “No truce, no end of the mobilization! We are calling on all private sector employees to join [the strike].”

Arret Sur Images, a prestigious news blog in France, described Kazib’s intervention in the following way: “From the megaphone to the microphone, it’s just one step. At least that’s what you’d think from the sight of Anasse Kazib’s route. This 32-year-old railway worker has gone from being a very active SUD Rail trade unionist on the track to a regular guest on TV sets….[Audiences across France] listen to his speeches on a wide variety of subjects, from railway reform or pension reform to a polemic on the veil, Muslims, the CICE (Employment Competitiveness Credit) or climate change.” 

Kazib has become a columnist, union activist, and the “voice” of the strikers. The prestigious newspaper, Le Parisien, published a long article about him on January 3, 2019, giving him the space to introduce himself to a wide audience across France. He was described as a “revolutionary Marxist” militant who is shedding light on the “misery” of France’s social crisis and “the fate of future generations”. He spoke of the “radicality” that he sees in the Yellow Vest movement, recalling his interactions with Jérôme Rodriguez. His televised interventions regularly draw on a Marxist framework that has nearly disappeared from the airwaves and television in recent years: speaking  openly about “class struggle”, “proletarians”, “the bourgeoisie”, etc. 

The liberal media in France are not the only ones taking notice of Kazib. The right-wing news site Valuers Actuelles wrote an article attacking Kazib as a radical who is “on every TV set and every union mobilization”. They warned against his interventions in the strike, saying that he “was able to take advantage of a month-long strike of railway workers to put forward his militant agenda, at the crossroads between “revolutionary Marxism” and homilies in favour of political Islam. [This is] dangerous cocktail – explosive, at the very least.”

Rather than an anomaly or just another attempt to turn public opinion against the strike, Kazib’s appearance in broad sections of the national media is an expression of how deep the strike against Macron’s pension reform is. It shows that the demands of the strikers are inextricably tied to a deeper crisis of capitalism that only the united efforts of France’s workers can solve. It is also a testament to the fact that the revolutionary left can and must fight to develop revolutionary tendencies within the struggles of the working class.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Europe

Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi and Giorgia Meloni at the centre-right coalition's closing rally in Italy.

Right-Wing Coalition Wins Italian Elections amid Record-Low Turnout

Amid record-low turnout, Italy’s right-wing coalition won in the country’s snap election this weekend. Ultra-right-wing politician Giorgia Meloni is now set to be the new prime minister. But forming a stable government that lasts five years will be difficult.

Giacomo Turci

September 27, 2022
A postal workers' strike outside Mount Pleasant Royal Mail sorting office in London on August 26, 2022

Britain in Strike Fever after Queen’s State Funeral

After the state funeral of Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom, several sectors are preparing to strike on October 1. The coming workers’ struggles and the fight against the anti-union laws will be a key moment of class struggle in Britain.

Dan Kedem

September 27, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via video link at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia September 23, 2022.

With Mobilization of Reservists and Nuclear Threats, Putin Prepares for Prolonged War

Russian President Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 reservists and raised the threat of nuclear war. The move exposes the political interests behind the war in Ukraine and their geopolitical prospects.

Claudia Cinatti

September 26, 2022
Russian protester being arrested by Russian police.

Mass Arrests in Russia during Nationwide Anti-War Mobilizations

Nationwide protests were called in Russia on Saturday against the war and against Putin’s recent announcement to mobilize reservists. Demonstrators were met with mass arrests.

MOST RECENT

All That's Left, the podcast from Left Voice.

#AllThatsLeftPod: Elections in Brazil

In this episode of the podcast, we talk about the upcoming general elections in Brazil, including Bolsonaro’s legacy, what a Lula presidency would look like, and what the tasks are for the Left going forward.

Left Voice

September 27, 2022
Iranian women and some men protest while holding images of a woman who was killed in police custody.

Support the Protests in Iran by Opposing Sanctions

Feminists in Iran are waging a powerful struggle against the Iranian regime. Leftists in the U.S. can support the protests by opposing sanctions, which disproportionately harm Iranian women and workers.

Sam Carliner

September 26, 2022
Woman holds a yellow sign that says "Nueva constitucion" in black text and another person is holding a yellow sign behind her that reads "No violencia clasista"

‘Boric Has Strengthened the Right-Wing Opposition’: Interview with a Chilean Socialist

In Chile, the illusion of winning the battle against neoliberalism in parliament has been shattered. We interviewed Chilean socialist Dauno Totoro about the recent rejection of a proposed constitution and the need to fight for a revolutionary, internationalist, and socialist Left.

Left Voice

September 25, 2022
Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni gives a speech, an Italian flag covers the podium

Elections in Italy amid Political Crisis: Interview with an Italian Socialist

The right wing is expected to win in Italy’s snap elections on Sunday. An Italian socialist explains the origins of the current political crisis, the rise of the right wing, and the tasks for the Left.

Left Voice

September 21, 2022