We have been living locked-up, isolated, controlled for almost a year. Almost a year of ‘war’ against an invisible enemy submitting to orders under the weight of fear, guilt. For the most precarious, under the threat of having their monthly food budget cut due to a fine for incorrect wearing of mask or not having a certificate. For those in the suburbs, the risk of coming up against police violence every time they go out.
Almost a year ago a microscopic living being crippled an entire section of the global economy, emptied the streets of New York and cleared our skies laden with pollution. Globalization, which embodied the omnipotence of the human species, has become its greatest weakness. The virus has seized all commercial circuits to establish its slow advance and reawaken in our terrorized minds a reality forgotten by many: behind our society, blinded by entertainment and pampered by modern medicine, skulks death, our death, relentlessly advancing towards its goal.
In the face of all this we saw power, destabilized at first, take advantage as always of our terror and social paralysis to pass the most liberticidal decrees, the most authoritarian laws (global security, law on separatism, acceleration of the plans for the installation of 5G, etc.).
Repeated lockdowns/curfews condemn us to live our revolts individually sabotaging any possibility of organizing in large numbers. For the first time we have seen ourselves refused a welcome by a friend, a relative, we left loved ones to celebrate the new year alone because the social distancing «quota» couldn’t be exceeded.
We followed the government’s timetable without batting an eyelid and the media produced an atmosphere of generalized fear behind which we all lined up, but apart from the rare people who lost loved ones because of the virus, we must say that this war is not at all discernible in the streets or in the countryside. If you are lucky not to possess a television, a computer, or a telephone you could just leave your home quite unaware of the famous conflict that the rulers have forced us to support. The only thing that makes it discernible are the people who change pavements when they pass you with no mask, the friend who doesn’t ask you in when you knock at their door because «you never know». The nurses who hung banners of indignation from their windows.
The rest of us, those who follow the world of the news, are being dragged between the various experts’ (often contradictory) reports, meetings of heads of government, the power of the laboratories and medicine, so unreachable that they hold a total grip on our bodies and our freedoms.
After a few months growing discontent starts to be perceived all the same. In the face of this, the government responds by designating who is responsible: youth and their secret parties. It produces yet another divisive scenario so that no one dwells on their own responsibility.
Shamelessly a generation of seniors take offence and point at irresponsible youth. Not content with damning our future, the boomers are sacrificing our present.
But responsibility for this crisis can’t be attributed to a generational conflict. For decades, liberal governments have followed one after the other, slowly devouring last century’s social conquests.
The «care-givers» sent to the front in this war were already fighting to keep their jobs and against the entrepreneurial management imposed on public hospitals by their managers before the health crisis.
(At that time you saw few people on their balconies applauding the nurses and doctors in struggle).
Behind the austerity measures aimed at making us gradually lose social conquests, especially public hospitals, we find financial lobbies seeking to grab this juicy market. These monsters are advancing their pawns with the excuse of the need to repay «Eternal Debt».
Aésio, for example, the new monstrous avatar of mutual insurance company Adrea, has been trying for a year to sell a mutual clinic in Grenoble, and switch it to the private sector. The interests of the private sector aim to increase the fees payable by the patient and eliminate all unprofitable services, such as the emergency department, oncology and maternity.
In this way, the mutual societies are abandoning helping the most precarious* people (*we say it gritting our teeth). We might have expected it.
We were looking for a culprit and found one. So, in the night between 21st and 22nd January , we braced ourselves and among friends made the choice together to break the curfew and tagged, threw paint-filled eggs and old engine oil on the facade of the Aésio company.
We hope this gesture will give you the courage to break the lead weight of this isolation and pass to action.
See you soon in the streets.
Some living mortals
Translator’s note: in France medical expenses (consultations, tests, medicines, hospital admissions) are paid two thirds by the State. The other third is paid by patients, generally through mutual insurances associated with their jobs, therefore variable according to their salaries. Destitute people are entirely taken care of by the State, with very mediocre services.
[Translation : Act for freedom now!]